"This type of fibromyalgia pain is extremely common in us, but it's one of the harder ones for other people to understand. That's because, by definition, things that cause allodynia shouldn't hurt. That's right -- allodynia is "pain from stimulus that usually doesn't cause pain." Examples: flashing lights, repetitive sounds, visual "chaos," confusion. How do those cause pain? I don't know, but trust me: they do. And I'm not talking headaches, like you might expect from light and sound. For me, these things cause pain to rip through my abdomen. I know, it's weird. Allodynia comes in several forms, and those of us with fibromyalgia can have any combination of them. The examples above are the basic form. There's also:
- Tactile allodynia. Pain from touch/light pressure, such as from a waistband or bra strap.
- Mehanical allodynia. Pain from motion across the skin, such as light massage or the brush of fabric.
- Thermal allodynia. Pain from heat or cold that's not severe enough to damage tissues. I.e., cold feet may feel intense, sharp pain.
And the second article:
First, the medically defined types of fibromyalgia pain.
Hyperalgesia & Fibromyalgia
"Hyper" means excess and "algesia" means pain. Hyperalgesia is the medical term for pain amplification in FMS. Our brains appear to take normal pain signals and "turn up the volume," making them more severe than they would normally be. Most of the drugs used for managing FMS pain are aimed, at least in part, at reducing hyperalgesia.
A symptom that perplexes a lot of us, especially when it's new, is allodynia. That's what it's called when your skin hurts to the touch, and when mild pressure from clothing or gentle massage causes pain. A lot people describe allodynia as similar to a bad sunburn. Allodynia is a fairly rare type of pain -- other than FMS, it's only associated with a handful of conditions, including neuropathy, postherpetic neuralgia (shingles) and migraine. Allodynia is believed to be a hypersensitive reaction that may result from the central sensitization associated with FMS. The pain signals originate with specialized nerves, called nociceptors, that sense information about things like temperature and painful stimuli right from the skin.
My Own Fibromyalgia Pain Categories
Sometimes, out of nowhere, I'll get an intense stabbing pain that seems to cut through my body. I've also described this as a fireplace poker in the ribs or being impaled on a spear. For me, the voodoo doll pain is often my body's early warning system -- it tells me that I need to stop what I'm doing and rest. Other times, I have no idea why it strikes. I generally get this pain in my chest or abdomen, but some people say they get it in other parts of the body. It can be so intense that it can double me over and make it hurt to breathe. It usually goes away as after a few minutes. I have no idea how to prevent this type of pain, other than by pacing myself. (If only I could find that darned doll....)
This is one of those things that reminds you FMS just doesn't make a lot of sense. A lot of us get pain that migrates around the body, sometimes moving between certain places, sometimes striking in new areas. If you also have myofascial pain syndrome, it can be especially hard to tell randomly roving pain from the referred pain caused by trigger points. For me, this pain responds to treatments about the same as hyperalgesia.
When my nerves are rattled, I try to get out of the situation as quickly as possible and relax, preferably somewhere quiet. "