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Everything You Need to Know about Fibromyalgia

Everything You Need to Know about Fibromyalgia

Have you ever felt a sharp pain in any part of your muscle or tendon? It can be a sign of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia symptoms often debilitate and overlap the symptoms of other similar diseases which make it hard to diagnose it further leads to the disease being at a severe stage. Fibromyalgia can manifest in the form of joint pain and is often coupled with fatigue. The problem mostly manifests in women and can cause cognitive problems and musculoskeletal pain.

Stress and an unhealthy lifestyle are the primary causes of fibromyalgia. Decreased levels of serotonin can increase pain sensitivity in the body leading to fibromyalgia. Disordered sleep also plays a role in reducing serotonin levels. You may find yourself being susceptible to fibromyalgia if you’re stressed out, fatigued, and have a chaotic lifestyle. A poor diet may also contribute to fibromyalgia since the body works harder and may get stressed out depending on what you eat.
There are many ways to treat this issue, and locating the fibromyalgia tender points can further help in its treatment. But, first, let’s take a look at its symptoms.

What are the symptoms?
Since Fibromyalgia overlaps with other chronic conditions, people with fibromyalgia are often victims of other or similar chronic diseases. If you have one of these symptoms, you should consult your doctor for the same. Take a look at the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

  • Migraine headaches, due to disturbance in the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.
  • Special cognitive issues like fibro fog which causes a lack of mental clarity and clouds judgment and thinking skills.
  • Autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
  • Restlessness, insomnia, and poor sleep quality.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBD), which is diagnosed by stomach cramps, abdominal pain, constipation, and frequent bouts of diarrhea.
  • Pelvic pain and menstrual cramps.
  • Mental, emotional, and psychological problems like depression, anxiety, and similar conditions.
  • Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, fat stores put pressure on the joints which also cause fibromyalgia.

Where are the fibromyalgia tender points?
Now, one of the ways to treat this issue is by locating the tender points, diagnosing them through an expert, getting the right treatment. Fibromyalgia tender points play an integral role in diagnosing the disease. There are 18 fibromyalgia tender points found in the body, and the chronic condition is diagnosed by pressing them. If you feel pain when any of these points are pressed, you most likely have fibromyalgia. The most common fibromyalgia tender points located in the body are:

  • Back of the neck where the base of the skull and neck meet
  • Tenderness on the forearms, especially on the creases of elbows
  • Front of the neck located above the collarbone, on either side of the larynx
  • Pain in the hips, especially near a tender point located right where the buttock muscles connect with the thighs by curving
  • Pain in the lower back and buttocks
  • Tender knees
  • Severe pain in the upper back
  • Shoulders
  • Pain on either side of sternum, below the collarbone

How to treat fibromyalgia?
The common fibromyalgia tender points only reveal fibromyalgia on the surface. The treatment of fibromyalgia begins with medication, self-care, counseling, and learning how to follow a calmer lifestyle.
Here, we have listed down a few treatments for fibromyalgia.

Over-the-counter medication
Take pain-relieving medications like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and prescription pain relievers like tramadol (Ultram) Antidepressants such as duloxetine and milnacipran are also helpful.

Medications
Muscle relaxing medications like amitriptyline and cyclobenzaprine can be used. Anti-seizure drugs like gabapentin and pregabalin (FDA-approved drug for treating fibromyalgia) will also help treating the disease. Make sure you consult the doctor for a prescription.

Physical therapy
This therapy is aimed at enhancing strength, stamina, and flexibility by a certified physiotherapist.

Occupational therapy
This particular therapy focuses on adapting to ways of working which causes less stress on your body.

Counseling and emotional therapy
Speaking to a therapist helps a lot to deal with life’s situations and help cope or manage fibromyalgia effectively

Other treatments
Ancient Chinese medical practices like acupuncture helps in relieving pain at some points of the body. Massage therapy relieves stress from joints, reduces heart rate, improves mobility, and promotes the production of natural painkillers in the body.
Yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong, which combine flowing movements, meditation, and deep breathing allow the body to relax.

Fibromyalgia is diagnosed by understanding the severity of the tender points. It can be treated or reversed with a healthy lifestyle, emotional therapy, self-care, and by taking the right medications. The thumb rule is to remember here is the causes of fibromyalgia all originate from stress which manifests as other physical symptoms.

If you lead a healthy lifestyle, follow a balanced diet rich in vitamins, fatty acids, and minerals, and take care of yourself mentally, emotionally and physically, you may find yourself at a reduced risk to none, where fibromyalgia is concerned. Stay hydrated, stay happy, eat well, exercise and you’ll be well on your way to curing fibromyalgia and treating it naturally.

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