Dr. Mark Pellegrino, who is the author of Fibromyalgia: Up Close & Personal, has written some great information on Fibromyalgia that is caused by some sort of trauma or accident.
Dr. Pellegrino says a typical story that he hears from chronic pain patients after a whiplash injury is:
The pain started after the car accident, and it has never gone away. Before the accident I was perfectly healthy, and now I hurt all over and nothing has helped.
Dr. P. says that some of the treatments these patients receive may help alleviate the pain for a while but it doesn’t totally disappear.
Many times, the pain is localized at first to the neck, shoulders and upper back areas, but over time, other areas of the body begin to hurt just as bad. Eventually, the person may say the classic four-word sentence that practically epitomizes Fibromyalgia: I hurt all over.
Fibromyalgia that is caused by trauma is referred to as post-traumatic Fibromyalgia. When there is trauma to the body, tissue damage can occur. When the proper healing doesn’t occur, this is when post-traumatic Fibromyalgia can set in. Dr. P. says that PTF does not occur immediately after an injury; it takes time to evolve and fully develop the characteristic tender points in distinct locations. Just as trauma other than motor vehicle accidents can cause whiplash-type injuries, trauma other than whiplash-related ones can lead to PTF. Lifting injuries, falls, work injuries, sports injuries, and repetitive-type injuries are examples of other kinds of non-whiplash trauma.
Dr. Pellegrino reports that among doctors in private practice, many of them, including himself, have stated that half of their Fibromyalgia patients can link the onset of their symptoms back to some sort of traumatic event.
Come back tomorrow to read Part 2 that will discuss diagnosing PTF.