November 2, 2009
The symptoms of fibromyalgia are highly unpleasant and unfortunately self-perpetuating. Fibromyalgia is a fairly common physical condition that has mental and emotional symptoms as well. If left untreated, the symptoms of fibromyalgia can greatly interfere with a person’s quality of life, leading them to experience even more pain than they already feel.
The defining symptoms of fibromyalgia are pains all over the body. The pain affects the muscles of the body but not the joints. The pain is chronic and never-ending, but it won’t kill you, at least literally. There’s no scientific way to test whether someone has fibromyalgia, so a diagnosis relies on what patients say about their symptoms, and a physical examination. Fibromyalgia pain is experienced at specific points of the body known as “tender points.” These points are extra-sensitive in fibromyalgia patients and even pressing them softly can be very painful. There are 18 tender points in the body, and a doctor diagnoses you as having the symptoms of fibromyalgia, not just ordinary body pain, if you experience pain in at least 11 of the 18 tender points.
However, the symptoms of fibromyalgia aren’t limited to just body pain. Experiencing constant pain all over makes it pretty difficult to fall asleep. This means that fibromyalgia patients are constantly sleep-deprived as well as constantly sore. Even one night of bad sleep can significantly impair your functioning, so imagine what it’s like to experience a bad night of sleep on a regular basis. This has all sorts of bad consequences. Increased irritability, fatigue and lack of concentration are just a few of them. Then from not being exactly in the mood to move around too often, your body becomes weaker and less physically fit, which makes the body’s condition even worse. Other symptoms of fibromyalgia veer into the psychological. Chronic pain combined with lack of sleep can lead to stress and depression, and emotional disturbances can come from other people’s lack of understanding as well as the burden of suffering from fibromyalgia. The symptoms of fibromyalgia aren’t so easy to see from the outside. Internally, fibromyalgia patients are pained and exhausted but people can’t see your aching muscles, and they might interpret your weariness as grouchiness.
Even today, no one knows what causes the symptoms of fibromyalgia, but fortunately there are treatments to relieve them. Physical therapy can help soothe the muscles. Following a healthy sleep regimen can help patients to feel more rested, and psychological treatments like counseling and emotional support can help people with fibromyalgia cope with their illness.
For more information please contact our Union City Chiropractic Care office.
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.