Do you have chronic myofascial pain (trigger points)?



Trig­ger points (TrPs) con­fuse many peo­ple. Peo­ple who suf­fer from Fibromyal­gia Syn­drome (FMS) have ten­der points that are used for diag­no­sis, not trig­ger points. TrPs can lead to Chron­ic Myofas­cial Pain (CMP). Try­ing to explain both of them is real­ly beyond me, but Devin Star­lanyl does a great job of mak­ing all of it clear. Her web site is great, but believe me, her books are even better!



In any case, I have CMP and FMS. For the past week or so, I haven’t been able to move my neck much because of pain on the right side that referred down my arm and around to my chest. I know I’ve got scar tis­sue there in my neck, and com­pres­sion of a nerve between two of the ver­te­brae, but nor­mal­ly I can move my neck through a full range of motion. I have no idea what happened—maybe I slept wrong? I don’t know, and I haven’t real­ly been sleep­ing much in any case.



I had my month­ly vis­it with my pain man­age­ment doc­tor today, and men­tioned the prob­lem. Right off, the PA asked if I want­ed to try trig­ger point injec­tions. With­in 15 min­utes, the pain was fad­ing. I was afraid it would come right back, but so far it has­n’t. By the time I got home, I was falling asleep in part due to the intense relief.

I def­i­nite­ly hope that I would­n’t have any par­tic­u­lar place that is so painful next month, but I’ll def­i­nite­ly be ready to speak up about what­ev­er is most painful. 


If your doc­tor does­n’t offer trig­ger point ther­a­py for you, ask about it!



If you’re sure that you have TrPs, you can also try treat­ing them your­self. For lay­men, the best book about TrPs is The Trig­ger Point Ther­a­py Work­book by the late Clair Davies. I have a copy, and rec­om­mend it. I’ve found that it’s best used in con­junc­tion with a Ther­a­Cane, but it seems there are sev­er­al oth­er nice tools avail­able now, too. 


I found it nec­es­sary to have some­one else help me with the treat­ments, but they did work. They were more painful than the injec­tions, and you need to do them three times a day. On the oth­er hand, they did­n’t require a trip to the doc­tor or a pre­scrip­tion, and once you learn how to treat your­self you can do it when­ev­er you need it. Our for­mer house­mate helped me with the treat­ments, but I’m hop­ing that my part­ner will learn to do them. They do work!

Cyn is Katie's mom, Esther's Mémé, and a Support Engineer. She lives in the Atlanta area with her life partner, Rick, and their critters. She knits, does counted-thread needlework, reads, makes music, plays TTRPGs, and spends too much time online.
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