Fibromyalgia - What is it and How to Handle It

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that causes pain and aches all over a person’s body. People that suffer from fibromyalgia usually have “tender points” all throughout their bodies. A tender point is usually found on the legs, arms, hips, back, shoulder or neck that hurt when any pressure is placed on them.

In addition of Medicure Health Clinic to severe pain, anyone that suffers from fibromyalgia may also experience symptoms such as: irritable bowel syndrome; morning stiffness; trouble sleeping; memory and cognitive problems; headaches; tingling or numbness in feet and hands; sensitivity to bright lights or loud noises; and temperature sensitivity.

This is a disorder that affects over five million American people, with the majority of people being women. However, the disorder can also affect children and men with most individuals being diagnosed when they are middle aged. Fibromyalgia can occur alone, or it can accompany a number of other diseases such as arthritis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. If a person has a close relative with the disease, then they are much more likely to develop it as well.

There is no known cause of Fibromyalgia; however, Medicure Doctors believe that there are a number of different factors that may be involved. While it can occur on its own, it has also been linked to the following factors:

  • Injuries that are the result of a repetitive activity

  • Car accidents

  • Relatives with the disorder

  • Going to war

  • Illnesses or infections

Once you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which may take the efforts of several different doctors, you can begin to work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan. In many cases, the treatment of the disorder will require a team approach. This team will likely include your doctor, physical therapist and additional medical professionals. Some of the most common treatments for fibromyalgia can include:

Pain Management

There are three medicines that have been approved by the FDA for treatment of fibromyalgia. There are a number of other medications that may also be approved in the future for treatment. The doctor that you use for treatment may also suggest that you use low-doses of antidepressants or non-narcotic pain relievers.

Sleep Management

There are also a number of studies that link proper sleep to an improvement of symptoms. To achieve appropriate sleep you should have a bedtime routine and be sure to stick to it each night.

Psychological Support

When you live with any type of chronic condition, it can be difficult on anyone. It is a good idea to seek support groups for fibromyalgia or seek counseling sessions with an experienced counselor in order to better understand your illness.

Other Types of Treatments

Other treatments that Medicure Clinic Family advised that may aid fibromyalgia patients include massage, physical therapy, biofeedback, herbs, acupressure, water therapy, heat and cold treatments and more.

In many situations, finding the right treatment for your fibromyalgia may be a process of trial and error to discover what works for you and what does not. Your doctor will work with you to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.