Fibromyalgia occurs when there is an intensified pain response to pressure due to chronic pain, which is generally extensive throughout the body. Genetic and environmental factors, each bearing half the risk, are believed to work in combination to cause fibromyalgia pain, although the exact cause still needs to be determined.
First, symptoms could be troubles with memory, sleep problems, and feeling tired all the time, enough to affect daily activities.
If the medical condition runs in your family, you are likely to suffer from it due to genetic reasons. Talking about environmental causes, certain infections, trauma, and psychological stress are at the forefront.
It’s also referred to as ‘central sensitisation syndrome’ because the processes in the central nervous system may be allowing the pain to occur, but there’s more to it.
Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and even chronic pain are common complaints. However, there is frequent mention of other symptoms like sensitivity to temperature, light, or noise, restless leg syndrome, numbness, tingling, bladder problems, or bowel issues.
The biggest problem fibromyalgia patients face is that there are no lab examinations to determine if they have fibromyalgia pain. But what’s more challenging for them is to describe their pain to the doctor.
Fibromyalgia patients often go through unbearable and unavoidable pain symptoms, which actually determine the type of fibromyalgia they are suffering. The usual pain symptoms range from tingling and crawling to burning and numbness or itching called paresthesia (a recent study points paresthesia to be a result of chemotherapy drugs). Another sign observed is ‘pain amplification’ called hyperalgesia. Sometimes, the skin becomes sensitive to touch resulting into pain as in a sunburn — this hypersensitive reaction is called allodynia.
There are other even severe types of fibromyalgia that do not have a medical term, namely knife in the voodoo doll (heightened stabbing pain), rattled nerves (feeling of getting rattled up coupled with nausea or dizziness), and randomly roving pain (migrating pain from one body part to another).
What can you do?
If you suffer fibromyalgia pain, usually you’ll have it for a lifetime because there is no cure. While you can use antidepressants and insomnia medications, non-addictive drugs, anti-seizure drugs and emotional medications, as well as physical therapies, there are more natural remedies that can help.
A common problem with medications is that sometimes they may not be as effective as they should, moreover their side-effects could outweigh benefits. Alternative treatments, such as lifestyle adjustment, herbal pain relievers, etc., could instead prove more beneficial.
Take a yoga class
Focus on breathing routines, gentle poses, and group discussions. Few yoga poses that can be helpful are child’s pose, legs-up-the-wall, mountain pose, standing forward fold, savasana (corpse pose), cobra, warrior I, and cobbler’s pose.
Ask a dietician
Diet plays a very important role to heal any ailment and so does it in fibromyalgia. Diet modification can help to restrict foods that could aggravate the pain while allow those which strengthen trigger points against the pain.
It is more effective when treated with diluted bee venom to reduce musculoskeletal pain. Both Eastern and Western experts report some potential benefits of acupuncture: immune system boost, less pain, relaxation, better sleep, and better overall health. Plus, it is much safer and possible risks are very rare (if done from licensed acupuncturists) compared to similar therapies and drives more benefits as a complementary therapy.
It helps to release stress, increase blood flow, and even enhance mood. Meditation is a long discovered treatment for chronic pain. Simple activities like walking, stretching, strength training, and even everyday activities can give you good amount of relief.
Keep your mind free of unnecessary thoughts, enjoy a warm bath before bedtime, or take up a hobby. Listen to your favourite music tracks — researchers have found that the combined effect of music therapy and relaxation techniques can help fibromyalgia patients improve many areas of their life.
You would be better off dealing with fibromyalgia pain if you become conversant with your symptoms and trigger points over time. With the right set of treatments, you can still find relief even though the pain is unpredictable.