“Chronic pain is no joke. It’s a cyclone of anxiety, depression, PTSD, trauma, panic disorder, all of which sends the nervous system into overdrive resulting in severe nerve pain. People need to become more compassionate.” cited Pop star Lady Gaga in one of her Netflix documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two episodes.
Grammy award winner, Lady Gaga might seem healthy now and show-ready always, but intermittently deals with global and mental pain, after she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia several years ago. Her 2017 Netflix documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two will take you to her backstage life as she suffers from body spasms.
Fibromyalgia is a misdiagnosed musculoskeletal pain and fatigue condition that has trapped 2-4% of the population, mostly females. This article comprises of 12 basic questions that fibromyalgia patients frequently ask us when they visit our clinic.
Scroll down to know more about the symptoms and fibromyalgia medication treatment through below FAQs:
Q.1) How does it feel?
Fibromyalgia patients experience severe pain to the soft fibrous tissues, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Full-body spasms are normal and you feel like your muscles have overworked or being pulled, sometimes it may twitch at the next moment it may burn. 75% of women are afflicted as compared to 25% of men.
Q.2) What are the causes of fibromyalgia?
Unfortunately, the cause is not known, but there may be some triggering events showing towards its onset. For example bacterial or viral infections, physical trauma due to accidents, development of disorders like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. These events don’t cause fibromyalgia but may provoke an underlying psychological abnormality.
Read: 6 Unusual Symptoms of Fibromyalgia to know more.
To name a few abnormalities:
- sleep disturbances
- immune system dysfunction
- myofascial trigger points
- hormonal irregularities
- response to stress and exercise
- brain malfunction, etc.
Q.3) It’s hard to get things done with sudden body spasms and chronic pain. What should I do?
The key to overcoming this situation is moderation. In such conditions, you may feel both good and bad sometimes. Assess yourself every morning. If you did not sleep well the other day, then work less.
In other cases, if your pain is tolerable and you slept well, then plan your work accordingly. Refrain from overdoing it! Be flexible and understand your body signals. Feel a slight flare or uneasiness? Stop right there and take a break.
Q.4) My doctor has asked me to do exercises, but how do I do that when I am already tired?
The best part is to remain active. During such times, moving is the last thing on your mind but your doctor will always recommend you move to feel better and energized. Start with some gentle exercises like low-impact aerobics, yoga, or tai chi to ease the pain and de-stress your body. Fibromyalgia treatment includes walking, stretching, or swimming for a few minutes. If you feel better, then try increasing your duration.
Q.5) Is it advisable to massage to reduce the intense chronic pain?
Massage can help in relieving fibromyalgia pain. It eases sore muscle and joint pain, reduces pain, depression, anxiety and improves range of motion. A therapeutic massage before sleep will give you a refreshed and painless morning. Regular massage will keep you rejuvenated. Try to massage at home using a metal or tennis ball.
Q.6) Can acupuncture help to lessen my fibromyalgia pain?
Acupuncture can reduce pain and stiffness and improve global well-being, sleep and fatigue as stated in research by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). The study reviews the following:
- Acupuncture with electrical stimulation is better than needling alone.
- It stimulates the effect of drugs and exercise on pain.
- It is a safe method to treat with exercise and medication.
The effect of electrical acupuncture is more than manual acupuncture. The effect will last up to one month. To get better results, consult our trained practitioner, and there are fewer risks associated with acupuncture.
Q.7) Is there any solution for muscle pain and stiffness?
Moist heat can help to get rid of soreness, stiffness, exhaustion by improving blood circulation in the body. Take a shower or bath and apply a warm washcloth to the required areas. The deep muscle pains can be reduced by applying cold packs. If you don’t have ice packs, then wrap some frozen vegetables in a towel and place it to the painful areas.
You can even try the floatation REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique) therapy. This involves a person lying down in a sensory deprivation tank comprising of heated salt-saturated water. The container is closed to block light and sounds for about an hour. It helps to reduce pain, muscle tension, stress, anxiety in a short period without much effort by the patient. Read this to know more!
Q.8) How to get plenty of sleep?
Deep sleep is the best alternative to manage fibromyalgia, as, during this time, the restorative process starts. Fibromyalgia gives painful nights due to body spasms, restless legs syndrome, and likewise. Practice a sleep regime by avoiding naps planning a schedule to go to bed, and waking up each morning. A bedtime routine like a warm bath, massage, or reading a book can help in bringing sleep.
Keep your room dark and cool with ambient lighting, and stop using your phone, laptop two hours before you sleep. Also, stay away from distractions like TV.
Q.9) Fibromyalgia pains are exhausting sometimes; I had to cancel going to an event at the last minute. How to overcome these symptoms?
There is no such solution for this; all you can do is to accept your situation. There may be events, parties, or important occasions which might require your presence. So, you need to relax before such events so that your body does not get tired during the event. Also, if the pain persists, you need to avoid stressing your body so much and get as much rest as you can.
Q.10) Can supplements be an answer to treat pain and bring sleep?
Preliminary studies explain that medicinal herbs like ginseng and natural supplements may help to treat symptoms of fibromyalgia while some studies think they are less positive. These complementary health approaches can have some side effects when combined with other drugs. Thus, seek your doctor’s advice. If your doctor approves, then consider these!
Q.11) Will my condition get worse with time?
Fibromyalgia is not progressive but in some cases, it can get worse. The good news is that there are chances of improvement.
A 2018 study published in the medical journal Clinical Rheumatology comprising of 28 people with primary fibromyalgia, stated that 11% reported complete healing while a quarter of them experienced at least one symptom-free period lasting for a year.
Some patients will likely respond to fibromyalgia treatments. As people age, other medical conditions can accelerate fibromyalgia. Looking at the brighter side, concentrate more on getting good sleep, healthy diet, lifestyle changes, and a holistic approach.
Q.12) How to release stress?
Stress is one of the causes that trigger fibromyalgia symptoms. Too much stress will result in a lack of sleep, anxiety, fatigue, and depression. Enroll in some activities like listening to music, reading a book, painting classes, relaxation therapy, meditation, deep-breathing exercises, mingle around with friends, watch movies, and so on.
According to a study published in BMC Rheumatology states that reduced stress levels, high pain intensity at baseline, predicts an increased likelihood of significantly improved pain after 10-12 years among fibromyalgia patients.
De-stress yourself by being active and utilizing time learning or discovering things. An empty mind is home to negative thoughts.
Refuel yourself with a bowl full of fruits and vegetables that may provide you with sufficient antioxidants that protect your muscles and tissues. Fibromyalgia is synonymous with irritable bowel syndrome and acid reflux, avoid eating foods that have free radicals, preservatives, and chemicals.
Kennedy Health Pain Relief & Wellness Center offers the best services to treat chronic pain with state-of-the-art medical and rehabilitative therapies that are a painless alternative to surgical procedures and perpetual drug therapy. We are experts in fibromyalgia medication treatment and aim to relieve you from this chronic condition through traditional pain management. Book your appointment now!