An Overview Of Fibromyalgia
If an individual or someone they care about has been experiencing any of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia it is important that approach their physician and discuss their symptoms. Many times Fibromyalgia can go undiagnosed simply because the individual may not know how to approach their physicians with the symptoms they have been experiencing. This is why it is so important to understand the symptoms and reality of the pain that is associated with Fibromyalgia.
Individuals who are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia experience chronic and widespread pain that is often described as constant. It is believed that Fibromyalgia causes the nerves that communicate pain to the brain to not work correctly or these nerves are simply overactive. This is why the condition of Fibromyalgia is at times so very much misunderstood by people. The variety of pain that Fibromyalgia sufferers experience can range from deep muscle pain, chronic headaches, unrelenting back pain, neck pain, as well as the presence of painful tender points.
Commonly Fibromyalgia is characterized when and individual experiences additional pain when firm pressure is applied to very specific areas of their body. In total there are 18 tender points, that have been specified by the American College of Rheumatology, that cluster around specific areas of the body. These specific tender point locations are located in the following areas:
- Back of the Head
- Between the Shoulder Blades
- Top of the Shoulders
- Front Sides of the Neck
- Upper Chest
- Sides of the Hips
- Inner Knees
The Two Main Symptoms
Fibromyalgia pain is real, it is intense, and often times it leads individuals completely incapacitated to complete the simplest tasks of daily life. While the pain can fluctuate among Fibromyalgia sufferers most commonly this pain can feel like a deep bone ache, pains and needles, or even be felt as stabbing or burning pain. Many individuals describe the pain of Fibromyalgia as if muscles have been pulled or overworked. The pain of Fibromyalgia comes and goes in cycles which range from mild symptoms to more severe symptoms that can be at times unbearable. When the symptoms become unbearable these cycles are known as Fibromyalgia Flare Ups.
Fatigue is the second highest symptom complaint from Fibromyalgia sufferers. This is often caused because of the vicious pain/sleep cycle that occurs. This cycle is almost unending because the pain negatively affects the sleep and the lack of sleep negatively affects the pain.
There are multiple symptoms that are associated with Fibromyalgia but as stated, the two main complaints include pain and fatigue. Other symptoms that are common to Fibromyalgia sufferers are headaches, poor sleep, fatigue, depression, irregular bowel habits, muscle stiffness, abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, jaw & facial tenderness, anxiety, urinary problems, as well as difficulty with concentration (known as Fibro Fog).
First it is important to understand that research has shown that Fibromyalgia pain can lead to the anomaly of the following conditions:
- Hyperalgesia – This is an increased sensitivity to pain. Simply stated Fibromyalgia seems to amplify the pain receptors in individuals who have the condition.
- Allodynia – This occurs when there is a painful response to a normally inoffensive stimulus. For example and explanation of Allodynia would be when a handshake or hug becomes painful to a Fibromyalgia sufferer. Other aspects that fall in the category of Allodynia is an increased sensitivity to smells, bright lights, loud sounds, changes in weather, heat, cold, as well as various foods.
There is not one specific approach that works best for treating Fibromyalgia; this is party do to the fact that the condition itself is fairly new in realm of medical diagnosis and treatments. However, the best approach that seems to bring about the most benefits to Fibromyalgia sufferers is a multifaceted approach which combines modern medical advice along with some of the more natural treatment options that have been proven successful in reducing Fibromyalgia symptoms. Some of the common ways of treatment for Fibromyalgia use prescription treatments, nutrition, supplements, exercise, therapies, as well as lifestyle changes which have all been proven as methods of providing relief for Fibromyalgia Sufferers.