ABOUT FIBROMYALGIA

What is fibromyalgia?

 

Fibromyalgia is a serious condition that effects the whole body causing widespread pain. It can make all the muscles in the body ache and feel very tired, for instance it can make you feel like you have done more work than you actually have. Some of the symptoms most fibromyalgia suffers have are (and there are a lot)

  • Severe Headaches

  • Widespread Pain

  • Fatigue

  • Brain Fog

  • Sensitivity to light and touch

  • Muscle weakness

  • Lack of concentration

  • Muscle aches

  • Stiffness of the muscles and joints

  • Insomnia

  • Whilst others over sleep

  • Sensitivity

  • Depression

  • Muscle twitching

  • Bowel problems also known as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)

  • menstrual period pain

  • Tingling in your hands and feet.

What causes fibromyalgia?

The main cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, some Healthcare Professionals believe it is related to abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the brain. Other studies have found that, Substance P is a pain neurotransmitter that has been found to be elevated within the spinal fluid of fibromyalgia patients. Two hormones that have been shown to be abnormal are cortisol and the growth hormone. The body's response to exercise, stress and simple alterations in position are also being evaluated to determine if the nervous system is not working properly.

In many cases, the condition appears to be triggered by a physically or an emotionally stressful event, such as:

  • an injury or infection

  • giving birth

  • having an operation

  • A Fall or car crash

  • the breakdown of a relationship 

  • the death of a loved one

  • Certain Diseases

Who can be affected?

 

Anyone can develop fibromyalgia, although it affects around seven times as many women as men. The condition typically develops between the ages of 30 and 50, but can occur in people of any age, including children and the elderly.

It's not clear exactly how many people are affected by fibromyalgia, although research is suggesting it could be a relatively common condition. Some people with the following conditions have been linked to Fibromyalgia:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (also known as lupus)

  • Ankylosing spondylitis (spinal arthritis).

How can fibromyalgia be treated?

Treatments tend to be:

  • medication – such as painkillers, sleeping tablets and in some cases antidepressants.

  • talking therapies – such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and counselling

  • lifestyle changes – such as exercise programs and relaxation techniques

  • Acupuncture – complementary medicine in which fine needles are inserted into the skin at specific points considered to be lines of energy.

  • Massage - to relieve pain and aching muscles.

  • CBD oil - relatively new to the UK, CBD oil, creams and vapes are proving to be very helpful. 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise in particular has been found to have a number of important benefits for people with fibromyalgia, including helping to reduce pain and stiffness. Exercise also releases ‘Happy’ endorphins that can help your mood. Some Fibromyalgia sufferers benefit from a restorative yoga practice to ease chronic pain and lengthen muscles. Moving about in a warm pool -- swimming, walking, floating, or stretching-- is also very helpful.

Here are some other suggestions that may help you feel better, including:

  • Getting enough sleep (this is very important, although not always achievable)

  • Exercising (but only light exercise, nothing that hurts) 

  • Gentle yoga

  • Swimming

  • walking

  • Eating well

  • Making work changes if necessary