TREATMENTS OF FIBROMYALGIA
Fibromyalgia used to be called a psychiatric syndrome but that has all changed. Classified as a musculoskeletal disorder and recognized as a valid condition, fibromyalgia now can be treated with a variety of methods. This disease however, is not curable and the exact causes aren’t known either. The fact is that fibromyalgia is still misunderstood and occasionally misdiagnosed because it is either related to other conditions or brought about by other maladies. For a while it was even confused with arthritis.
Fibromyalgia in reality affects the fibrous connective tissues of the joints and the muscles. The pain involved could be mild to severe and centers itself at certain areas on both sides of the body. The term fibro (fibrous) myo (muscle) algia (pain) means just that. The areas of pain are found in pairs and called trigger points. The elbows, neck, lower back, knees, hips and shoulders are a few trigger points that are painful when pressed upon with the fingertips. Some people hurt all over the body and are real sensitive to pain when touched. This could be a tremendous handicap.
Along with the pain other symptoms such as fatigue, restlessness, anxiety, depression, cognitive difficulties (called fibro-fog), nausea, irritable bowel and the lack of sleep are present and can cause other complications. With all this discomfort mentioned any medical professional considering this condition as being “all in your head” is attacking the dignity of the patient.
VARIOUS TREATMENTS OF FIBROMYALGIA
There are many treatments for fibromyalgia. The most important one is finding relief of the pain. This could be somewhat accomplished with medications usually prescribed by a physician. Also there are injections to help with the pain available but offer only temporary relief.
The best way to ease the pain is gentle exercise and stretching which is a very important aspect of pain management and also reduces the pain and stiffness while improving muscle tone so an individual can keep moving and enjoying life. Sometimes this can be difficult because of the overuse of the muscles and the unpredictability of the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Exercise can benefit patients of fibromyalgia by strengthening them physically to be able to meet the demands of everyday living and keeping their independence. This is really encouraging for most people.
Muscle weakness is common among sufferers of fibromyalgia because with exercise a flare up could occur. When this happens most people want to avoid the pain instead of pushing through it and therefore underuse their muscles resulting in stiffness and then struggle to move around. A professional and specially trained therapist understanding fibromyalgia could help a person tone up certain muscles while not putting stress on other muscles with a custom made exercise program. This has helped countless people with fibromyalgia.
There are a few relaxation therapies such as hypnosis, biofeedback, and cognitive behavior therapy which are used in trying to control your emotions or behavior so as to reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Acupuncture is another method of treatment which shows an improvement in symptomatic relief.
Vitamin supplements especially vitamin D has been recommended but unfortunately there isn’t enough evidence to show any type of improvement for sufferers of fibromyalgia.
Massage therapy is also beneficial even though care must be taken as to not aggravate sore areas. Hot whirlpool baths are extremely relaxing and being pampered at a spa helps in finding relief of the pain also.
Capsaicin crèmes and lotions are available but only provide temporary relief. The substance is found in pepper plants making this a natural remedy. It stimulates the release of a body chemical called substance P. The pain seems to decrease when substance P gets depleted. Unfortunately the relief is only temporary.
Chiropractic manipulation may decrease the pain. Some practitioners may use the TENS units which electrically stimulate the nerves and muscles and provide relief of tightness and stiffness. For some people this has been very successful.
Low frequency sound therapy works on the premise that it heals from the inside by directly stimulating your cells. You cannot hear the sounds but the body receives the sound waves and heals the area of inflammation or swelling and relieves the chronic pain. It is very successful and beneficial for treating insomnia, acute and chronic pain, muscle pain, joint pain, stiffness and fatigue. Studies using low frequency sound therapy show a remarkable method of pain relief. This treatment not only removes the pain but helps the patient with mobility and eases the symptoms of fatigue, stress and insomnia. The treatments can be a little pricy but when it comes down to pain relief, you know it’s worth it.
These are just a few treatments that are available and while most do have positive results with a lot of people, I would have to say that the low frequency sound therapy worked for me. I was truly amazed when it took the pain out of the sprain I had in my knee. I went in unable to walk and came out walking as if nothing happened at all. I recommend sufferers of fibromyalgia try this treatment but please keep in mind also that what worked for me might not work for you.