Fibromyalgia is one of things you've heard of, heard about some having it but not sure what it is or how it's treated, or maybe you're living with fibro yourself and not sure how to move forward with it?
What is fibromyalgia?
Its a condition that causes pain in the muscles, anywhere in the body from head to toe, fatigue, tenderness, headaches, sleep issues, tingling in hands and feet, memory problems, it can resemble arthritis type pain but without any damage to the joints themselves, this can be what makes it so hard to diagnose.
How do you diagnose a condition that mimics so many others? Blood tests are a good start; to rule out any inflammation markers that you would see with arthritic conditions, however its usually diagnosed based on your symptoms and case history.
It's largely unknown why fibro starts, but there can be some common triggers such a stress, usually quite extreme stress, a marriage breakdown, death of a loved one, that type of stress, a virus is another common cause, I've known people have a bad infection, the flu something that totally wiped them out and took a long time to recover from. Something starts an internal trigger that seems to set the immune system on high alert, your body can never rest, constantly in flight or fight mode so hence why you get so fatigued.
Your body starts to act like a solider constantly on high alert and on the look out, the solider being your immune system, forever watching, its no wonder fatigue, pain and sleep issues are so common.
What can be done?
Well, painkillers is a first option, unfortunately this can lead to a downward spiral of stronger and stronger pain killers as they stop working, your body soon learns to get used them, they also come with their own list of side effects which give your over worked body something else to try and sort out.
Management of the stress or trigger, talking therapy is largely underrated and misunderstood, the days of stiff upper lip are over, we are becoming more and more aware of mental health and its affects on our body and life, so don't view talking therapy as being weak, its actually a very strong thing to do.
Have you thought about acupuncture? It does wonders for the immune system, helps to regulate it, helps with pain and energy levels, no side effects!
I've been using acupuncture to help manage fibro for about 9 years now, i've found a combination of acupuncture and massage have really helped my patients get back to some normality, to be able to face the day, its not a cure but its a good management of your symptoms and no side effects.
f you or someone you know is suffering please pass this along as they may not have heard about acupuncture and how it can help.