Myofascial pain and pain from fibromyalgia are two different things. That’s not my experience. In my experience, while myofascial pain isn’t necessarily the same as pain from fibromyalgia… it is just one of the many types of pain that those of us with fibromyalgia suffer from.
Myofascial pain is the pain in the fascia, which is a layer of tissue just underneath the skin. It’s been described to me as much like “chicken skin” on a chicken, and it covers our entire body, just underneath our skin. This tissue, like other tissues in our body can get tight if not properly stretched.
A large amount of the pain that I deal with is myofascial pain. Initially, I felt it throughout my head, as a side effect of my TMJ. My head would have places that were so tight that just a light touch would cause me great pain. I couldn’t even wash or comb my hair without pain.
I was in physical therapy and I had one therapist who seemed to understand what I was dealing with and would massage my head in such a way to help release that tension and make me feel better.
It wasn’t until after I was diagnosed with Fibro and went through PT for that, that I had someone really explain myofascial pain and myofascial release to me in a way that helped me understand it.
My therapist showed me how to do myofasical release to my arms and legs (and also showed my husband, as it’s much easier for someone else to do it to you).
Doing myofascial release looks almost like you are giving yourself (or whoever you are doing it to) an Indian burn. Grabbing with both hands and rubbing deeply in opposite directions to stretch the tissue just below the skin.
It sounds strange and uncomfortable as I describe it, yet even as the therapist was doing it to me, I realized it was something I often did to myself without even realizing it. It just made me realize that so often we know what our bodies need, just by instinct and we will attempt to do the motions, or movements that will make us feel better. Sometimes we just don’t quite know how to do it correctly.
If you deal with this type of pain, you may want to seek out a physical therapist or a massage therapist that understands the techniques behind myofascial release and see if it helps you. If have a good physical therapist they will be happy to show someone who loves you how to do the technique, and even show you how you can do it to yourself to ease your pains.