Fibromyalgia is a common syndrome that affects approximately 3 percent of the world’s population.
People with fibromyalgia experience muscle, joint, and soft-tissue pains and tenderness.
Apart from all the physical pains, people also go through some psychological problems, such as anxiety, depression, headaches, fatigue, sleep disorders, and even short-term memory loss.
The most painful spots on the person’s body caused by fibromyalgia are called tender spots and the pain usually spreads from these spots to the whole body. Joints are not affected, although it seems like they hurt.
The pain in people with fibromyalgia is the most presented in the morning. They might feel strong aches or stiffness in their bodies.
Mood changes, fatigue, and depression along with all these physical symptoms usually make it even harder for people to complete even their everyday simple activities, such as cooking, playing with kids, going to work, etc.
The diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be a little hard. There is not a single test for fibromyalgia syndrome and you will probably have to make more tests and checks.
Doctors usually have to check your tender spots and see if there are at least 10 so that you can be diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
It is also very important to check your previous medical records to see if you had any pains or injuries in the past
Once you’re diagnosed with fibromyalgia syndrome, the most important thing is the approach and the treatment.
It is known that there is no single cure for fibromyalgia, so you will have to make many different and small changes in your life in general.
There are a number of lifestyle changes that may help lessen the pain and other symptoms of fibromyalgia. Lifestyle changes include:
Get regular exercise
Because people with this condition often have a hard time finding the energy to exercise, it may be helpful for them to set up a routine plan of what days they will exercise and what types of activities they will do.
For example, start going to physical therapy, do regular exercises or fitness and get massages to relax your muscles. Pilates and yoga may also bring benefits when it comes to relaxation.
All people who suffer from fibromyalgia probably already know that when you are fatigued and depressed it is easier to stay at home and in bed.
However, studies have shown that regular physical activities can help people with fibromyalgia syndrome find relief.
Eating healthy foods
Eating healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; avoiding fried foods, fatty foods, and processed meats; and limiting caffeine. If people with fibromyalgia cut back on caffeine, they should wean themselves off slowly.
Cutting out caffeine suddenly can increase the pain and other symptoms of fibromyalgia. Limiting alcohol may also be helpful for some people with this condition.
Getting Enough Sleep
getting enough sleep each night; exercising regularly; doing low-impact aerobic exercises such as walking or swimming to develop a healthy exercise routine; and using relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
If these methods do not help you, your doctor will probably have to prescribe some medications. Painkillers are the first things you need.
Some simple painkillers such as some over-the-counter medications might be effective.
However, if you don’t find this effective, always consult your doctor before taking stronger painkillers.
Antidepressants for Fibromyalgia
Antidepressants will probably be prescribed not only for depression but to improve the levels of neurotransmitters.
Professionals claim that insufficient levels of neurotransmitters might cause fibromyalgia and that’s why these medications are necessary.
One type of anti-depressant that is often used to treat fibromyalgia is called amitriptyline. Amitriptyline helps to relieve some of your more severe pain symptoms by altering the way that your brain works.
Another type of anti-depressant that is often used to treat fibromyalgia is called duloxetine. Duloxetine helps to improve your mood and relieve some of your pain symptoms by altering the way that your brain works.
Again, always consult a professional first because some antidepressants might not be what you need. Not all antidepressants are the same.
Medicine for muscle relaxation will be also something you need if you suffer from stiffness or too much pain. These medications will help you a lot to relax.
Medications for sleeping are given if you suffer from insomnia or too much pain as a result of fibromyalgia.
These medicines will help you sleep better and rest from all the pain for a while.
Anti-seizure medications are usually prescribed for epilepsy, but doctors also prescribe them for reducing pain caused by fibromyalgia syndrome.
Apart from these two approaches (physical activity and medications), you might also find some alternative therapies very useful.
Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia
For example, acupuncture has been shown to reduce pains caused by fibromyalgia. However, there is no hard proof on the effects of acupuncture regarding fibromyalgia.
Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that originated in China. It is based on the theory that energy, called chi, flows through the body along pathways called meridians. Acupuncture is thought to help regulate this energy flow and promote health and well-being.
There is some research evidence that acupuncture may be helpful for treating fibromyalgia. A review of studies found that acupuncture was associated with improvements in pain, fatigue, sleep quality, and global assessment of fibromyalgia symptoms. However, the researchers noted that the quality of the evidence was low.
Another review of studies found that acupuncture was associated with significant reductions in pain intensity and improved sleep quality in people with fibromyalgia.
The researchers noted that the quality of the studies was poor. Therefore, it is not clear if acupuncture has a direct effect on fibromyalgia symptoms or if other factors are responsible for those improvements.
If you plan on taking some herbal supplements, always ask your doctor first because they might hurt some other medication you’re taking.
Dealing with fibromyalgia syndrome can be a challenge. That’s why you will always need someone who can understand you and knows what you’re going through.
There are many support groups where you can find and talk to people who are dealing with the same problem. This way, you can get answers to all of your questions and learn from other people’s experiences.
Counseling or some other therapy can also be very beneficial for coping with stress and this can be an important problem in people with fibromyalgia.
Therapy will help you understand your problems, learn how to live with fibromyalgia, think positive, and overcome depression, anxiety, and other kinds of psychological problems.