Everything You Need to Know About Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Syndrome

Most people cannot tell the difference between fibromyalgia and chronic pain syndrome as both are the same to them. But, in the real sense, they are different yet the same, get it?

Pain varies greatly depending on the cause of the pain, but when experiencing chronic pain, that is something else altogether.

Differentiating between the two can be difficult. This is a guide to help break down what they are. They are the same and at the same time not quite? Let’s find out.

What is Chronic Pain Syndrome (CPS)?

CPS is a pain disorder that lasts for a short period. The pain lasts from two weeks to six months. According to the Institute of Chronic Pain (ICP), it occurs due to an original health issue.

One’s foot or arm is affected as there are swelling and the texture and color of your skin changes. Intense pain accompanies it. CPS is more noticeable and localized.

What could cause CPS?

Some of the causes are past injuries and surgeries. Back problems that you’ve had. Arthritis, nerve damage, migraines, and other headaches.

Symptoms of Chronic Pain Syndrome (CPS)

The most common symptom is persistent pain in a particular section that will last for weeks and in severe cases up to years. The pain varies with each person, therefore do not compare one’s pain levels with another.

The pain can be described as burning, stinging, shooting, dull ache, stiffness, squeezing or soreness.

Areas that you are likely to experience pain are mouth and face, bones and muscles. Back, neck or joints. All these can be causes of psychological factors such as fear or depression.

To test this, you can use needles and pins to try and identify the area with pain. You will be extremely sensitive to the prick of the needle or pin.

Other symptoms include fatigue, insomnia, headache, anxiety, not hungry, and changes in your moods.

Treatment of CPS

As is with every other condition or disorder known to humankind, the treatment of CPS depends on the severity of your pain. Do not under any circumstance treat yourself if you do not understand what you are suffering from.


To prevent CPS, you can do aerobics for 20-30 minutes 5 times a week to improve your cardiovascular health. In case of an injury, do exercises that are not focused on that muscle, to give you time to relax and heal.

Meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises are types of relaxation techniques that are useful in reducing stress.


These include cognitive-behavioral therapy (talk about negative thoughts and emotional responses), physical, behavioral therapy, and brief psychotherapy can be done to help you with chronic pain.

Massages, acupuncture are ways that can relieve stress and relieve tension in your muscles and pain. Calmare therapy, done in 2015 by Mayo Clinic has proven to be successful when dealing with chronic pain.


Try and get those that relieve pain such as an analgesic. To block pain that might have been caused by damaged nerves opt for nerve pain medication. Due to depression, antidepressants might be given to you.

Antidepressants are usually given due to depression that might arise when you have pain. The drug will help with both emotional and pain that is caused by CPS.

Surgery is usually the last resort if your case is extremely severe. Another medical procedure that can be done is nerve block. It is injecting numbing medication near a nerve to reduce or relieve pain.

Consultation time

All these treatments should be done after you have consulted a specialist. Such as occupational therapist, clinical psychologist, a geriatrician (for seniors) or got to a physical medicine and rehabilitation clinic.

OnHealth has more ways in which you can treat your chronic pain, know how to describe it to your doctor and what to avoid when having chronic pain.

This YouTube video by Dr. Dan Clauw, Director of Chronic Pain & Fatigue Centre at the University of Michigan explains to you what chronic pain is, causes, and how different treatments are administered.

What is Fibromyalgia?

It is a disorder that affects the whole body and cannot be physically possible to identify.

The similarity in CPS and Fibromyalgia lies in the sympathetic nervous system dysfunction.

The pain that one feels when suffering from fibromyalgia can is categorized as severe, sharp or chronic. With the abdomen, back, neck or muscles being the areas that hurt.

Fibromyalgia, Why?

There are no definite causes of fibromyalgia, as a variety of factors might be the cause. Such factors might be infections (as some illnesses trigger it), physical or emotional trauma such as accident or stress and genetics.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

With fibromyalgia closely related to chronic pain syndrome, some of the symptoms in CPS can be an indicator of fibromyalgia, if they are extreme.

The number one symptom of this disorder is persistent pain, everywhere! You feel like your joints and muscles hurt, and you cannot pinpoint one location.

According to the director of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Centre at the University of Michigan, rheumatologist Daniel Claw, MD, this is a red flag that points out that you have fibro.

The pain felt occurs mainly at night and can make you feel nauseous, or constipated. At times you pass a lot of gas, which can be embarrassing.

Segregated pain

Your muscles feel sore or tender, and at times you have spasms that are painful. One tends to be sensitive to cold, pain, pins and needles. Your hand, for instance, gets tingly or can have the sensation of being cold.

Mental health

Your cognitive functions are below par. You forget things quickly, and concentration is not one of your strong suits. Moods change like the wind, anxiety attacks and you’re nervous most of the time.

The nerves and anxiety make it impossible to sleep, or you have a hard time falling asleep.

Other symptoms can be headaches, stiffness in your joints, painful menstruation, flare, depression, tingling feet or irritability.

How to cope with Fibromyalgia?

According to NfmCPA, there is no cure for fibromyalgia, but there are things that one can do make their pain levels manageable.

Pile up some Books

You can read up on about the disorder and how to survive to live with it. Why not from someone who suffers from it as they understand your pain best. You can find more alternatives here.

Dr. Jacob Teitelbum wrote From Fatigued to Fantastic. This book helps people who suffer from fibromyalgia with means of overcoming their symptoms and how to thrive.

Deirdre Rawlings has a cookbook that helps you to fight fibromyalgia.

Natural Muscle Relaxers

Muscle spasms cause pain, and natural muscle relaxers can be mixed with others like it to make it better. You can find the natural muscle relaxers in stores near you.

For instance, chamomile oil is used to treat injury and muscle pain. You can use it when having a massage or as a herb to offer relief from muscle spasms. To relax, consume it in the form of tea.

Epsom salts are a great muscle relaxer but consult your doctor first before you dip yourself in a bath full of Dead Salt. Apply it on the affected region and for better results, use it with water for immediate relief.


With help from your physician, take muscle relaxants to reduce muscle tension, discomfort, and pain. Analgesic to relieve pain, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) to ease depression and anxiety symptoms.


Just like CPS, aerobics can be useful when dealing with this disorder. You can work out five times a week for 20-30 minutes. Don’t overexert yourself, take your time.

Relaxation treatments

Yoga, meditation, rhythmic exercises are used to reduce stress symptoms. Do enjoyable activities that will improve your mental health. Verbalize your frustration to reduce stress.

This YouTube video will help you do a few stretches that will relieve your pain. Do it when you are not in too much pain and do not expect it to work immediately. Be patient.

Support group and therapy

Find people who are going through your journey. You will realize they help you stay focused and know you are not alone on your journey.

Hydrotherapy is an excellent way of reducing pain levels and also treat diseases. Chiropractic techniques, stretching, massages and acupuncture can be added to your list of ways to manage fibromyalgia.

Specialists that can help if you are suffering from Fibromyalgia.
Physiotherapist, rheumatologist, a clinical psychologist and visiting a Primary Care Provider (PCP) to be diagnosed, treatment is also offered.


As shown in the article, CPS might lead to Fibromyalgia. Though other circumstances, such as previous injuries and surgeries might cause one or both.

It is essential to have regular check-ups to detect any underlying diseases that you might know. If you are not sure of your symptoms, consult a doctor.

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