Fibromyalgia is one of the most common musculoskeletal conditions. The syndrome is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. Women are more likely to develop this syndrome than men. It is estimated that over 12 million people living in the United States have fibromyalgia. The syndrome causes one to ache all over and you may also have symptoms of extreme fatigue, tender points on the body that are painful to touch and experience trouble sleeping. The muscles in your body may feel like they have been overworked by exercise.
There are several theories about what causes fibromyalgia. Some think it may be genetics, stress or even a hormone imbalance. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia does not occur from one even but a combination of events in a person’s life.
When it comes to treating fibromyalgia, there are treatments available. Some of them include medications, alternative remedies and lifestyle changes. It will be up to you and your doctor to figure out which treatment or treatments to use for your care. He or she may prescribe medication such as:
The above medications are antidepressants that have been proven to help relieve the pain, sleep problems and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia. Since each of these drugs will work differently in each person, you may need to try a few before you find the one that works best for you. Your doctor may also recommend taking an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen.
Along with medication your doctor may also want you to go to a few physical therapy sessions. The therapist will be able to teach you how to relieve some of the symptoms and stiffness that are associated with fibromyalgia. They will help you build strength and improve the range of motion in your joints.
There are also some natural remedies that may help the symptoms of fibromyalgia. They include:
- Eating foods with anti-inflammatory nutrients – things like red onion, tomato, broccoli, green and black teas
- A gluten-free diet – gluten can lead to neurological problems, inflammation, fatigue, muscle pain and weight gain
- Reduce anxiety and stress – you may want to seek out a counselor to learn about relaxation techniques
- See a chiropractor – they work with spine misalignments and correct posture
- Dietary supplements – 5-HTP, SAMe, magnesium and melatonin
- Acupuncture – this can rebalance the flow of energy in the body, increasing blood flow and the production of the body’s natural pain killers
- Massage – this is a great way to east pain and improve circulation
You may only need to use a couple of these treatments or you may need to use a combination of all of them. Talk to your doctor to make the best treatment plan for you.