By Gen Wright
Symptoms are also commonly referred to as flare ups, as the symptoms do come and go. When the condition persists, fibromyalgia is known as chronic – it just keeps coming back on a recurring basis. This article is about some of the more common symptoms and how one should go about treating these painful conditions.
1) Painful trigger and tender points. Patients often complain of pain on a localized area. For trigger points, the pain is very specific. You may even feel some knots on the specified point. Tender points are a little different. There are no knots found, and the pain can spread to other parts of the body, especially when pressure is applied. When left untreated, such pain can be so severe that it affects the daily functioning of the individual. For instance, a tender point at the back may spread pain to the back of the neck, making it painful to sit for long hours in front of the computer.
2) Low energy level. Fibromyalgia patients often complain of low energy levels. Note that there are many causes of this condition and in some cases, patients may be having oxidation issues. In other words, something is wrong with the body’s ability to produce energy. This is known as an oxidative disorder. When a person has low energy level, all aspects of life are implicated. The overall quality of life drops. The individual simply doesn’t have any energy left to do anything else besides performing some very basic tasks for daily survival. There is less time for work, less time for social activities and certainly less time for the entire family. Family members sometimes find it frustrating when they cannot understand the condition.
3) Muscle cramps and spasms. The muscles have lost its ability to function at an optimal level. So any intense form of physical activities will cause muscles to go into spasms. And when this happens, due to poor muscle tissue functions, the tissue cannot relax and the spasms continue to cause pain for the individual. Muscle spasms may even occur at night, affecting sleep and worsening the condition.
4) Lack of sleep. When the individual experiences pain, he or she will find it hard to get good quality sleep. Sleep is divided into 4 stages, and it is the 4th stage (the deepest stage) when regeneration really happens. Without high quality sleep, the body is robbed of restorative functions. The individual wakes up still feeling very tired. Without proper sleep, the individual cannot recover from fibromyalgia and this becomes a vicious cycle.
So how to go about treating these symptoms?
First of all, be reminded that fibromyalgia is not a disease. It is a set of symptoms and can certainly be treated. The only downside is that the causes of this condition is different from different people. That means you must be prepared to spend time investigating the root causes of the condition.
For some people, the cause may be more straight forward – like a pre-existing injury. For others, the investigations may drag on for years and may be harder to find. Even then, don’t give up seeking treatment for the condition. Nobody has to live in pain. Here are some suggestions to alleviate pain.
1) Massage certainly helps to alleviate pain experienced in trigger and/or tender points. Physio therapy can certainly help. A visit to a local massage parlor may help too. The key to success is not to aggravate the points but to gently release the muscle tissues and encourage blood circulation.
2) Creatine and dietary supplements may help increase the level of energy. Of course, be sure to consult your doctor on the type of supplements to consume. Track your progress and if you find that you are benefiting from certain supplements, ask your doctor for more.
3) Low to moderate exercise can improve muscle functioning and help with muscle spasms. Bananas are well known to improve muscle functioning. If you avoid all physical exercise because of pain, muscles go into atrophy and functions will be further impaired. Consuming celery and lettuce can help reduce pain.
4) If you have trouble sleeping, try meditating every evening before bed time. Do not engage in activities that may over stimulate your senses. Try something relaxing like listening to music or reading a book. Drinking a cup of chamomile tea mixed with Manuka honey may also help you to sleep better.