What is it?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, tenderness, and fatigue. It is not fully understood what causes fibromyalgia, and it tends to affect women more frequently. The symptoms of fibromyalgia can range in severity and vary from person to person.
How is it treated?
While there is no known cure for fibromyalgia, there are several strategies and treatments that can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals living with this condition. These approaches aim to manage symptoms, reduce pain, and enhance overall well-being.
Your treatment plan will likely include a combination of psychological and behavioral therapy, medications, and self-management approaches, such as physical exercise and other movement therapies like yoga or tai chi.
Cognitive behavioral therapies. A type of therapy called cognitive behavioral therapy, which aims to change the way you think about pain, can be helpful, especially when combined with other types of treatment. This type of therapy can be either one-on-one or in groups with a therapist. Other types of mental health counseling may also be helpful.
Complementary and Integrative medical therapies. Some people seek therapies such as acupuncture, massage, and hypnosis, but many of these have not been well tested in people with fibromyalgia. Before using these therapies, talk to your doctor about the best options for you. Where is the pain at?
How we treat fibromyalgia?
It’s great to hear that Attuned Vitality Chiropractic and Wellness is providing support and assistance to those living with fibromyalgia. While there may not be a cure for fibromyalgia, there are indeed various ways to manage and improve the quality of life for individuals with this condition.
Massage therapy can be a valuable complementary approach for fibromyalgia management. It can help alleviate muscle tension, improve circulation, reduce stress, and promote relaxation, which may lead to a reduction in pain and discomfort. Additionally, teaching patients about daily self-care techniques can empower them to take an active role in managing their symptoms.
As with any healthcare service, it’s essential to work closely with qualified professionals who understand fibromyalgia and its challenges. A multidisciplinary approach that includes chiropractic care, massage therapy, exercise, nutrition, and other therapies can often yield the best results for managing fibromyalgia symptoms.
Remember, fibromyalgia can affect individuals differently, so personalized care plans and ongoing support can be crucial in helping patients cope with their unique needs and experiences.
If you have specific questions or concerns about fibromyalgia management, it’s best to consult with Dr. Wendy Brackeen or the team at Attuned Vitality Chiropractic and Wellness for personalized guidance. They can help design an approach that suits your individual needs and improves your overall well-being.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia
common symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
- Widespread pain: The hallmark symptom of fibromyalgia is aching and pain felt throughout the body, often described as a constant dull ache or burning sensation. The pain is typically present on both sides of the body and above and below the waist.
- Tender points: Specific points on the body are particularly sensitive to touch and pressure. These tender points are commonly found in areas like the neck, shoulders, chest, hips, knees, and elbows.
- Fatigue: People with fibromyalgia often experience persistent tiredness, even after getting enough sleep. Sleep disturbances, such as restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea, can contribute to this fatigue.
- Cognitive difficulties: Often referred to as “fibro fog,” cognitive symptoms may include difficulties with memory, concentration, and focus.
- Morning stiffness: Many individuals with fibromyalgia report feeling stiff, especially in the morning, making it challenging to get out of bed or move freely.
- Headaches: Frequent tension headaches or migraines are common in people with fibromyalgia.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Digestive issues like abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea can occur in some individuals with fibromyalgia.
- Sensitivity to stimuli: People with fibromyalgia may be more sensitive to light, noise, odors, and temperature changes.
- Depression and anxiety: The constant pain, fatigue, and limitations in daily activities can lead to emotional distress, including depression and anxiety.
It’s essential to note that fibromyalgia symptoms can overlap with other medical conditions, so a proper diagnosis by a healthcare professional is crucial. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical advice for a comprehensive evaluation and appropriate management. Treatment approaches often include a combination of medications, lifestyle changes, physical therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy to help manage symptoms and improve the overall quality of life.
At home treatment for fibromyalgia
Self-care plays a vital role in managing fibromyalgia symptoms and improving overall well-being. While it’s essential to work with a healthcare professional to develop a comprehensive treatment plan, here are some self-care strategies that may help individuals with fibromyalgia:
- Regular Exercise: Engage in low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, or yoga. Exercise can help reduce pain, improve flexibility, and boost mood. Start slowly and gradually increase activity levels, listening to your body’s limits.
- Balanced Diet: Adopt a healthy, balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Some individuals with fibromyalgia may find that certain foods trigger symptoms, so it can be helpful to keep a food diary to identify any potential culprits.
- Stress Management: Stress can exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms. Practice stress-reduction techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, or mindfulness to help relax the body and mind.
- Sleep Hygiene: Establish a regular sleep schedule and create a calming bedtime routine. Ensure your sleep environment is comfortable and conducive to restful sleep.
- Pacing Activities: Avoid overexertion and learn to pace yourself. Break tasks into smaller, manageable portions and take regular breaks to prevent pushing yourself to exhaustion.
- Heat and Cold Therapy: Heat packs or warm baths can help ease muscle pain and stiffness, while cold packs can be helpful for reducing inflammation in tender areas.
- Gentle Stretching: Incorporate gentle stretching exercises into your daily routine to improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension.
- Support Network: Build a strong support system of friends, family, or support groups where you can share experiences and receive understanding and encouragement.
- Mind-Body Therapies: Consider trying mind-body therapies such as acupuncture, tai chi, or biofeedback. Some people find these therapies beneficial in managing fibromyalgia symptoms.
- Avoiding Triggering Substances: Limit or avoid substances that can worsen symptoms, such as caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco.
- Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to help maintain overall health and reduce the risk of dehydration, which can worsen fibromyalgia symptoms.
- Manage Mental Health: Address any mental health concerns like depression or anxiety, as they can exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms. Counseling or therapy can be helpful.
Remember that self-care is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Each individual with fibromyalgia may find different strategies more effective, so it’s essential to experiment and find what works best for you. Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new self-care practices, especially if they involve significant changes to your diet, exercise routine, or medical treatments.