Pain, you make me a believer… The song was running in the background as I am sitting down to write this post. We have come across various types of pain. The one that can be expressed through tears of emotions, the physical pain that is visible on the body as marks and bruises, the medical pain that can be confirmed via tests, the undecipherable pain that can be proven by the little one that comes out of you… The list goes on. However, the kind of pain that cannot be expressed in words, that would not leave any bruises, that cannot be confirmed by any tests. How about that? After eons of research, a name was given to this invisible trauma – Fibromyalgia. While we are discussing the latest treatment for fibromyalgia, it is imperative to spread awareness about the major challenges.
Due to the lack of awareness, men and women who are suffering from pain are judged as lazy. While we had a discussion about the judgments in our Fibromyalgia Support forum, the most common comments were you are imagining the pain, you find it convenient to do nothing, and you are lazy. There are no conclusive tests or scans to confirm the condition. Doctors depend on the symptoms and fibromyalgia pain areas to diagnose it. Ironically, still, a small section of doctors refuse to acknowledge that a condition like this still exists.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
For the longest time, Fibromyalgia was misunderstood as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome because chronic fatigue was one of the significant signs. In simple terms, it is chronic muscular pain and fatigue. Anyone irrespective of gender, age, and demography can have fibromyalgia
1. Muscle pain
The most common symptom of fibromyalgia is muscle pain. There are some specific points of origin for the pain. These are called tender points. Some physicians diagnose fibromyalgia based on the tender points. Mainly there are 18 tender points and if you have pain in at least 11 of them, the physician would diagnose you with fibromyalgia. Some are situated near the joints and hence the pain would be misunderstood as joint pain. If the tests for common conditions like arthritis are ruled out, the doctors would proceed to consider further pain areas and symptoms. The tender points are symmetrically located around the head, neck, shoulder, knees, and hips. There would be a stabbing pain at the point when pressed.
The main tender points are the following.
- Back of the shoulders
- Back of the neck
- Hip bone
- Above the buttock
- The base of the skull
- The point above the elbow and knee
- Lower neck in the front
- Edge of upper breast
Lately, physicians have reached a conclusion that even if the patient doesn’t have sensitivity in all the tender points, they can be diagnosed with fibromyalgia provided they have associated conditions like cognitive issues (brain fog), fatigue, loss of memory, etc.
Another common symptom of fibromyalgia is chronic fatigue. Quite often patients with fibromyalgia are misdiagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome because they are always tired. None of the blood tests, scanning, etc would give any conclusive results. Because of this, the patient will be diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, and other symptoms are often ignored. Along with fatigue, if other symptoms are prominent, this can be considered as fibromyalgia.
3. Sleep disorders
The sleep cycle of a fibromyalgia patient would be obstructed due to pain as well as the stress they are going through. The patient might find it difficult to sleep in the night leaving them sleepy through the day. In some cases, the patient would feel tired despite sleeping for hours. They will be sleepy all the time and hence tagged as lazy. The symptoms are similar to that of a condition called narcolepsy. Or we can say that someone with fibromyalgia could also have narcolepsy.
3. Cognitive issues
Fibrofog is a condition that helps a doctor in a conclusive diagnosis of fibromyalgia. The majority of patients would have the condition. This is a condition when the patient suffers from brain and memory issues. The patient would have memory issues, inability to concentrate, and difficulty in engaging in a conversation and storing the information in the brain. If we look at the larger picture, anyone suffering from chronic pain and inability to sleep would suffer from cognitive issues. Hence this could be considered a secondary effect of the condition.
4. Irritable bowel syndrome
Patients with fibromyalgia often face difficulty in digestion. Irritable bowel is another irritating and troublesome symptom of the condition.
5. Anxiety, depression
While you are dealing with so much pain, you might end up being anxious or depressed. On the other hand, fibromyalgia can occur due to stress as well. Hence it is imperative to have a check on your mental health because in more cases than not, mental stress is directly related to the onset of fibromyalgia.
Causes of Fibromyalgia
Scientists have not been able to find solid evidence of the reasons behind the result of this condition. However, the most common reasons believed to cause fibromyalgia are
- Genetics – This condition runs in families. If you have a family history, you may very well be prepared for the condition.
- Infections – Some infections and illnesses are believed to trigger the condition
- Physical and emotional impact – Some accidents, physical injuries, etc can trigger the condition. The most common trigger of fibromyalgia is psychological and emotional stress.
Latest Treatment For Fibromyalgia – Fibromyalgia Cure Found
When I say ‘fibromyalgia cure found’, I am not sure cure is the right word because it is indeed the latest treatment for fibromyalgia without any medication. However, you need to maintain consistency to live a life without pain. I have been there and I have suffered the worst judgments. But the pain and perseverance were worth it as I am leading a pain-free life now. Earlier antidepressants and analgesics (pain killers) were the only treatment for fibromyalgia. But now with time and experience and the inadvertent connection of the condition to your stressful life, we have many alternative treatments. The latest treatment for fibromyalgia that I underwent, has helped me live without pain and medication.
1. Proper diet
Food is medicine. If you treat your food like one, there is no looking back because a proper diet to alleviates the symptoms of fibromyalgia. If you have no other medical condition, start following an intermittent fasting regime under expert guidance. Include whole grains, avocado, citrus fruits, natural sweeteners, green leafy vegetables, probiotics, and nuts in your diet. Make it a point to drink detox drinks to eliminate the toxins from your body. Find your Ayurvedic dosha and take the drinks appropriate for your doshas like Vata tea, Pitta tea, and Kapha tea.
If you are suffering from Fibromyalgia, you might find yourself frowning. Because the pain would be unbearable to just move a muscle, let alone follow an exercise regime. But trust me, I have been there and it is not impossible. The first day was torture but I preferred extended days without pain to unbearable pain for a week. On Day One I did a couple of Surya namaskars and basic yoga (I was a yoga trainer once, but still I couldn’t manage more than the basic). On Day two I lifted weights though it felt like the weights would pull me down but after five days, my body started responding to the movements and slowly the pain subsided.
As mentioned earlier, the most common cause of fibromyalgia is stress. On the first day of meditation, you would be distracted and wouldn’t be able to hold for more than five minutes. However, maintain consistency. Slowly you will connect with your inner self.
Due to the fibro fog, you would not be able to concentrate or do anything systematically. Being mindful and living in the moment is the best way to bring your brain back on track and clear the fog inside the head.
Write down the thoughts when you have the pain. Read them to identify the pattern of negative thoughts that come automatically to your mind. Rephrase it and see the positive side. Journaling is a powerful tool to know yourself because once you read what you have written, it serves as hypnotherapy. You will see yourself writing about feelings that you never realized existed.
Lavender essential oils and rosemary essential oils are helpful in relieving stress. Use them in diffusers, or in your body wash, shampoo, etc. Add a few drops to a bucket of water and take a shower using the water. You will emerge refreshed and rejuvenated. You can also apply peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil as well as clary sage oil at the tender points. Make sure to use a carrier oil like coconut oil, olive oil, etc.
7. Nature Therapy
Gelling with nature is one way to clear your mind and thus keep the pain at bay. Walk barefoot on sand or grass. Have indoor plants and talk to them. Spend at least 10 minutes a day with nature. Even looking at the sky and observing the clouds would suffice.
8. Breathing exercises
Practicing pranayama daily will clear your air passages and also calms your mind. It clarifies your entire system. There are many types of Pranayama and variations of the same based on breath retention techniques.
In addition to these, you can also try facial reflexology, massages, and more. Try these techniques and see what is the most effective for you. As an end note, I would recommend everyone to reduce their screen time, especially during the night. These are a few fibromyalgia cure found by me or curated by me so to speak. These have helped me come out of the never-ending pain. This is a collated list of the latest treatment for fibromyalgia. Follow these and lead a pain-free life with the latest treatment for fibromyalgia. We have a fibromyalgia support forum. You can contact me for guidance.
This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter