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Treatment For Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is characterized by tenderness, stiffness and pain in the joints, muscles and tendons. The affected individual is also likely to experience tiredness, poor sleep, fatigue, depression and disruptions in bowel function. This chronic condition used to be called fibrositis and its cause is not yet known. The affected tissues do not undergo inflammation and hence even though there is severe pain, the body does not suffer any damage. There is also no damage to the internal organs of the body.
This differentiates fibromyalgia from other rheumatic ailments such as rheumatoid arthritis, polymyositis and systemic lupus. In these conditions, inflammation of the tissue is the main trigger of the pain and stiffness. Deformities and damage to the affected muscles and internal organs may also result in these rheumatic diseases. Fibromyalgia treatments are aimed mainly at reducing pain and discomfort.

Exercises For Fibromyalgia Relief

Since the symptoms vary from case to case, the fibromyalgia treatments must be designed specifically for each individual. Treatment for fibromyalgia usually incorporates patient education, exercise, medication, and stress reduction. Studies show that the patients with the best outcome follow a combination of fibromyalgia treatments that are individually customized. The first step in helping individuals with fibromyalgia to cope is education. This involves providing information about the cause, symptoms and treatment of the disease. Fibromyalgia exercise treatment involves swimming, walking, cycling and other low impact aerobic exercises. These exercises need to be performed on a regular basis, preferably in the mornings. Exercise is believed to encourage deeper sleep. The medications that prove to be beneficial in treating fibromyalgia include tricyclic antidepressants. These help to alleviate muscle pain, tiredness and spasms. They also aid in deeper sleep.  Different people may have different triggers of stress. Hence stress reduction needs to be individualized. This may involve certain changes in lifestyle or living environment or the use of relaxation techniques, counseling and social support.  The fibromyalgia diet involves eliminating substances such as caffeine and alcohol which hamper sleep. There is little evidence that supports any one diet plan as a way to effectively treat fibromyalgia. However, reducing the intake of preservatives and other artificial foods are known to help some people in dealing with the condition. Some individuals with fibromyalgia tend to be sensitive to chemicals. Chemicals contained in foods such as aspartame are known to aggravate the symptoms. The quality of life may also be improved by the intake of certain nutritional supplements that help to correct chemical imbalances in the body. Supplements also help to cope with fatigue, gastrointestinal problems and reduced muscle function.


Signs, Trigger Points Of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia symptoms occur in response to stimuli that are not usually seen as painful. Studies have shown that there are increased amounts of the nerve chemical signal known as substance P and the nerve growth factor present in the spinal fluid in individuals with fibromyalgia. These individuals also exhibit lower levels of the chemical serotonin. It is possible that the brain may be overly sensitive in such cases. Individuals with Fibromyalgia also exhibit impaired REM sleep. This could be the cause of the fatigue and sleep disturbance that tends to occur. Seemingly harmless stimuli such as weather changes, noise and stress can lead to disabling pain.

Fibromyalgia trigger points are tender areas throughout the body that bring about widespread symptoms when touched. These localized areas are found around the hips, knees, shoulders, back of the head, sides of the body and elbows. There are no x-rays or blood tests that can be used to detect fibromyalgia. In light of the fibromyalgia symptoms a diagnosis can be made by locating the tender points. If there is no tissue inflammation or swelling and if all other medical conditions have been ruled out, the diagnosis of fibromyalgia may be confirmed and the doctor will recommend various fibromyalgia treatments.

Submitted on January 16, 2014