What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia has been a condition that has given the medical community a great struggle to diagnose. The term Fibromyalgia was coined in 1976 and the definition has developed over the past 18 years. There is no typical patient, no textbook diagnosis, and no sure fire treatment.

Fibromyalgia is characterized as a musculoskeletal condition. It is also called a Rheumatic condition, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Fibromyalgia, according to the National Fibromyalgia Association, is a chronic pain illness which is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal aches, pain and stiffness, soft tissue tenderness, general fatigue and sleep disturbances.

One thing this IS for sure with fibromyalgia is that every patient experiences different symptoms with varying intensities that will come and go over time.

 Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

  • Over all widespread pain

  • Fatigue

  • Morning stiffness of joints and muscles

  • Trigger points throughout the body

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Anxiety

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Depression

  • Headaches

  • Swelling, numbness and tingling in the hands, arms, feet and legs

  • Irritable bowel syndrome

  • Urinary symptoms including increased frequency, urgency, burning

  • Painful menstrual cramps

  • Raynaud's phenomenon

  • Restless leg syndrome

  • Dryness in the mouth, nose, and eyes

Treatment Options

There are several options that a patient with Fibromyalgia has in the way of treating their symptoms. There is no cure for Fibromyalgia, but there are ways to alleviate the pain and sleep disturbances associated with the condition. Many MD's will offer pain relievers such a NSAIDs, cortisone treatments and sometimes Opiod treatments to aid with the pain.

Non-drug treatments have also been found to aid in the relief of symptoms of Fibromyalgia. Regular exercise activates the muscles and will help the patient sleep better.

Implementing an exercise program is tough for patients because of the intense pain that occurs. Once the routine has been established is when results an improvement have been seen.

Alternative medicine has also shown to help. Regular chiropractic adjustments, implementing massage therapy or some other type of soft tissue therapy will help with trigger points and all over muscular pain.

Finding herbs that aid in sleep and relaxation can aid in sleep disturbances. For instance valerian root.

Acupuncture diet changes and physical therapy can also help in the management of symptoms.

A chiropractor will monitor changes with each adjustment, as well as monitor the changes in diet, drug intake and exercise. If the spine is aligned then the body will heal itself and the aid of drug therapies may have a chance of getting reduced so the patient can manage their pain in a more natural way.

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