Fibromyalgia Symptom Treatment
Fibromyalgia symptom treatment alternatives are widespread and offer both physical therapy approaches as well as naturopathic options for those who suffer from this often debilitating disorder. The term fibromyalgia means muscle and connective tissue pain and refers to chronic widespread bodily pain, sometimes even resulting in heightened pain from a gentle touch. But there are other symptoms also associated with this condition, including overwhelming fatigue, sleep disturbance, joint stiffness, difficulty swallowing, bladder irregularities, breathing difficulties and numbness or tingling in the extremities as well as anxiety and learning dysfunction. It is a syndrome that affects women in a 9:1 ratio as compared with males, and usually strikes between the ages of twenty and fifty. Ten to thirty percent of all diagnosed with the disease report being so affected by the disease that they were unable to work, finish their educational pursuits or stay active with their careers.
It is a disease that is still in its infancy of being understood. While treatments are somewhat effective for some and often of little effect for others, the medical community is racing to discover the best and most helpful fibromyalgia symptom treatment options available. As of today, the most effective are a combination of drug therapies, some naturopathic remedies for those who want to eschew chemicals, and some mild exercise routines. This condition doesn't lead to other diseases or conditions, but because it does often make a person disdain the touch of others, it can certainly affect relationships. Additionally, with the lack of sleep that many experience, it can affect work and other daytime activities. One of the great side effects of the condition is mild to severe depression and so in addition to the increased sensitivity to pain is often the need to treat depression that accompanies fibromyalgia.
When initially talking to a physician about the diagnosis of fibromyalgia, the first suggestions from him or her may be to try over the counter medicines such as Tylenol which is acetaminophen. However, a prescription such as Tramadol which can be used in conjunction with over the counter remedies may also be included. If the effectiveness of the Tylenol is limited the physician may have the suggestion to try using Motrin, Aleve or other over the counter medications. Since naproxen sodium (Aleve) may have some long term risks, a discussion with the physician should be forthcoming. Just as in treating other certain conditions, fibromyalgia symptom treatment will be experimental in scope, with the physician often trying various combinations to help relieve the suffering caused by this yet mysterious and minimally known about ailment. "God be merciful to unto us and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us: that thy way may be known upon the earth, thy saving health among the nations." (Psalm 67:1, 2)
One of the most promising of the drug therapies is the new drug called Lyrica. This drug is specifically designed for fibromyalgia symptom treatment relief, and has been shown to cut the pain in half for thirty percent of those who have used the drug. Antidepressant drugs are also prominent in the fibromyalgia treatment protocol, because so many sufferers slide into mild to severe depression because of the pain. When an outsider realizes how debilitating this disease can be and how it can affect the most personal of relationships, it is not hard to understand why those who suffer from this syndrome would need the help of drug and perhaps even counseling fibromyalgia symptom treatment therapies to cope. But there are naturopathic ways to treat this syndrome also.
Patients who have this disorder have found that non-drug methods of reducing pain also offer a measured value of relief. Biofeedback is a method of fibromyalgia symptom treatment in which the patient is able to monitor different bodily responses to various patterns of thinking. For example, certain negative or self effacing thoughts can raise the blood pressure or heighten brain wave function. Using biofeedback techniques, that pressure can come down, the brain activity drop considerably and relaxation takes place. It's not difficult to see how this might be of some help for the person looking for fibromyalgia symptom treatment relief, especially when stressed over activities not being able to be performed because of the pain. Other patients have found that when used in certain very painful joints, acupuncture can certainly prove to be of temporary relief. And if the patient can stand the touch, massage therapy can be of great help in relieving painful muscles in the ongoing battle against fibromyalgia.
At this moment in the 21st century there is no known cure for this often debilitating disease. For the over four million people who suffer from this disorder in the United States, the reality is that each day is a constant battle against something that doctors don't understand fully themselves, but who have now recognized it as a legitimate and chronic condition that needs empathetic care and support. Often as part of the ongoing treatment process, counseling will be suggested to the patient, especially if the pain is having severe affects on the will to get up in the morning or the depression is too critical to overcome by a drug therapy alone. In many cases, one of the best fibromyalgia symptom treatment alternatives is for the patient to get into a support group where other sufferers have banded together to encourage and support each other through the hard times. Few therapies work as well as colleagues and peers who are experiencing the same pain and hardship to share and encourage one another.
Fibromyalgia Pain ManagementFibromyalgia pain management can be handled a variety of ways, depending on the severity of the symptoms and the individual suffering from this condition. The condition is not well understood, but in general, the muscles are affected, as is the individuals mental and emotional well being. Those with fibromyalgia experience pain ranging from mild to extremely intense and so must find successful ways of dealing with the condition. Other symptoms can be difficulty sleeping, tiredness and even bouts of depression. Doctors and researchers agree there is no current pharmaceutical that can adequately cure fibromyalgia. However, many physicians practicing in both the regular medical area as well as the naturopathic arena agree that symptoms of this condition can be relieved greatly by following common sense dietary guidelines, as well as exercise and perhaps some homeopathic and/or herbal courses of treatment.
Those studying fibromyalgia say that the condition is a conglomeration of numerous physical complaints or discomforts, rather than a single condition that affects only the muscles and connective tissues. Still other schools of thought classify these numerous symptoms as indications that there is a single cause, and the symptoms are produced by that cause. Some doctors say that these symptoms result from undiagnosed infections, hormonal disorders and even dietary deficiencies. Obviously, there is no consensus here, and so the individual is left to deal with the condition by getting numerous diagnoses and treatments, hoping one will eventually work. Therefore, pain management can be elusive at times, depending on the course of treatment chosen.
First, in order to begin effective fibromyalgia pain management, the physician talks with the patient to work out a reasonable activity plan that is, how much activity can reasonably be performed in a given day so as not to aggravate the patients condition. Pacing is important so that the patient does not do too much, but ensure that enough activity is accomplished so that therapy is effective. Next, a discussion regarding daily diet should take place, emphasizing the importance of consuming vegetables and fruits as well as a balance of the other food groups. If the patient is used to drinking coffee every day, then limiting this beverage would be very beneficial in fibromyalgia pain management. Treatment may also call for carefully choosing some moderate aerobic exercises which is very good for the muscles to strengthen and obtain oxygen. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in ye, and you shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord (Ezekiel 37:6 KJV).
In addition to regular treatments as stated above, fibromyalgia pain management can include a less traditional type of approach, such as including herbal and homeopathic remedies. Since our body is over 90% water and the rest a variety of chemicals, it makes sense to utilize a more natural approach to fibromyalgia pain management, along with the consumption of adequate water to hydrate the cells and tissues of the body for optimum function. In the early days of medical practice, natural remedies were common, if not fully understood. Many people may not know that aspirin is a natural remedy that comes from the bark of a tropical tree. There are hundreds of natural remedies that are available to assist people to better health. These natural medicines can reduce swelling, support the immune system and eliminate pain.
Some typical herbal remedies used in fibromyalgia pain management are St. Johns Wort, which helps pain to subside and wards off against viruses. Agents that help reduce swelling are Devils Claw Root, Willow Bark and Turmeric. To help with sleeplessness, there is Valerian Root. A homeopathic remedy called Gorse helps to alleviate depression that many people with this condition experience. There are many other natural remedies that can be used depending on the severity of the fibromyalgia and how willing the patient is to move forward with this type of therapy. Before utilizing natural remedies, the physician may do some tests to rule out allergies to foods and other environmental triggers.
In order to lessen the effects of anxiety, beneficial activities would be to start a program of yoga to gently stretch the body, which also helps to relax tension in the muscles and increase oxygenation of the tissues. Simply going outside for a 30 minute walk, swimming and riding a bicycle are all very good and can make a big difference in the way a person feels after a short period of time. Our bodies thrive on regular exercise, because exercise helps our bodies to regenerate and heal. Exercise also promotes the formation of antibodies in our immune systems so we can better fight off diseases and infections. Everything works together in order to maintain an optimally functioning body, so it is important to take care of ourselves so we dont fall into disrepair. Natural therapy for fibromyalgia pain management may take longer to have an effect than drugs, but are designed to help a person to continue to heal over the course of their life and to stay healthy.
Have a long talk with your physician if you are experiencing fibromyalgia, and discuss all the avenues available to treat this painful condition. Each person is different and may require an individualized plan of treatment for fibromyalgia pain management. The first step is the recognition that taking responsibility for our own health in order to stay well is the best thing a person can do to remain well. A little education and a little work at proper dietary and exercise modalities may finally alleviate that pain. You can do it!