Lumps & Bumps: Fibromyalgia & Lipomas

Sometimes Painless, Sometimes Not

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Do you have lumps and bumps under your skin? A lot of us with fibromyalgia do. They're called lipomas, and they're non-cancerous tumors - basically, lumps of fatty tissue just below the skin.

In most people, lipomas are painless, but we're not most people, are we? We're more likely than others to have painful lipomas, possibly because the lumps can hit nerves, and our nerves are hypersensitive.

Lipomas that don't cause pain aren't a problem and don't need to be treated.

You can treat painful lipomas with standard pain medications, but if they're still causing a lot of pain, you may want to talk to your doctor about treatment options. The main ones are hydrocortisone shots or surgery, and both can cause problems for us - some experts say hydrocortisone makes fibromyalgia symptoms worse, and recovering from surgery is a long, extremely painful ordeal for most of us. Also, surgery isn't guaranteed to eliminate the pain.

I have a ton of these things. I used to think they were inflamed and knotted muscles, but my massage therapist tells me otherwise. I have a hard time telling which lumps are lipomas and which ones are myofascial trigger points, especially since most of them are in my back, so I'm not sure if any of mine are painful.

While lipomas are common in us, don't assume that unexplained bumps are just lipomas. Have your doctor check them out, just to be sure.

The same goes for lumpy, fibrocystic breasts - just because we're prone to harmless lumps doesn't mean we can't get cancer. Better safe than sorry.

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