LEARNING ABOUT FIBROMYALGIA
Unknown by most people, this complicated syndrome is associated best with chronic wide spread pain varying from mild to severe. The pain may feel like a dull ache or a searing, burning, discomfort. Certain parts of the body become real sensitive to the touch or pressure placed by the fingertips and then seems to radiate downward to another area. For example: when pressing on a painful elbow, the pain gives the impression of traveling up or down the arm. Fibromyalgia is definitely considered a form of rheumatism though not linked with arthritis. Usually there isn’t any inflammation connected with this disease. Therefore, management of fibromyalgia is your best ally because, there is no cure.
SENSITIVITY POINTS OF FIBROMYALGIA
Also referred to trigger points, these areas are found in 9 pairs on both sides of the body and usually where tendons and muscles meet. The back of the neck where the base of the skull joins the neck, below the crease of the elbow towards the outside of the arm, in front of the neck above the collarbone and on both sides of the throat, in the curve of the hip where the buttock muscles join the thigh, at the base of the lower back where the upper part of the buttocks meet, the inside of each knee, the place where the back muscles attach to the shoulder blades in the upper back, halfway between the bottom of the neck and the edge of the shoulder, on either side of the sternum or breastbone in the chest very near the second rib, are the painful pressure points used in determining the onset of fibromyalgia. Widespread pain for three months or more in 11 of the 18 tender points mentioned above will help diagnose this condition.
OTHER SYMPTOMS OF FIBROMYALGIA
Besides the chronic pain felt above and below the waist and in the trigger points of the body, additional indications of fibromyalgia are sleeping less or not at all, fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, stiffness in the joints especially in the morning, headaches, cognitive issues known as “fibro fog”, and anxiety or depression. Any person suffering from fibromyalgia experiences life on hold at times. Even the quality of one’s general wellbeing is questionable.
CONDITIONS RELATED TO FIBROMYALGIA
About 10 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia and have other underlying disorders as well. Hypothyroidism is one of the fundamental ailments that can cause the overall symptoms of fibromyalgia, while other rheumatic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis may be associated with fibromyalgia but not be the underlying cause of this syndrome.
Autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus, which is an inflammatory disease of the connective tissues, often overlap the symptoms of fibromyalgia making diagnosis a little more complicated.
Obesity, restless leg syndrome, irritable bowel, pelvic pain, genetics, environmental stress or physical trauma has all been related to fibromyalgia at one time or another.
LIVING WITH FIBROMYALGIA
Life can be very challenging for many people with fibromyalgia. Having to give up physical activity or a job because of ability loss to functioning well can be very depressing. Besides the mental anguish that is so frustrating, the emotional ability to cope with fibromyalgia is generally pushed to the limit. There is hope, however, and it is in the management of fibromyalgia.
Pain medications are a great help. Seek a physician’s help to get medications suited just for you. Some of the everyday over the counter remedies work well for many people. Always keep in mind, though, what might work for other sufferers might not work for you.
A positive attitude is also essential in maintaining wellness. Helping others that suffer like you can be rewarding because you aren’t thinking about your own pain.
During severe bouts of pain sometimes lying down, breathing deep and fast acting pain medication taken like an inhaler will bring relief. Gentle massaging or hot tub baths are welcomed also.
Talking with your doctor can open other avenues of relief. Counseling is invaluable for patients who don’t know what to do with their thoughts or how to deal with everyday problems. Writing notes to yourself can help retain sanity while reminding you of things to do, places to go, and people to see.
Mild to moderate exercise is recommended. Staying active is important in keeping your spirits up. Know what you can do and what you can’t do and set limits so you will not get hurt.
Following these guidelines usually gives meaning to a lot of people who for one reason or another feel alone or different. Try a few of these suggestions to help cope with fibromyalgia and see if there isn’t room for happiness in your life.