Fibromyalgia is a type of disorder identified by widespread pain in multiple joints and muscles in the body. In addition, sufferers report problems with sleep, fatigue, mood issues and memory problems. Researchers believe that the condition amplifies a number of painful sensations by affecting the manner in which your brain process signals for pain.
Symptoms of the condition can begin after being involved in a physical trauma, infection, surgery or a form of substantial psychological stress. In other instances, symptoms will appear slowly over the course of time without there ever being a triggering event.
Women tend to be more prone to developing the condition than what men are. Many of those with the condition suffer from temporomandibular joint (jaw) disorders, tension headaches, anxiety, depression and irritable bowel syndrome.
There are a number of trigger points (9 pairs, or 18 points in total) which tend to be painful when pressed, and this can indicate fibromyalgia.
However, there is much debate in the medical community as to the validity of fibromyalgia as a condition, with many doctors believing that it’s simply a way to diagnose someone when no other alternative is present. This diagnosis can help the sufferer to feel relief that they have a diagnosis, rather than the cause of their pain being unknown. It is noted that often people who suffer with fibromyalgia tend to have an underlying psychological or psychosomatic condition, or have had a previous mental trauma. It is imperative to address any childhood issues, or problems during the growing years where mental or psychological distress might have been caused.
Muscles are surrounded with fascia. This connecting tissue plays a pivotal role in determining the amount of contraction and stretch in the muscle. It is important that you understand that the fascia also provides a pathway for the blood vessels and nerves. In those with fibromyalgia, due to a prolonged pathological hypertonicity within the muscles, the fascia ends up becoming tense and causes a compression of the muscle fibers, blood vessels and nerve tissue. This particular irritation begins by initiating and then later developing fibromyositis. The continual muscle tension in fibromyalgia causes an undue amount of strain on the tendons and the muscles. It is the strain that leads to inflammation.
The continual inflammation causes calcium deposits within the muscles and the tendons attached to the periosteum, hence fibromyositis. Chronic inflammation of the skeleton-muscular system causes secondary changes within the neurotransmitter activities and levels of the central nervous system. The changes will often appear after the patient begins experiencing chronic pain.
How to Treat Fibromyalgia:
Tylenol can help to alleviate the stiffness and pain that is brought on by fibromyalgia. Its effectiveness tends to vary based upon the individual seeking treatment. Ultram can be taken with or without Tylenol. It might be recommended that you take a non-steroid anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or naproxen along with other medications.
Cymbalta and Savella can help to alleviate the pain and fatigue that is attributed to fibromyalgia. Prozac can also be prescribed to help you sleep at night. Amytriptaline is another commonly prescribed anti-depressant that is usually started in low dosages of around 10mg.
- Anti-Seizure Drugs
Medications that are made for treating epilepsy are often useful in helping to reduce various types of pain. Pregabolin and gabapentin can help reduce the nerve pains and dull the overall pain in the body. Neurontin might be helpful to reduce symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.
- Psychological Therapy
Lots of therapies exist. Many doctors believe that psychological therapy can be beneficial, with counseling and CBT being used to good effect. It is noted that often people who suffer with fibromyalgia tend to have had a previous mental trauma or psychological distress. Addressing this as an underlying cause can significantly improving coping mechanisms, and also reduce the pain sensitivity, and in some cases eradicating the fibromyalgia.
- Physical Therapy
Although physical therapy may not cure the problem, many fibromyalgia sufferers get significant relief from sports massage, joint mobilisation, and acupuncture. Reducing muscle tension and knots in the muscles tends to give significant pain relief. Therapists can also help to motivate patients and teach management techniques, as well as home exercises.
- You are far more likely to develop fibromyalgia is you have someone in the family who has the same condition.
- For those who have rheumatic disease, you are a lot more likely to end up developing fibromyalgia.
- Women tend to be more prone to the development of the condition than that of men. Female reproductive hormones might play a key role in how much pain women are able to experience.
- Certain illnesses tend to trigger, appear or aggravate symptoms of fibromyalgia.
- Fibromyalgia has been linked to post-traumatic stress disorder in a number of individuals.
- Any underlying psychological trauma must be addressed to successfully treat this condition.
- Patients who are over-anxious and neurotic tend to suffer with fibromyalgia.
- There may be a link with low vitamin D levels, so if you have a general lack of sunlight, you should discuss with your doctor getting checked for low vitamin D.