The Fibromyalgia Mystery

The Fibromyalgia Mystery

What is Fibromyalgia? 

Simply stated it is widespread muscle pain and tenderness, but it is much more complex that just that..

  • Diagnosis is difficult
  • It is very common with more than 3 million US cases per year
  • The underlying cause of it is unknown
  • Frequency, degree and location of pain vary from day to day
  • Medical Treatment is focused on managing the symptoms

 

People may experience:

  • Pain areas: in the muscles, abdomen, back, or neck
  • Pain types: can be chronic, diffuse, sharp, or severe
  • Pain circumstances: can occur at night
  • Gastrointestinal: constipation, nausea, or passing excessive amounts of gas
  • Whole body: fatigue, feeling tired, or malaise
  • Muscular: muscle tenderness, delayed onset muscle soreness, or muscle spasms
  • Sensory: pins and needles, sensitivity to cold, or sensitivity to pain
  • Sleep: difficulty falling asleep or sleep disturbances
  • Cognitive: forgetfulness or lack of concentration
  • Mood: anxiety or mood swings
  • Hand: sensation of coldness or tingling
  • Also common: depression, flare, headache, irritability, joint stiffness, nervousness, painful menstruation, or tingling feet Self-care

 

What are some warning signs or precursors to Fibromyalgia?

  • Injury, accident, serious illness, persistent cold or flu, “growing pains” after stopped growing
  • Previous experience of physical trauma
  • 20-50% cases involve a known trigger event
  • Psychological Stress
  • Immune Or Endocrine Abnormalities
  • Biochemical Abnormalities In The Central Nervous System
  • Leaky Gut -undigested food gets into the bloodstream and provokes an autoimmune response

 

Symptoms that often appear with Fibromyalgia:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Allergies
  • Headaches
  • Arthritis
  • PMS
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • MS

 

Food additives to avoid:

  • BHT
  • BHA
  • Caffeine
  • Aspartame
  • MSG
  • Phosphates
  • Sorbate
  • Sulfites

 

What are my treatment options?

Physical exercise: Aerobic activity for 20-30 minutes 5 days a week improves cardiovascular health. If injured, pursuing an activity that avoids the injured muscle group or joint can help maintain physical function while recovering.

  • An essential component of any Fibromyalgia treatment program
  • Create a basic fitness program
  • Set a realistic goal
  • Start slowly and build your way up
  • Keep it simple and DON’T OVER-DO IT

Stress management: Pursuing an enjoyable activity or verbalizing frustration to reduce stress and improve mental health.

Relaxation techniques: Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, rhythmic exercise, and other activities that reduce symptoms of stress

Therapies Support group: A forum for counseling and sharing experiences among people with a similar condition or goal, such as depression or weight loss.

Biofeedback: Controlling the body’s heartbeat, brainwaves, breathing, and blood pressure by monitoring them with sensors.

Cognitive behavioral therapy: A talk therapy focused on modifying negative thoughts, behaviors, and emotional responses associated with psychological distress.

Hydrotherapy: Using water to relieve pain, treat diseases, and maintain health.  For example, mineral baths and hot tubs.

Chiropractic treatment techniques: Adjusting the spine and massaging the back muscles to relieve pain.

  • Frederick Wolfe, is a clinical professor, Department of Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine, is a respected rheumatologist and a well-known investigator of fibromyalgia points out that chiropractic treatment helps FM patients
  • Wolfe wrote “In our current series, we interviewed 81 FM patients and 81 control patients using a structured questionaire. We asked patients to indicate if a drug or treatment had reduced their pain…
  • Of interest is that chiropractic treatment scored among the most effective measures”

Stretching: Stretching exercises can improve flexibility and improve physical function.

Graded exercise therapy: Physical exercise that starts very slowly and gradually increases over time.

Massage: Relaxes tense muscles.

Acupuncture: Insertion of needles into specific points on the body to relieve pain and treat other conditions.  A form of traditional Chinese medicine.

Medications

  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI): Eases symptoms of depressed mood and anxiety. Sertraline (Zoloft) Fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, and Prozac Weekly) Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva, and Paxil CR)
  • Analgesic: Relieves pain. Acetaminophen (Tylenol, Mapap, Feverall, Acephen, and Nortemp)
  • Nonsteroidal anti-Inflammatory drug: Relieves pain, decreases inflammation, and reduces fever. Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Ec-Naprosyn, Midol (naproxen), and Mediproxen)
  • Nerve pain medication: Blocks pain caused by damaged nerves. Gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise, Horizant, SmartRx Gaba-V Kit, and Gralise 30-Day Starter Pack) Venlafaxine (Effexor XR) Duloxetine (Cymbalta and Irenka) Amitriptyline Pregabalin (Lyrica) Milnacipran (Savella)
  • Muscle relaxant: Reduces muscle tension and helps relieve muscle pain and discomfort. Cyclobenzaprine (Amrix and Fexmid)
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