Work has been hectic and life at home is no easier. You’re burning the midnight oil at both ends. Obviously, in such a scenario it is normal for one to feel stressed, exhausted and irritable.
But then work calms down. You’ve met your deadlines and your boss is happy. Life at home is also more relaxed ever since your new maid joined. Yet you’re still feeling exhausted. You are unable to sleep and your body hurts.
So what’s going on here? We at Spinalogy Clinic, Pune take you through Fibromyalgia and its treatment options
What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain across the body along with other symptoms such as fatigue, lack of concentration, memory problems (fibro-fog) and headaches.
It doesn’t however cause any damage to the areas where pain is felt. It is a neurological problem which affects the way pain signals are processed by the brain.
Why Is It Difficult to Diagnose?
Fibromyalgia is often either under-diagnosed or misdiagnosed. There are a number of reasons for this. To begin with, the exact cause of the disease is unclear.
In some cases mentally and physically traumatic events such as the death of a loved one, or being in an accident may trigger it. While in other cases patients may not have been through any such impactful event. It doesn’t help that the symptoms are chronic but keep coming and going.
The symptoms of fibromyalgia are also very similar to a host of other diseases. Widespread pain and constant fatigue for example is what patients with Arthritis experience, before the physical damage is evident. Therefore, what may have been diagnosed as fibromyalgia at first may actually turn out to be arthritis later.
There are many more diseases that appear similar to fibromyalgia. Ideally, a medical practitioner should try and rule out all other possible conditions before presenting a diagnosis. They should also try and pin-point the source of pain.
How Is Fibromyalgia Treated?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for fibromyalgia, however there are multiple ways to treat it and manage the pain. In fact there are so many methods that surgery is often not required, but we still have doctors who make the mistake of recommending surgery unnecessarily.
At Spinalogy Clinic, Pune we prefer to use a more conservative approach. This usually involves a combination of physical therapies and medication. Each individual needs to work with their doctor to find a treatment plan that their body reacts to the best. There is no ‘one-size fits all’ treatment plan.
A fibromyalgia patient is sensitive to touch. Therefore physical therapies begin with passive treatments, moving to active treatments only when a patient feels ready.
Deep Tissue Massage:
This is a passive treatment that involves a specific kind of massage, designed to increase the body’s natural production of natural painkillers.
Heat stimulates the body’s natural healing processes. This therapy can be done with either dry heat (e.g. -a heating pad or a dry, hot towel) or moist heat (e.g. -steam or a moist, warm cloth).
The relaxation one feels when sitting in a jacuzzi, pool or tub is what this therapy aims to achieve.
Using ultrasound waves, blood circulation within the body is gradually increased, leading to a reduction in muscle spasms and inflammation. Active physical treatments focus on movement and stability.
The ‘core’ refers to the abdomen. With your core strong, the back becomes stronger as well, making the body better equipped to tackle fibromyalgia.
Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine can be are extremely beneficial. Not only does it help strengthen the body, it also helps with flexibility (as fibromyalgia makes the muscles stiff).
Aerobic exercises, yoga, impact exercises and hydrotherapy are recommended.
The medication used to treat fibromyalgia can range from simple pain-killers to anti-depressants, anticonvulsants (anti-seizure) and anti-psychotics. Usually opioid narcotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are not recommended.
However, they do help treat some pain triggers. Therefore they are usually prescribed for short-term use, if at all required.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapies (CBT):
This therapy uses mindfulness to help understand how thoughts and behaviors affect the symptoms of fibromyalgia. It trains patient to develop coping mechanisms for the long run and helps them stay as calm and stress-free as possible.
Though not everyone is accepting of this age-old science, it does seem to help some patients. The method involves inserting extremely fine needles at strategic points on the body. However, only a trained acupuncturist can do this.
Spinalogy clinic, Pune has a multidisciplinary treatment plan for Fibromyalgia which has consistently provided good results and patient satisfaction. If you are suffering from body pains, get yourself evaluated at Spinalogy clinic.