Treatments for Fibromyalgia Patients
A mysterious condition of unknown origins, fibromyalgia affects more women than men. As the second most common musculoskeletal condition behind osteoarthritis, approximately 12 million Americans are reported to have the condition. Women are ten times more likely to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia than men. Because so little is currently known about the origins of fibromyalgia, patients may become frustrated as they attempt to find a treatment to successfully remedy the disease’s many symptoms.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia are numerous, but the condition is generally characterized by pain all over the sufferer’s body and heightened sensitivity. Stiffness, fatigue upon waking up, difficulty sleeping, dryness in the mouth, nose, and eyes, abdominal pain, headaches, anxiety, and depression are commonly experienced by those who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia syndrome. Because the symptoms are so varied, fibromyalgia treatment for symptoms generally targets a patient’s individual complaints. For example, a patient may be required to use painkillers for headache while being prescribed another treatment to combat fatigue. Currently, there are prescription drugs, alternative treatments, and natural remedies fibromyalgia patients may use in addition to modifying their lifestyles to encourage more pain-free days.
Exercise is commonly recommended for fibromyalgia patients. Sometimes this may involve seeing a physical therapist to help create a fitness routine that suits the patient’s needs. When receiving therapy for fibromyalgia, a patient may be supervised and taught exercises, and the therapist may make adaptations to allow for greater ease of movement. While fibromyalgia patients may avoid exercise for fear of pain, studies indicate that aerobic exercises as well as conditioning exercise may help relieve pain, fatigue, and depression in fibromyalgia sufferers.
Fibromyalgia alternative treatments include chiropractic care and deep tissue massage. Chiropractic adjustments may be helpful in increasing range of motion the back and decreasing pain. Deep tissue massage can help fibromyalgia patients relax and feel better by eliminating chronic tension in their muscles and by stimulating the release of endorphins and relieving stress. Fibromyalgia patients may also take herbal remedies such as black cohosh, B vitamins, milk thistle, and Echinacea to boost their energy and improve their sleep at night. Lavender may also be helpful in relieving tension and improving a patient’s mood.
It is important for fibromyalgia patients to remember that, while it may take time to find remedies that work, their condition is manageable. By exercising regularly and working with a physician, chiropractor, or massage therapist to manage pain, a greater quality of life is attainable.