Four Approaches to Fibromyalgia
Though classified as a disorder of the musculoskeletal system, fibromyalgia (FMS) is now seen as a central nervous system problem. Up to 3 percent of the population, mostly women, may suffer from fibromyalgia but with no clear cause because the condition is difficult to diagnose. Symptoms include increased sensitivity to pain, achy and stiff joints, fatigue, and specific tender points on the back, chest, arms, and legs. Other disorders like migraines, sleep disorders, and irritable bowel syndrome are also common complaints.
There are several approaches to take regarding fibromyalgia. Each one focuses on different ways to treat the syndrome. Choosing the right approach for you depends upon how effective it is for your particular case of FMS.
Western Medicine Approach
Western medicine demands a formal diagnosis for fibromyalgia. Through a thorough examination and the ruling out of other similar conditions, patients can be properly diagnosed. However, this usually takes time, sometimes years, in the making. There are three FDA-approved medicines to combat the pain from FMS but there is much more to treatment than a pill. Other strategies are needed to improve sleep, stretch and restore symmetry to muscles that have been shortened by spasm, and raise overall conditioning through exercise.
Acupuncture practitioners believe the root of fibromyalgia is a disturbance in nerves that blocks energy. The disturbance is caused by sensitivities to substances ranging from pollen to vaccines to chemical agents in fabrics. Anxiety and depression may also play a part. Practitioners use acupuncture to release energy and allergy testing to identify problem substances.
The pain of fibromyalgia is not caused by depression but depression can deepen a patient’s experience of pain. Used to, doctors believed that fibromyalgia was “all in the head.” However, that has been revoked since more research has revealed a definite biological reason for the symptoms of this syndrome. On the other hand, mental health professionals may play a complementary role in treatment and a vital one. Cognitive behavioral therapy can relieve depression and help patients identify sources of stress that magnify their symptoms.
According to one doctor, fibromyalgia is a system-wide breakdown. This doctor has also suffered from the disease himself and has developed his own protocol. He recommends supplements to help sufferers sleep, balance hormones, boost immunity, and improve nutrition. He also prescribes regular exercise. In studies, patients improved by as much as 91 percent.
As you can see, there are many ways to tackle fibromyalgia. Finding the correct one for you may take some time. You may need to try several of these approaches before finding the right one for you. Talk to your doctor and also educate yourself in these approaches. When it comes to your body, you have the final say of which approach actually works for you.