Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. It’s thought that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals. Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.
Women are much more likely to develop fibromyalgia. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression. While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, a variety of Holistic Medicine and Natural therapies can help alleviate symptoms. Exercise, relaxation techniques and stress reducing measures also seem help.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia:
* Widespread pain. The pain associated with fibromyalgia often is described as a constant aching widespread pain that last for at least three months. To be considered widespread, the pain must occur on both sides of your body and above and below your waist.
* Fatigue. People with fibromyalgia often wake up tired, like they never went to sleep even though they report sleeping for long periods of time. Sleep is often disrupted by pain and patients with fibromyalgia often have other sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea.
* Cognitive difficulties. A symptom commonly referred to as “fibro fog” impairs the ability to focus, pay attention and concentrate on any mental tasks.
* Other problems. Many people who have fibromyalgia also may experience depression, headaches, and pain and cramping in the abdomen.
*No one knows exactly what causes fibromyalgia, but it likely to involve a variety of factors working together. Which may include:* Genetics. Because fibromyalgia tends to run in families, there may be a genetic mutations that makes people with Fibromyalgia more susceptible to developing the disorder.
* Infections. Many illnesses may trigger or aggravate fibromyalgia.
* Physical or emotional trauma. PTSP has been linked to fibromyalgia.
Why do people with Fibromyalgia hurt so bad?
It’s believed that repeated nerve stimulation causes the brains of people with fibromyalgia to change. This change involves an abnormal increase in levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain, called neurotransmitters. Also the brain’s pain receptors seem to develop a memory of the pain and become more sensitive, meaning they can overreact to the slightest pain signals.
Risk factors for fibromyalgia include:
* Your sex. Fibromyalgia is diagnosed more often in women
* Family history. You are more likely to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia if a relative also it.
* Rheumatic disease. If you have a rheumatic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, you may be more likely to develop fibromyalgia.
Complementary and alternative therapies for pain and stress management can be extremely helpful. Those such as meditation and yoga, have been proven to be extremely helpful. They have become very popular with people who have chronic illnesses, such as fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
These treatments do safely relieve stress and reduce pain.
* Acupuncture. Acupuncture is a Chinese medical system based on restoring normal balance of life forces by inserting very fine needles through the skin to various depths. The needles are thought to cause changes in blood flow and levels of neurotransmitters in the brain and spinal cord.
* Massage therapy. This is one of the oldest techniques of natural health care still in practice. It involves use of different manipulative techniques to move your body’s muscles and soft tissues. Massage can reduce your heart rate, relax your muscles, improve range of motion in your joints and increase production of your body’s natural painkillers. It often helps relieve stress and anxiety. Be sure you choose a therapist trained in many different massage techniques, explain your condition to them and speak up and let them know if anything causes you additional pain so they can adapt to your specific needs.
* Yoga and tai chi. These practices combine meditation, slow movements, deep breathing and relaxation. They have both been found to be extremely helpful with the many symptoms of Fibromyalgia. If you can go to classes to learn from a certified teacher it is helpful, as a beginner, then you can practice at home to help control your symptoms.
As someone who suffers from Fibromyalgia, myself, I can attest to all these techniques, I have personally tried just about everything! I also utilize supplementation of Vitamins and minerals, herbal supplements for my specific issues, a hot tub, heating pads, and a heated mattress pad (heat is very helpful for me), and healthy eating to treat myself. You can live well with Fibromyalgia, you just have to figure out what works for your specific case, because Fibromyalgia manifests itself differently in each person with the illness. If you would like suggestions on ways to treat your Fibromyalgia, please contact me and I will be happy to help you construct a program specifically for your symptoms.