One interesting difference between the two conditions is that more women than men have FM,
however CMP affects men and women in equal numbers. Another difference is that muscles in
locations that are some distance from the MTP's of CMP have normal sensitivity. As you
can see in the table above, with FM there is a generalized sensitivity. With both
conditions, the key to successful treatment is identifying and controlling or eliminating
perpetuating factors. This may involve changing to a healthy diet and avoiding excess
carbohydrates, adding vitamin and mineral supplements, regaining restorative sleep, and
adding some gentle exercise and stress-removing activities.
One Isn't Bad Enough
People with both FM and CMP face more than just the two sets of symptoms of both
conditions. Today, more researchers are realizing that FM and CMP not only occur
together, they reinforce each other. FM and CMP can interact.
6 The research by Dr. Roland Staud and
others indicates that pain from localized Myofascial Trigger Points (MTP's) can perpetuate
the central sensitization of FM.7
Physical therapy and all other forms of treatment
must proceed very carefully when both of these conditions are involved, because any
excess pain caused by the therapy can further sensitize the central nervous system.
Any treatment regimen will be both more complicated and less successful than if the
patient had only one of the two conditions.
Furthermore, some of the treatments normally prescribed for FM patients can cause damage
to CMP patients, and the reverse is also true. You cannot strengthen a muscle that has a
MTP, because the muscle is already physiologically
contracted6, for example. Too
many physical therapists see a weakened muscle and immediately attempt to strengthen it
without testing for the presence of MTP's. Attempts at strengthening a muscle with MTP's
will only cause the MTP's to worsen and may develop satellites and secondaries.
In the context of FM, many different neurotransmitters are affected to different degrees
and in different combinations in each patient. Other biochemical's in the body are
also affected to different degrees. Various hormones may be involved. Histamine
(a neurotransmitter), for example, is often an important factor when there are many
allergic manifestations. The possible combinations are endless, so this is no place for
a doctor who is unaware of the two conditions, especially when you figure in the
possible combinations of MTP's.
For more information concerning Fibromyalgia, including symptoms, possible causes
and treatments, we suggest you visit our sister site, FM-CFS/ME RESOURCES.