PAINFUL ALL OVER YOUR BODY, IT MAY BE FIBROMYALGIA!

Painful all over your body and it never quits!  Your symptoms are not recognized as a known disease?  It affects your muscles, joints, ligaments and your body is just painful to the touch?  You may have Fibromyalgia.   Read the good, bad and painful about Fibromyalgia!

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, not a disease.  There are ways to treat this condition, but many have severe and lasting side effects.  We will look at the good, the bad and the ugly sides of the treatments for Fibromyalgia.

With Fibromyalgia, you often feel exhausted and hurt all over. Your doctor may not find anything wrong with you even after multiple lab tests.  The exact cause of fibromyalgia is still undetermined but it is believed that the nerves in the muscle tissue become irritated due to inflammation and send signals to the brain and it is recognized as pain.

One of the tests your doctor may run to identify your symptoms as Fibromyalgia, are identifying specific locations on your body that are extremely sensitive to pain with a slight pressure. There are 18 points located in symmetrical pairs from your head down to your knees. The American College of Rheumatology guidelines for making a fibromyalgia diagnosis require pain at 11 of the tender points on the body.

Fibromyalgia Pain Tender Points
There are nine pairs of specific spots that are abnormally tender to soft pressure.  These are very distinctive in the assessment of Fibromyalgia.
  • Around the lower vertebra of the neck. 
  • At the insertion of the second rib
  • Around the upper part of the thigh bone. 
  • In the middle of the knee joint. 
  • In muscles connected to the base of the skull
  • In muscles of the neck and upper back. 
  • In muscles of the mid-back. 
  • On the side of the elbow. 
  • In the upper and outer muscles of the buttocks. 
Within the United States, Fibromyalgia affects about 2 percent of the population. It occurs more often in women than in men and the risk increases with age.  Fibromyalgia can also affect children.  Often the symptoms begin after an emotional or physical trauma but can start with no specific action or event.

CO-EXISTING CONDITIONS:
Many people with fibromyalgia  may also have:
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Depression
  • Endometriosis
  • Headaches
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Lupus
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
The symptoms of fibromyalgia may vary with changes in physical activity, stress, weather or sometime just the time of day. Fibromyalgia pain can be described as a constant dull ache, arising from the muscles and/or joints. To be considered Fibromyalgia, the pain will be on both sides of your body. It will be both above and below your waist.

* SLEEP DISTURBANCES AND FATIGUE:
Most often with fibromyalgia, you awake tired, as though you did not have enough sleep and this may be after many hours of sleep. It is believed that this condition rarely allows the person to reach the deep restorative stage of sleep needed to refresh the body and soul. Other sleep disorders that are linked to fibromyalgia include sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome.

* PERSONS SEX:
Fibromyalgia occurs more often in women than in men or children.

* PERSONS AGE:
It starts to develop in early and middle adulthood.  As stated, it occurs in older adult women, but also in men and children.

* SLEEP PATTERNS:
Since this condition can have mild to extreme phases, it is not defined whether sleep difficulties are the cause or are a result of fibromyalgia.  It is not uncommon for people with fibromyalgia to have some form of sleep disorder. It could be restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea or muscle spasms of the legs or a combination of difficulties.

 * HEREDITY:
It appears that if a family member has fibromyalgia, that you have a higher risk of developing it also.

* RHEUMATIC DISEASE:
If you have rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, you stand a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia.

* TREATMENT:
Treatments for fibromyalgia should include self-care and required medications.
We are trying to improve the health and well being of the person, while minimizing the symptoms.

There are alternatives to the Steroid and Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) by using natural or herbal remedies and supplements.  Serrapeptase enzyme is very effective and safe in relieving the pain and inflammation of fibromyalgia.  There are no known side effects to Serrapeptase.

You can get more information on safer treatments at the end of this article.

* MEDICATIONS:
To reduce the pain and improve sleep for the body to rest and restore itself, some type of medication will be used. This can be orthodox medical drugs or an improved method of using safe natural remedies such as Serrapeptase enzyme and other non-drug related treatments.

It must be noted that many prescription medications have one or more negative side effects. Serrapeptase enzyme and other natural supplements normally have fewer or no negative side effects.

COMMON CHOICES ARE:

* ANALGESICS:
Acetaminophen (Tylenol and others) may reduce the pain but its effectiveness may differ with each person and severity of the fibromyalgia.

One of the prescription pain reliever Tramadol (Ultram), can be taken with or without acetaminophen.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be recommended in conjunction with other medications. NSAIDs include naproxen sodium (Aleve, others) or aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil or others).

NSAIDs are less effective in controlling the pain of fibromyalgia, if they are taken by themselves.

* ANTIDEPRESSANTS:
A prescription of amitriptyline may be prescribed by your doctor to help promote sleep. The addition of Flucxetine (Prozac) with anitriptyline may be helpful to some people.

For fibromyalgia, the use of duloxetine (Cymbalta) may be beneficial to relieve the pain and fatigue.

A newly approved medication by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms is milnacipran (Savella).

* ANTI-SEIZURE DRUGS:
In reducing some pains, the medications that treat epilepsy are also used.

The first drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat fibromyalgia is pregabalin (Lyrica). Another medication that is sometimes helpful, gabapentin (Neurontin) maybe recommended for fibromyalgia.

* THERAPY:
Physical Therapy may reduce pain and will help to improve muscle tone or balance.

The combination of stretching exercises and the application of cold and/or hot may also be helpful.

Counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy will work to improve your behavioral abilities and will teach you how to deal with stressful situations.

Therapy and counseling may be achieved individually or in groups. The use of prepared information on CDs, DVDs or tapes may help you manage your fibromyalgia.

* SELF-CARE:
It is important to manage yourself when you have fibromyalgia.

Reduce stress by developing a plan to limit emotional stress and overexertion. You need to set aside time on a daily basis to relax. It is important to know your limits and do not let others or yourself put undo pressure on you. A stable routine or schedule is necessary to help you focus on the events required each day.

If you had a job or lifestyle prior to fibromyalgia, it is important that you continue with the same schedules and only modify it as needed for the pain or symptoms of fibromyalgia.  Persons that have reduced their lifestyle because of fibromyalgia, actually do worse than those who stay active.

Meditation and deep breathing can be very beneficial in managing stress. Sleep is a must with fibromyalgia. One of the main characteristics of fibromyalgia is fatigue. Getting enough sleep is essential.

Good habits will improve your ability to be successful at resting and sleeping. Going to bed and getting up each day at the same time and avoiding the daytime naps will help with the night-time sleep patterns. The restorative sleep is critical for combating the effects of fibromyalgia.

Regular Exercise routine: With fibromyalgia, exercise may cause more pain but continuing your exercise routine will often decrease the pain and symptoms over time. Keep in mind that strenuous exercise (running, athletic sports) may not be reasonable when you have fibromyalgia. Exercises like swimming, water aerobics, biking and walking will be better to not irritate or worsen the symptoms. It may be recommended that you develop a home exercise program.  You can get a physical therapist to assist in setting up an exercise program that is best for your physical condition.

Certainly, relaxation exercises can make you more comfortable and reduce the stress which causes additional pain. Daily stretching and practicing good posture will help your body stay relaxed.

Adjust your activity levels:  There will be days that you are feeling better than other days. If you overdue your activities on the good days, it will create more pain and more bad days. Pace your activities on each of your good and bad days.

Healthy Lifestyle: The better you eat, the better your body can strengthen and replenish. Natural or Healthy foods are very important for your overall health. Try to reduce or limit your intake of caffeine. Caffeine can increase your stress or anxiety levels, which can increase your pain.

Always smile and maintain a great attitude. It will improve your day and the day of others around you.  It will reduce your stress and anxiety and reduce the negative effects of fibromyalgia.

* ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE:
For thousands of years, many forms of therapies have been practiced around the world. Meditation, yoga, reflexology, acupuncture, massage, natural herbal supplements and others are considered Holistic therapies and work safely with many conditions and diseases for the relief of pain, inflammation and stress.

For people who have fibromyalgia, these different forms of therapies can be a major factor in relieving pain, inflammation and stress. Even in mainstream medicine, the acceptance of these treatments are now being recognized and used to relieve stress and reduce pain.

Complementary and alternative treatments used for pain management include:

* ACUPUNCTURE:
Acupuncture is used to restore the normal balance of life forces. The Chinese medical system uses very fine needles inserted through the skin to various depths in specific locations for a specific ailment or condition. Western acupuncture theories recognize that the needles cause changes in blood flow and thereby affect the levels of neurotransmitters in the spinal cord and brain.

There have been mixed reviews of the effectiveness of acupuncture in relieving fibromyalgia symptoms. Some indicate that it helps, while others did not benefit from the treatments.

You must be receptive and have a positive attitude for any treatment or therapy to be effective.

* CHIROPRACTIC CARE:
Chiropractic adjustments are believed to open the restrictions in the spine and allow improved blood and nerve flow and circulation. This will reduce the pain and improve others functions in the body.

Manipulation of the spine is only one type of therapy that chiropractors use on restricted spinal mobility. Depending upon the condition or disease, Chiropractors will manipulate the spine with varied amounts of force and positions.

Massage and stretching are used to both compliment the manipulation and by themselves to relax the muscles that are tight or in spasm.

It is important to select the chiropractor based on his/her training and making sure they are licensed practitioners.

* MASSAGE THERAPY:
Moving or manipulating the body's soft tissue and muscles are accomplished using different manipulative techniques. Similar to chiropractic treatment, massage will improve blood circulation in the body, relax the muscles, which will increase the flow of nutrients and help to eliminate waste materials in our bodies.

Effectively, massage will relax your muscles, slow your heart rate, increase the range of motion in your joints and increase your body's natural pain relievers. It is also helpful in relieving anxiety and stress.

There are precautions that you must recognize prior to using massage therapy. Do not use massage therapy if you have acute inflammation, circulatory problems or open sores.

*HERBAL REMEDIES OR SUPPLEMENTS:
Many if not most of the manufactured Steroid or Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have side effects.  Many of the side effects will directly impact your body’s ability to maintain healthy organs and tissue, which can create secondary and sometime worse problems than the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Herbal or Natural supplements normally have few, if any, side effects that cause damage to your body.  If possible, the use of natural/herbal products should be an alternative that you discuss with your doctor.  Today, many physicians are recognizing the value of using natural products for the improvement of their patient’s health without creating additional health problems.

Serrapeptase enzyme has been used effectively in the reduction of inflammation and pain associated with fibromyalgia.  There are no known side effects and the dosage can be varied depending upon the severity of the condition. 

There are many cases where the pain and inflammation of fibromyalgia have been reduced or eliminated within a few days or weeks with no side effects!

Any choices made in the treatment of fibromyalgia should be discussed with your doctor.  Each person’s health and condition requires knowledgeable information and decisions in the treatment of fibromyalgia or other condition.

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only.  There are no implied or recommended treatments, that is a decision between you and your doctor.