TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR FIBROMYALGIA
Considered also a syndrome, fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder of the muscles and the connective tissue of the joints throughout the entire body. It is felt by millions of people worldwide and at any age but mostly from ages 35 to 70. This neuromuscular disease is fast becoming more common in the middle age group and physicians finally accept it as a condition and not just a figment of the patient’s imagination.
Some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia exhibit stiffness in the muscles and joints accompanied by pain varying from mild to rather severe. Often causing a real change in lifestyle from normal to disabling, the cost of fibromyalgia has escalated in recent years. Loss of work, school, family life, sports, outside activities and other enjoyable events are some of the casualties of fibromyalgia.
Other symptoms include dizziness, sleeplessness, depression, anxiety, fatigue and painful sensitive areas on both sides of the body. Cognitive problems in thinking or memory, called “fibro-fog” are also indicative of fibromyalgia.
EASING THE SYMPTOMS OF FIBROMYALGIA
Since the subtleties of this disorder have become more familiar to a growing number of physicians, effective treatment strategies are turning out to be readily available. The common goal of all these treatments is to ease the pain involved and the symptoms linked with fibromyalgia. This isn’t easy because this disease is so complex that no exact route of treatment can be proven totally effective. Try out different treatments and see what works best for you.
Most primary-care physicians are general practitioners and not skilled in treating fibromyalgia. Seeking a specialist in the care and treatment of fibromyalgia is highly recommended and should be the first thing to do. Next, pinpoint your symptoms and write them down. Information like how they started, when they occur, where on the body is the pain or family health history will help devise the proper therapy by the specialist of your choice.
Medications either prescribed or over the counter, are another option for the relief of the pain or the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Muscle relaxers, sedatives, analgesics and energizers are a few oral remedies; however, before taking any medication, it is imperative to see a doctor who can help with choosing the right one because some can interact with certain vitamins or other prescriptions
Increase the level of exercise in your life. This can be very challenging for people who are in constant pain and feel exhausted all the time. Starting slowly with gentle activities such as swimming, walking, yoga and cycling can be very beneficial for sufferers of fibromyalgia. Another advantage of exercise is losing a bit of weight which helps self-esteem but also aids in the care of the body, while improving energy and endorphins, which are the “feel good” hormones that are natural pain killers. Also fatigue, which is a really common symptom, is lowered or gone. People who have a regular exercise plan and follow it see a remarkable difference in the way they feel. Usually, 30 minutes a day and three times a week is all you need to exercise. It’s been verified that people with fibromyalgia do benefit from exercise.
Attitude, believe it or not, plays a strong role in the way you will feel. Anxiety or depression sometimes visits a person with fibromyalgia. The inability to do things or participate in some activity, especially after having a busy lifestyle, may generate a feeling of uselessness. This feeling combined with severe pain and then perhaps suffering a loss of some kind, like a job or mobility, can bring on depression. Support groups help keep an open mind and are excellent therapy. Talking to other people with fibromyalgia can actually work wonders by extending help because “you’ve been there, done that”. Many people just need encouragement. After all it’s no fun being in pain all the time.
Natural or herbal remedies have also been used in treating fibromyalgia. It is important to seek out an herbalist or holistic physician because some herbs could react to other medications and prove lethal. Because there aren’t enough clinical studies done on natural medicine to see what works best, try one out and see what works for you. Talk to your doctor to see which one would most likely be best for you.
Vitamin D and magnesium levels were proven low in people with fibromyalgia; however, there is no evidence of any supplements giving any positive results in the improvement of fibromyalgia.
Acupuncture is still another form of treatment based on ancient Chinese medicine. Even though some sufferers claim it has helped, there are no long lasting effects.
For fibromyalgia patients life can be painful as well as bleak. The ability to cope and stay positive in attitude is a real blessing and being able to share it with others is encouraging to one’s soul. Keep laughing, loving and living and in giving this to another will ease your pain as well.