Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread and chronic pain in the muscles, joints, and soft tissues. It can also cause other symptoms like fatigue, sleep disturbance, heightened sensitivity to touch, depression and anxiety. Fibromyalgia pain often affects people in different ways, including widespread burning pain, sharp shooting pains or sensitive areas of tenderness called “tender points” which are especially painful when touched. People with fibromyalgia may find activities such as walking or lifting objects more difficult because of their pain and fatigue. They may also experience physical and mental exhaustion after engaging in even small amounts of activity.
We'll discuss some treatments to improve fibromyalgia symptoms naturally. But first, let's talk about how many people in the US suffer from the this condition and how it relates to CFS and RLS.
Population Distribution of Fibromyalgia:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fibromyalgia affects an estimated 3-6% of the US population, which affects up to 10 million Americans. Women are more likely than men to be affected by this condition, with a ratio of 7:1. The prevalence of fibromyalgia is higher in certain populations, such as those with rheumatic disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, and depression. Fibromyalgia also appears to have a genetic component and can be triggered by physical or emotional trauma.
Relationship to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:
A recent study published in the journal Gastroenterology Research and Practice examined the relationship between fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome. The study included over 900 participants who were diagnosed with either condition, or both. Results showed that having both conditions simultaneously was associated with a significantly higher severity of symptoms compared to those had only one condition. The study also found that having both conditions was associated with an increased risk of depression and anxiety, as well as poorer quality of life. The researchers concluded that better understanding and management of both conditions is essential for improving patient outcomes.
Fibromyalgia and Restless Legs Syndrome:
The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of restless legs syndrome (RLS) among patients with fibromyalgia. A total of 192 consecutive female fibromyalgia patients were evaluated using International Restless Legs Syndrome Rating Scale and a structured interview based on the International Classification of Sleep Disorders - II criteria for RLS, as well as a questionnaire about socio-demographic data, concomitant disorders, and health-related quality of life measures.
The results indicated that the prevalence of RLS was significantly higher in fibromyalgia patients than in healthy controls (18.8% versus 5.3%, respectively), and it was particularly high in middle aged women (31.3%) and those with depression or anxiety disorder (24%). Additionally, there was an association between RLS and sleep disturbance, nocturnal pain, fatigue, depression scores, and lower health-related quality of life in these patients. This study provides strong evidence for an association between fibromyalgia and RLS.
Exercise can help reduce pain and improve energy levels in people with fibromyalgia. It's important to start slowly and focus on low-impact activities like walking, swimming, or yoga. As your fitness level increases, you can add more challenging exercises into your routine. However, it's important to listen to your body and stop if the activity causes increased pain.
Applying heat from a heating pad or hot pack can relax tense muscles and relieve pain and discomfort associated with fibromyalgia. You should avoid using heat therapy if it makes your symptoms worse or causes any skin irritation.
Massage therapy has been shown to be effective in reducing tension headaches, muscle spasms, and overall anxiety levels in people with fibromyalgia. It also helps improve circulation throughout the body by increasing oxygen flow to the affected areas. In addition to massage therapy at home, consider visiting a massage therapist who specializes in treating people with chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia Treatment Through Acupuncture Therapy:
According to a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, acupuncture may be effective for reducing muscle tension and relieving pain in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome. The review included 12 studies that evaluated the effects of acupuncture on symptoms of fibromyalgia. The researchers found that acupuncture significantly reduced muscle tension as well as improved pain, fatigue, and quality of life in fibromyalgia patients compared with control groups. Furthermore, this effect was maintained at least 6 months after treatment. Overall, the authors concluded that acupuncture may be an effective intervention for improving various symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.
Stress Management Techniques:
Stress can worsen the symptoms of fibromyalgia so it's important to manage stress levels by engaging in relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises or guided imagery sessions when needed. Regularly practicing stress management techniques will help reduce overall stress levels over time and make it easier to cope with flare-ups when they occur.
Eating healthy foods rich in antioxidants is essential for keeping the body energized and helping manage inflammation associated with fibromyalgia flare-ups. Focus on eating fresh fruits and vegetables while avoiding processed foods high in sugar and fat which can exacerbate inflammation levels throughout the body further worsening symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Some herbal dietary supplements have been found effective at managing some of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia such as fatigue, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and headache pain without causing side effects associated with traditional medications used to treat these conditions.. Always consult a healthcare provider before taking any herbal supplement especially if you are taking any other medication or have any underlying medical condition that could be aggravated by taking them .
Living with Fibromyalgia (FMA) can be debilitating but there are ways to manage its symptoms naturally through lifestyle changes like dieting , exercise , stress management techniques , massage therapy , acupuncture , heat therapy , herbal supplements etc .
These natural remedies help reduce discomfort associated with FMA while allowing one’s body time heal . It is always best practice however, to consult a healthcare professional before implementing any of these treatments into regular routine .
By doing so, one will ensure their safety while attempting to reduce their FMA related pains . Additionally, combining natural remedies along with traditional medications prescribed by doctor might prove more beneficial than either alone.