What is fibromyalgia? Medical experts cannot seem to agree on what causes the painful condition. Sufferers experience musculoskeletal pain, mood issues, fatigue, sleepiness, and memory lapses. Many theorize that the brain and spinal cords somehow increase the body’s perception of pain. The chronic condition impacts every area of the sufferer’s life and sends many scrambling to find fibromyalgia chronic pain relief.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Many people who develop fibromyalgia first start to show symptoms after a major life event such as an accident, trauma, infection, psychological stress, surgery, or infection. Frequently there is no underlying triggering event and the symptoms of the condition just appear to worsen over time.
Women seem more likely to suffer from fibromyalgia. In addition, many with chronic pain disorder also complain of tension headaches, anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
Sufferers all seem to experience the following:
- Widespread physical pain: The pain from fibromyalgia is like a dull ache that never goes away. It can persist for months and occurs on one side or both sides of the body. Some report the pain below their waist and others say that it only afflicts the upper extremities.
- Fatigue: Sufferers go to bed tired and wake up even more exhausted even if they sleep for long periods of time. It is believed that their sleep cycle is probably interrupted due to the chronic pain which leaves them feeling exhausted. Also, many with fibromyalgia also seem to experience sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. Exactly why they have a combination of disorders is unknown.
- Cognitive problems: Many have a hard time focusing or paying attention. Performing mental tasks is difficult, if not impossible. The mental fog and impacts their job performance making it difficult to hold employment.
Conditions That Occur Alongside Fibromyalgia
Conditions That Often Occur With Fibromyalgia
Many simply do not suffer only fibromyalgia. Instead, they have other chronic physical conditions such as:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome)
- Migraine (other types of headaches)
- Temporomandibular joint disorders
- Postural tachycardia syndrome
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia causes chronic pain.
Most researchers cannot wholeheartedly agree on what causes fibromyalgia. Some people believe that constant nerve stimulation might cause the brain or spinal cord to react with fibromyalgia pain. The pain might occur because of an increase in certain chemical levels in the brain that starts to signal the pain perception. Also, the brain’s pain receptors are believed to memorize pain and then they start to overreact to the pain signals.
When seeking fibromyalgia chronic pain relief, many struggle to understand why they are plagued by the discomfort. Since researchers are not sure about the exact cause of the conditions, there are a multitude of theories about what causes the condition and why some seem susceptible, but others are not.
- Genetics: Fibromyalgia appears to run in families so it is believed that certain genetic mutations might make a person more prone to developing the condition.
- Infections: An infection might trigger the disorder.
- Physical or emotional cause: Sometimes fibromyalgia occurs because of a physical event like an accident in an auto. Also, extensive psychological stress has an impact on who will develop the disorder and who will not.
Living with Fibromyalgia
Massage can help.
Sadly, there is no cure for fibromyalgia and until researchers determine the exact cause a solution remains far away. However, there are fibromyalgia chronic pain relief tips that you can undertake to battle the condition and find some relief. Things like relaxation, stress reduction, and exercise all appear to help a person better live with the uncomfortable condition and improve their quality of life.
Fibromyalgia Chronic Pain Relief
You do have options on how to gain relief from fibromyalgia. Remember, what works for one person might not work for another. Also, you might have to combine treatments to gain comfort.
Over-the-counter Pain Medications
Most people initially turn to over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and aspirin to cope with the pain. Naproxen appears to be a popular choice for many because it is long-lasting so effective at management. Often combining several types of OTCs work best for others because you can build up a tolerance to a singular medication.
If these medications are not effective then you might have to seek prescription pain medications but, remember, those are not without significant risk. You can quickly develop an addiction to narcotics, but many have unpleasant side effects. Also, there is always the danger of overdose with potent drugs. In time, users build up an immunity and end up taking more and more of the drugs to effectively deal with the discomfort.
Drugs for Fibromyalgia
Currently, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given approval to three drugs to treat fibromyalgia.
- Pregabalin (Lyrica) is believed to help calm the overactive nerves in the sufferer’s body
- Duloxetine (Cymbalta) alters the brain’s serotonin and norepinephrine levels to reduce pain signals.
- Milnacipran (Savella) acts in a similar fashion to Cymbalta to bring relief.
Users often report less pain, improved sleep, a better overall mood, and greater enjoyment in life because of taking the medications.
Chronic pain makes sleeping difficult, if not impossible for many. Sleep deprivation impacts the quality of life and can lead to depression. Physicians often prescribe sleep medications. However, some users look at holistic ways to relax such as using medical marijuana in states where it is legal. Also, many have turned to the legal herb kratom to assist in relaxation and sleep. Many kratom users report feeling more relaxed and able to fall asleep. In addition, they gain more restful slumber, so they wake up refreshed. Please remember, some strains of kratom are believed to ease pain, others help with sleep, and some act as a stimulant. Please check out our various strains of kratom HERE to learn more.
One way that suffers cope with the ongoing pain of fibromyalgia is to talk about the condition. It seems that perception can alter a person’s degree of pain. Often feeling stressed causes, the pain to feel far greater and less manageable. Learning to cope with the decreased mobility and the social stigma of having a chronic condition can help the sufferer feel better.
Either face-to-face therapy or online cognitive therapy can help not only come to terms with the pain but also ease depression. Learning relaxation techniques is another beneficial way to cope with the discomfort.
Exercise proves beneficial
It is easy to fall into a loop of living a sedentary lifestyle because of the non-stop pain which ends up only making the discomfort grow worse. You need to exercise when you have fibromyalgia to ease the pain. Maintaining a physically active lifestyle prevents muscle wasting and eases stiffness.
Currently, there is no specific exercise program that is touted as better for fibromyalgia than others, but consistency does matter. Performing the following in varying combinations several times a weak might offer some relief.
- Aerobic exercise
- Tai chi
Eating specific food that has a reputation for reducing inflammation might prove beneficial. Onions, raspberries, nuts, and fish are all great choices. Avoid salt or alcohol which have a reputation for increasing inflammation throughout the body.
One study was carried out in 2017 that indicated fibromyalgia might be impacted by a person’s metabolism. In the study, fibromyalgia symptoms occur when the body is not making enough serotonin. Serotonin occurs from the amino acid tryptophan which is extremely sensitive to high levels of sugar or fructose.
- Avoid sugar, bread products, and candy
- Cut out all monosodium glutamate (MSG) from the diet
- Stop using artificial sweeteners like aspartame which interrupts the serotonin found in the brain
- Steer clear of lactose (a protein in milk) which has an impact on serotonin
Prior to undergoing any diet changes, always talk with your doctor or a trained nutritionist so you can create a balanced diet that best meets your body’s unique needs. Restrictive diets can cause harm if you do not consume an adequate balance of carbohydrates and protein.
If you suspect that the food you eat is triggering your fibromyalgia response then try keeping a food diary that outlines the foods you ate, times, and symptoms. The diary can help you pinpoint if the diet is causing the chronic condition or making it worse.
Acupuncture can help
For centuries, individuals in the far east have turned to acupuncture to find relief from a variety of conditions. The process of acupuncture involves pricking the skin with very thin needles in key areas. It is believed that acupuncture promotes self-healing, helps alter blood flow, changes the brain’s neurotransmitters, and eases chronic pain.
Vitamin D Deficiency
People with FM often have low levels of vitamin D. Sometimes, taking a vitamin D supplement can ease the discomfort.
Fibromyalgia Chronic Pain Relief is tricky. Sometimes you must combine natural treatments with standard medical options. Kratom appears to ease pain in some sufferers, help with relaxation, and improve sleep quality. However, you should always discuss the use of the herb with your physician to determine if it will be a valuable addition to your treatment plan. We are here to answer your questions at My Kratom Club.