Fibromyalgia is one of the most common and widespread types of chronic pain in the United States today.
It can have a significant impact on anyone’s quality of daily life.
The word “fibromyalgia” comes from the Latin term for fibrous tissue ( fibro ) and the Greek words for muscle ( myo ) and pain ( algia ).
Fibromyalgia, or FM, is often considered an arthritis-related condition, but this is not entirely true.
FM is a chronic condition with pain in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
For more on muscle pain, please read Muscle Pain Explained.
An estimated 75% of chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosed patients will meet the FM criteria.
Although FM pain can be quite severe at times, it does not damage the bones, joints or muscles.
Fibromyalgia often co-occurs with other rheumatic conditions.
This ailment also causes fatigue, sleep problems and depression.
People with fibromyalgia could experience a variety of symptoms, including:
- Sleep disturbances
- Morning stiffness
- Temperature sensitivity
- Restless legs syndrome
If you would like to know more about headaches, please read Cluster Headaches & Natural Treatment Options.
Frequent abdominal pain and nausea can be found in roughly 40% to 70% of FM patients.
These symptoms range from mild to incapacitating.
Studies show that, on average, people with fibromyalgia are hospitalized once every 3 years.
Why does fibromyalgia hurt from head to toe?
Some researchers believe that fibromyalgia is caused by a lack of deep sleep.
Others believe it has to do with the level of chemicals in the cerebrospinal fluid.
For more information on how to sleep properly, please read Long-Term Treatment For Back pain.
The manner in which the brain and spinal cord process pain sensations is abnormal in fibromyalgia sufferers.
Imaging studies show the brains of people with FM actually have more activity in reaction to pain.
While there is no test to detect fibromyalgia, it has been linked to genetics.
Chances are if one parent has this condition, there is a 50% chance their child will develop it too.
While studies show that fibromyalgia gets worse with age, for some it may get better.
Fibromyalgia affects 2% – 4% of the population with 80% – 90% of the affected being women.
That said, it does show up in both genders and in people of all ages, but is typically diagnosed during middle age.
Fibromyalgia knows no boundaries.
Quite often, it has been described as shooting, stabbing and muscle aching pain.
There is unfortunately no known cure.
When treating FM, many prefer to go the more natural route.
Physical therapy, acupuncture, occupational therapy, chiropractic care, massage, and exercise are known to be effective in treating fibromyalgia naturally.
Simple lifestyle modifications may help you conserve energy and minimize pain.
Diet plays a vital role in FM treatment.
There are foods which help you feel great while others make symptoms worse.
Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables make up the foundation of a healthy diet as they can act as natural anti-inflammatories.
Omega-3 Rich Foods
Cold-water fish are a great source of omega-3 for those suffering from fibromyalgia.
Eat some type of protein at every meal—whether it be chicken, fish, beans, nuts or peanut butter, they all give you energy by fueling your muscles. Bulking up on protein is essential when you have fibromyalgia as you have the tendency to often feel drained and low on energy.
Caffeine is a stimulant to the central nervous system which can cause anxiety and withdrawal.
Decrease your daily coffee fix with either switching to decaf or tea.
Instead of refined grains such as white bread, eat more whole grains such as brown rice and whole-grain cereals to increase your fiber intake.
Avoid artificial sweetener, as well as all processed foods that offer very little nutritional value such as cakes, cookies, fried foods, and soda.
Keep a diet diary to see what foods help and harm you.
Did You Know
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome, a collection of symptoms. It can occur as a primary or secondary condition. To be diagnosed with FM, you must have pain in 11 of the 18 “tender point” sites for longer than three months.
Up to 90% of fibromyalgia patients suffer with severe fatigue or a sleep disorder.
Obesity may be related to FM pain, disability, and sleep.
There are no specific tests for fibromyalgia. Doctors take medical history and possible x-rays into consideration. In the end, it is a process of elimination that eventually leads to a diagnosis.
One study found that pain and fibromyalgia symptoms were severely worse in women who had had a hysterectomy.
If you suffer from fibromyalgia, make time to relax each day.
Exercise often and educate yourself on the condition.
Understand your pain and treat it well.
Body and soul cannot be separated for purposes of treatment, for they are one and indivisible.
Sick minds must be healed as well as sick bodies. – C. Jeff Miller