What Causes Fibromyalgia Burning Pain?
Do you ever feel like your bones are on fire? What about the top of your leg or your back, maybe even under the skin? Some fibromyalgia patients feel like lava is being pumped through their veins rather than the blood. They might even have a burning sensation in their brain which is difficult to explain since there are no pain receptors there.
Oothers feel that their stomachs, tendons or ligaments are burning inside their body. For many people with fibromyalgia, the shooting pain is so intense that they cry and cry in pain. And if that wasn’t enough, there is nothing to show! For example, when my skin is on fire, it’s not even red. Does this happen to you?
Does this make you angry? We all know that it’s really hard to get people to believe that something is wrong when they don’t see any issues with your body and the lack of validating evidence is maddening.
What is happening in the world?
According to doctors experts, “Research suggests that the pain associated with fibromyalgia is caused by a ‘problem’ in the way the body processes pain. This glitch results in hypersensitivity to stimuli that are not normally painful. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), research has shown that people with fibromyalgia have reduced blood flow to parts of the brain that normally help the body manage pain.
the American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association Says it perfectly: “The pain of fibromyalgia has no boundaries. They add that “body-wide symptoms are greatly amplified by dysfunctions in the way the nervous system processes pain.” This coincides with the previously mentioned research regarding a “problem” in the system, so in this context it makes sense that the body sometimes registers stimuli like a burning sensation.
The burning sensation that patients with fibromyalgia often experience is sometimes associated with allodynia, which is a painful sensation caused by touch and commonly associated with migraines. However, many fibro patients do not need to be touched to feel the burn that appears to be coming from within and sometimes from the surface. So, although allodynia may be the case for some with fibromyalgia, it does not explain the burning sensation on all levels. To be fair, however, there seems to be almost nothing that explains the symptoms of fibromyalgia on any level. Hence the great mystery which surrounds this strange affliction.
Can we do something about it?
Here are some examples of what other patients say works for them to relieve the burning sensation of fibromyalgia:
- Massage therapy – A typical feature of fibromyalgia is the inability to relax the muscles. Often our muscles are tight and we don’t even know it. This leads to a buildup of lactic acid which can also be a cause of burning sensation, especially in the muscles. A highly trained massage therapist (you might even consider a medical massage therapist) who understands fibromyalgia can work with you every week or every two weeks to release the acid. For some patients, this reduces and even completely eliminates the burning sensation.
- Cortisone injections – Administered by a healthcare practitioner, this is for temporary relief and does not apply to all burning sensation situations.
- Gabapentin – Prescription medicine used to treat pain caused by shingles.
- Heat therapy – It seems counterintuitive, but fibro patients who experience a burning sensation often report that heat therapy options such as hot tubs and electric blankets provide great relief.
- Supplements – Although the exact cause of the burning sensation is unknown, some patients appear to be nutritionally deficient, which can be one of the main causes of many fibromyalgia symptoms. Look for a high-quality vitamin (preferably whole foods) in addition to a high dose of vitamin D and a consistent dose of magnesium (due to our commercial farming practices, almost everyone in North America is deficient magnesium, which causes a litany of symptoms both related and unrelated to fibromyalgia.)
- Lidocaine patches – These actually fall under the category of local anesthetics. Although there are over-the-counter versions, in order to relieve the burning sensation, you will need a prescription from your doctor. In fact, they’re often used to relieve nerve pain after shingles.
- Antihistamines – Benadryl and Zyrtec have been reported to be effective in relieving burning pain in patients with fibromyalgia.
- Decreased Stress – You’ve heard it a thousand times because it’s true. Finding ways to relieve stress and deal with stressors can do wonders for many fibromyalgia symptoms, including the odd burn.
Whatever the source of the burning sensation of fibromyalgia sucks. Did you find something that relieves you? Tell us. In fact, tell us the things you tried that didn’t work too. Because something will always work for somebody and anything we can do to help each other is more than welcome!