Facial pain/Trigger points

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Katkeyper, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. Katkeyper

    Katkeyper New Member

    I am new to the board! I'm 39 and have had FM for probably over 25 years. It's been quite a ride. Most of it is now under control...however, I wonder if someone can tell me what form of treatment options there are for facial TrP's (trigger points) and pain from FM? I found a great article at:
    http://www.immunesupport.com/library/print.cfm?ID=3532&t=CFIDS_FM
    ...that explains a lot of the pain I go through...mostly eye/eyebrow/ear/teeth. Been misdiagnosed for root canal before - Xrays did not support. Dentist was familiar with FM. We put a temp crown on the cracked tooth (grinding/clenching, a common FM symptom) just in case. The symptoms come and go...It's part of what you get used to with FM...to a point.

    I also have migraines, but since I went to pain management a year ago, the frequency has dropped to six per year from 12/mo. I've also had cluster headaches...and again, this is different pain. I just don't know what to do for the facial pain and related headaches. They are becoming incapacitating and affecting everything. I work full-time, but not always at full throttle!

    I do a variety of neck/shoulder exercises, even throughout the day at work, and also do some TMJ exercises (I have the tight mucle type) and accupuncture...but the relief if minimal. I wear a mouthguard at night.

    I am currently not on any maintenance medication except Zyrtec for allergies. I take Darvocet sparingly and take Axert for migraine onset. I've been reading different drug treatments folks are on...I've been successful with consistent exercise/pain management techniques for most of my body issues. I can knock out flare-ups quickly!

    I'm up for suggestions! Research tells all about the facial symptoms and where they come from, but not the treatment except for "moist heat" and perhaps muscle relaxers. I want to be armed with info when I go back to my doctor...whom I haven't seen in almost a year.

    Thanks!
  2. minimonkey

    minimonkey New Member

    Hey, Kat --

    I'm sorry you are going though all this -- head pain is about the worst and most incapacitating pain one can have, I think. (I'm a migraine sufferer and my upper body is riddled with trps, so I get mixed tension-migraine headaches.)

    One thing that helps me is to isolate the trigger points and massage them when the pain first starts. I don't have the upper facial pain you describe, but I do get terrible spasms in my neck, shoulders, etc. that lead to horrible head pain. If I can figure out which trigger points are involved (usually I can do this by poking around the area -- the trps are hard and very sore) I massage them as hard as I can stand. It isn't pleasant, but it does help. Light massage does nothing to help my pain.

    Yesterday, I tried an experiment. I have heard of trigger point injections (never had them) and dry needling of trigger points working to relieve pain -- so yesterday when I found myself in one of the absolute worst mixed headaches of my life (pain meds weren't helping much at all) I decided to try a bit of self-administered acupressure -- I found the trigger point at the base of my skull that was the most sore, and after some generalized self massage, I took a paperclip end and pressed it as hard as I could (without breaking the skin!) into the center of the trigger point. I did this for about 1 minute, and again about half an hour later. Much to my surprise, the spasm let go almost immediately, and the headache went away! As always after a spasm, today the trigger point areas are sore as heck to the touch...

    Now, this is a one-time experiment so far, so it could have been coincidence -- but I'm certainly willing to try it again the next time I have a spasm like that.
  3. Katkeyper

    Katkeyper New Member

    I've had actual injection therapy in my neck and shoulders a few years back, but it was shortlived...but the paperclip technique sounds much less expensive! I do try to do massage and accupressure....trouble is trying to find the many sources/triggers. I have definite tender spots, but I'm not sure that's where the pain is starting from.

    It's my understanding that accupressure makes the muscle spasm work really hard, then it exhaust itself and that's how it stops/stops the pain...I'm thinking I need a very big paperclip! ;-). Thanks for the tip!