Fibromyalgia has been commonly referred to as a “stress-related disorder" due to its frequent onset and worsening of symptoms in the context of stressful events. This disease can affect every aspect of a person's life and is seen in about 2% of the general population, which affects more females than males, with a ratio of 9:1 by ACR criteria.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points - places on your body where slight pressure causes pain like the soft fibrous tissues in the body. Fibromyalgia patients are often sensitive to odours, loud noises, bright lights, and sometimes even the medications they are prescribed.
Fibromyalgia can be managed, but it needs to be managed differently than a standard disease. Fibromyalgia also causes people to have trouble sleeping and feel very tired all the time. Fibromyalgia is especially confusing and an often misunderstood condition. Fibromyalgia does not cause inflammation or damage to the painful areas, but seems to be due to an overactive pain system. It can be very difficult to diagnose.
Fibromyalgia pain has been described in a variety of ways including: burning, radiating, gnawing, sore, stiff, and aching. Fibromyalgia patients also have a higher incidence of specific sleep disorders such as restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea.
Symptoms can have a slow onset, and many patients have mild symptoms beginning in childhood, that are often misdiagnosed as growing pains. Symptoms vary, depending on stress level, physical activity, time of day, and the weather. Symptoms can be exacerbated by environmental or emotional stress, poor sleep, trauma, and exposure to dampness or cold, or by a physician who gives the patient the incorrect message that it is “all in the head.
Other common signs and symptoms include: Depression, numbness or tingling sensations in the hands and feet (paresthesia) Difficulty concentrating. Mood changes. Chest pain. Dry eyes, skin and mouth. Painful menstrual periods. Dizziness. Anxiety. The primary symptoms of fibromyalgia include widespread musculoskeletal pain, severe fatigue, and disturbed sleep. Sometimes fibromyalgia symptoms include muscle twitches and burning sensations. Other symptoms may include: irritable bowel and bladder, headaches and migraines, restless legs syndrome (periodic limb movement disorder), impaired memory and concentration, skin sensitivities and rashes, dry eyes and mouth, anxiety, depression, ringing in the ears, dizziness, vision problems, Raynaud's Syndrome, neurological symptoms, and impaired coordination.
One of the most important factors in improving the symptoms of Fibromyalgia is for the patient to recognize the need for lifestyle adaptation. If the condition is not diagnosed and treated early, symptoms can go on indefinitely, or they may disappear for months and then recur. If you have fibromyalgia, many different treatments are available to help you manage your pain and other symptoms. One of the main factors that seem to affect outcomes is how quickly treatment begins following the onset of symptoms.
Conventional medical intervention may be only part of a potential treatment program. Alternative treatments, nutrition, relaxation techniques, and exercise play an important role in Fibromyalgia treatment as well.
The goal of treatment is to help in the management of pain and other symptoms. Some people find complementary therapy treatments such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, massage, chiropractic or osteopathy ease their pain or fatigue, or help them relax and manage their condition better.
Alternative treatments, which focus on pain relief and stress relief, also benefit many fibromyalgia patients. If specific tender points are particularly painful, you can use acupressure to help calm them down. Soothing aromatherapy baths and massages can help to ease muscle and joint pain. Herbal Remedies Herbs can be used to help alleviate fibromyalgia by reducing inflammation, stimulating hormones, providing immune system sup. Recent studies have shown that people can get a sustained benefit by participating in an aerobic exercise program.
For many years it was thought that fibromyalgia was psychologically based but is now recognised as a medical condition in its own right and research into the condition has increased. It is thought that fibromyalgia may be due to a malfunction in the way the central nervous system processes pain signals. Since the symptoms of fibromyalgia are diverse and vary among patients, treatment programs must be individualized. In general, treatment for fibromyalgia is with a combination of medication and self-care.
So is there a cure for fibromyalgia? No. Is there ways of providing relief? Yes.
If you found this article helpful, than please use the following link to find out for
yourself how you can cope with and manage fibromyalgia.