Dealing With The Pain Of Fibromyalgia
The pain that is associated with Fibromyalgia is described as both chronic and widespread pain that most often times constant in nature. The condition of Fibromyalgia is caused when the nerves that communicated the pain signals to the brain begin to fail and work incorrectly or become over active. Fibromyalgia is often a very misunderstood condition because the type of pain that is common to the condition is difficult at times to describe or even pinpoint. For example, it is quite easy to understand an individual who complains of having an obvious source of pain, like that of stepping on a tack or having a splinter in their hand, but it is when the non-obvious sources begin to created pain sensations in individuals this is when the misunderstandings begin to take place, because these sensations are not fully understood. Fibromyalgia pain can have wide ranges from deep muscle pain, chronic headaches, unrelenting back pain, neck pain, as well as the presence of painful tender points.
The painful tender points that are part of the specific criteria that must take place in order for properly diagnosing Fibromyalgia areas of the body that an individual will experience additional pain when firm pressure is applied to these specific areas of their body. These specific regions are called tender point locations and are located on the following areas of the body:
- 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 of Fibromyalgia are that of both pain and fatigue. However there are many other symptoms that go along with the condition of Fibromyalgia such as anxiety, depression, endometriosis, headaches, or problems with irritable bowel syndrome.
Types of Pain
As discussed there are multiple symptoms that are associated with Fibromyalgia but the two main complaints are the pain and fatigue. First it is important to note that studies have 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 an otherwise normally inoffensive stimulus. For example, one such explanation of Allodynia would be when a handshake or hug becomes extremely 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.
Fatigue is the second symptom with the highest complaint among 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. It is important for Fibromyalgia sufferers to find ways to deal with this cycle so that they can hopefully stop this cycle from occurring and be able to function with their “new” way of life. A few of the different ways that this cycle can be broken is by taking some simple steps to change certain habits and learn to handle stress better.
- Habit Changing – It is important to begin developing a routine that will aid in relaxation and a better quality of sleep is important. There are a few steps that can be taken in order to begin changing habits to promote better sleep:
- Follow a Schedule. Having a specific time of waking and going to sleep every day can help the body fall into a pattern or sleep cycle more easily. It is important for Fibromyalgia sufferers to stick to that schedule, even on the weekends, so that adequate rest can be attained.
- Develop a Routine. Just as it is important for following a schedule, it is also important to try and find some form of bedtime routine in order to bring about relaxation that will enhance sleep.
- Temperature. Studies show that when temperatures are too warm individuals tend to wake up more often and sleep less deeply. So if the temperature is set at a cooler level, or perhaps a fan is used then better rest can be had.
- Find a Refuge. It is important for Fibromyalgia sufferers to have a place that can be their refuge, a place that can provide a soothing atmosphere in order for appropriate rest and relaxation to occur.
- Handling Stress – Stress is an issue that many Fibromyalgia sufferers deal with, and just like the pain/sleep cycle can become intertwined the stress can also affect the pain/sleep cycle. Being able to develop ways to correctly deal with stress can make a huge difference in how much fatigue or how little sleep might be had by the Fibromyalgia sufferer.