Fibromyalgia

How to find relief from fibromyalgia pain

Fibromyalgia (also known as FM or FMS) is a condition characterized by persistent and widespread musculoskeletal pain. Fibromyalgia is a syndrome, which means that many symptoms tend to occur together, even though everyone may experience it differently or not at all. Because many of these symptoms overlap with other conditions, the diagnosis can be difficult.

Common symptoms include:

  • Widespread joint pain and muscles
  • Fatigue
  • Cognitive difficulties or “fibro fog”
  • Pin and needle/numbness
  • Sleeping or uninterrupted insomnia
  • Headache/migraine
  • Increased sensitivity to stimulation eg. hot, cold, sound, smell
  • Temporomandibular pain (jaw)
  • Food intolerance/digestive annoyance
  • Allergy/sensitivity
  • Worry
  • Depression
  • Other conditions are generally associated with and can live side by side with fibromyalgia, including:
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME) – See our post on CFS/me here
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Restless foot syndrome

Autoimmune Conditions – Including Lupus and Sjogren’s syndrome

Dysautonomia – including orthostatic intolerance and Tachycardia orthostatic postural (POTS) syndrome.

Often the symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary from day to day, and can pass the “light” period or increase in intensity. This flare up is often associated with certain triggers, for example: excessive exercise, unhealthy, weather changes, increased stress, or caffeine/alcohol intake.

Fibromyalgia is generally classified as a lifetime condition, but the symptoms can be managed, and in some cases symptoms may even disappear completely (entering the remission). A good way to explain this is to use examples of people with type 2 diabetes – they can control their diabetes very well with diet and exercise, and as a result their blood sugar may be in a correct range of normal. However, the diagnosis acts as a flag for medical professionals that patients are more susceptible to high blood sugar than others, and patients need to maintain healthy habits to manage themselves and monitor their conditions (and may need to access further treatment at different times in the future to look after themselves on the track).

What causes fibromyalgia?

In some cases, fibromyalgia may begin to suddenly follow an event – for example, after infection, surgery, trauma or significant psychological/emotional pressure. In other cases, symptoms of piling gradually without any triggers that can be identified. There are also suggestions that there is a possibility of genetic and hormonal relationships, although this is unclear.

The cause/mechanism of the right fibromyalgia is not fully understood. Current research shows that symptoms are driven by changes in the sensitivity of the nervous system, which changes the way our brain processes information from the body, which leads to the strengthened pain output. There are also effects on the endocrine (hormonal) system and our immunity that can cause a variety of symptoms above. It is important to understand that while the pain experienced can be severe, it is not related to damage to structural tissue in painful areas.

How common fibromyalgia?

It is estimated that fibromyalgia affects between 2-5% of the population. Fibromyalgia is far more common in women than men – between 75-90% of cases are women. This is most commonly diagnosed in adulthood, although it can affect people of all ages.

How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?

Unfortunately, there is no special test that can confirm the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. The diagnosis is made based on whether your symptoms are in accordance with certain clinical criteria, and by override the possible causes of other causes of these symptoms. This can mean that receiving a diagnosis of fibromyalgia can take time, because your doctor often needs to do various investigations/ tests to decide on other conditions.

How is Fibromyalgia treated?

Given that symptoms can vary from person to person, management must be planned around your own specific circumstances. Research has shown that holistic treatment is far more effective than drugs. Your treatment plan may include:

Medication-including non-opioid analgesics, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant or anti-epileptic drugs.

Education – The more you understand your conditions and triggers, the more you can do to manage your own symptoms

Exercise – depending on your abilities and preferences. Hydrotherapy or water exercises can be a good choice and a low impact to start (although currently complicated due to COVID restrictions).

Triggers management and light up strategy

  • Nutrition Maintaining a healthy diet and avoiding too much caffeine or alcohol
  • Strategy to increase sleep
  • Stress management and relaxation techniques
  • Involved in meaningful and fun activities if possible
  • Support from psychologists or counselors for symptoms of depression and anxiety

Additional treatments such as acupuncture, dried needle stabs and massage can help with short -term help from symptoms. However, research has shown that this treatment itself has little long -term benefits, although it can benefit some people when used together with other active strategies. for more info contact Resolve pain today.

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