August 1, 2009
Although living in the modern world does have its advantages, for every upside there is a downside. One of the side effects of our leisurely, sedentary lifestyle is a new crop of diseases and conditions that prey on our inactive bodies. Medical science is still finding ways to deal with these new conditions, which seem to defy how diseases traditionally work. One of the most crippling of these new conditions is fibromyalgia, a pain disorder that is affecting a growing number of individuals in the Western world. In this article, I will explore what we currently know about fibromyalgia syndrome and current treatment methods, as well as how sufferers can deal with their condition on their own.
The technical definition of fibromyalgia comes from the Latin words for fiber, muscle, and pain – it refers to unexplained pain in the muscle and connective tissue. Fibromyalgia syndrome expresses itself in chronic widespread pain and an increased sensitivity to touch. Sufferers often cannot partake in normal life activities due to the intense discomfort the disease causes them. There are some additional symptoms as well, including fatigue, joint stiffness and an inability to sleep. Many patients also experience a condition of mental dysfunction, referred to as “fibrofog,” which further disrupts their operations.
Fibromyalgia syndrome is currently quite controversial within the medical establishment. Many doctors believe that the disease is entirely psychosomatic, as physical examinations of a number of sufferers have revealed absolutely no physical markers of the disease. However, new research is pointing the way towards a diagnosis of abnormalities in the brain and central nervous system, which may lead to new methods of treatment. The causes of these abnormalities are still undetermined – there may be genetic factors at play as well as environmental ones.
Courses of treatment for fibromyalgia syndrome vary depending on the extent of the symptoms and the nature of the doctor. Many patients use prescription pain relievers to manage their condition, but a growing body of study is leading more and more doctors to use nutritional and physical therapies to get it under control. One of the most useful treatments in relieving fibromyalgia syndrome pain and the associated sleep loss that accompanies it is regular low-intensity exercise. In addition, massage and other physical therapies can assist in pain management.
Fibromyalgia is a deeply misunderstood disease, and hopefully we can find a cure as soon as possible.
For more information on fibromyalgia, please contact our Union City chiropractor office, our San Lorenzo chiropractor office, or our Fremont chiropractor office.