The word ‘Fibromyalgia’ has only recently been introduced into the public consciousness, and it’s finally given a name for the pain that countless people around the world feel. This is good news, as what was once just random, consistent pain is now documented and categorized!
The bad news, however, is that Fibromyalgia isn’t curable (yet) - but that doesn’t mean those suffering can’t do anything about their pain and discomfort! If you’re looking to learn more about the facts, symptoms, and potential pain-relief treatments for Fibromyalgia, you’re in the right place: Read on for the most popular and effective ways to handle your pain, discomfort, and consistent aches. From compression to cognitive behavioral therapy (and everything in between those), here’s the breakdown of Fibromyalgia treatments!
So, What is Fibromyalgia?
Up until recently, not a lot of people knew! We do know, though:
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that causes widespread pain, fatigue, and other symptoms. It’s more common in women than men and affects around 10 million people throughout the United States alone.
While the exact cause of fibromyalgia is not known, it is believed to be related to the way the brain and spinal cord process pain signals. This condition can cause widespread pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances, and it can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are often similar to those of other conditions.
Despite being a prevalent condition, it is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood by healthcare providers, which can lead to a delay in appropriate treatment. If you’re dealing with Fibromyalgia (or know someone who suffers), you know that this can be extremely frustrating, both mentally and emotionally. That’s why it’s very important to know as much as you can about this condition!
Types of Fibromyalgia Pain
The truth is, many of those with Fibromyalgia may not even know they have it. But why? Well, the pain associated with fibromyalgia is often described as a constant dull ache that affects muscles and joints throughout the body - so you can imagine it would be hard to diagnose, much less get into specifics.
However, there are actually several different types of pain associated with the condition, including:
Hyperalgesia: This is an increased sensitivity to pain, which means that even mild pressure or touch can cause significant discomfort. Imagine feeling intense pain when bumping into a wall or chair.
Allodynia: This is pain caused by something that would not normally be painful, such as light touch or a gentle breeze. Less common, and way more severe.
Paresthesia: This is a tingling or burning sensation that can be felt in different parts of the body at random times.
Headaches: People who have regular tension headaches may be unaware sufferers of Fibromyalgia.
Other Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Feeling like your pain might be explained by Fibromyalgia? See if any of these symptoms resonate with you:
Widespread Pain: Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread pain that can affect the entire body. This pain is typically described as a dull ache and can be present on both sides of the body, as well as above and below the waist.
Fatigue: People with Fibromyalgia often experience extreme fatigue, even after getting enough sleep. This fatigue can make it difficult to perform daily tasks and can lead to a decreased quality of life.
Sleep Disturbances: People with Fibromyalgia often have difficulty sleeping, which can exacerbate fatigue and pain. They may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep and may wake up feeling unrefreshed or tired.
Cognitive Difficulties: Fibromyalgia can cause cognitive issues, often referred to as "fibro fog." This can include difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and difficulty with word retrieval.
Stiffness: There’s a chance you have Fibromyalgia if you often experience moderate to severe stiffness, especially in the morning or after sitting for long periods.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Fibromyalgia is often associated with IBS, which can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating.
Touch Sensitivity: Those with Fibromyalgia may experience heightened sensitivity to touch, which can make even gentle pressure painful.
Depression and Anxiety: Fibromyalgia can cause emotional distress, including depression and anxiety, due to the impact it can have on daily life.
Numbness and Tingling: Some people with fibromyalgia experience numbness and tingling in their hands and feet, which is often related to poor circulation.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it's very important to speak with your healthcare provider. Just know that there are treatments available that can help manage the symptoms and improve your quality of life.
With the right care and support, people with Fibromyalgia can lead happy and fulfilling lives!
Treatments for Fibromyalgia
Again, there is currently no cure for Fibromyalgia - but there are several treatment options that can help manage symptoms and pain.
Here’s a list of the most common and effective methods that people around the world use to manage their aches, pains, and discomfort:
Many people suffering from this condition use pain relievers, antidepressants, and anti-seizure drugs to manage Fibromyalgia symptoms. While many find this effective, there are others who don’t feel as comfortable relying on prescriptions. Both options are alright!
Exercise, stretching, and massage therapy can help improve muscle strength and flexibility, which can reduce pain and fatigue. It’s a little costly, but physical therapy can be really helpful to manage what ails you!
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This type of therapy can help people with Fibromyalgia develop coping skills and manage stress, which can improve overall well-being.
How Compression Therapy Can Help with Fibromyalgia Pain
Compression therapy has a long history as a non-invasive treatment option that involves applying pressure to specific parts of the body to improve circulation and reduce pain and swelling. It can be particularly helpful for people with Fibromyalgia, as it can reduce inflammation and improve joint mobility.
Compression therapy can be delivered in several ways, including:
Compression Wearables: Our place of expertise! Our compression products are specially designed garments that apply pressure to different parts of the body and include copper-infused fabric that allows for an odor-free, durable experience. They can be worn during the day or at night, depending on the individual's needs. Shop our products here - we have everything from arm sleeves to gloves to foot braces, and everything in between!
Massage Therapy: Tying into physical therapy, massage therapy can be used to apply pressure to specific muscles and joints, which can improve circulation and reduce pain.
Pneumatic Compression Therapy: This is a type of therapy that involves wearing inflatable boots that apply pressure to the legs and feet. It can improve circulation and reduce swelling in the lower limbs.
Overall, Fibromyalgia can be a challenging condition to manage, but there are several treatment options available that can help alleviate symptoms and help you live your life to the best of your ability. Again, please talk to your doctor first before you decide on any one method - and don’t forget to check out our website and blog!
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