fibromyalgia

Symptoms

Fibromyalgia can cause a number of symptoms and not all symptoms apply to every patient.

Here is the list of the most dominant signs of fibromyalgia:

1. Widespread Pain.

Generalized pain is the most common symptom of fibromyalgia, but initial complaints are mostly axial low back pain and weakness. The symptom is usually described as deep muscular pain that radiates into the other areas of the body.

fibromyalgia

An estimated 25{b67a0f01f7b147b7e978da5adbadca47e09d0d78364efaa0732b6ae8d4f320dc} of patients with fibromyalgia complain of numbness and tingling of the arms and hands, which is not radicular in nature, but physical examinations do not reveal arthritic or inflammatory features and usually shows intact sensory and muscle strength.

2. Fatigue.

Most patients with fibromyalgia report easy fatigability to their physicians, describing it as reduced energy level or lack of stamina, especially after physical and mental exertion. There are instances where patients may feel like they have the energy but the fatigue comes back after a day or two. Although this symptom is common, not all fibromyalgia patients experience this symptom.

3. Sleep disorder.

Another symptom of fibromyalgia is not feeling refreshed upon awakening. Patients may be able to fall asleep but wake up feeling as fatigued and exhausted as they were the night before. This, too, is not a universal symptom but is fairly common.

4. Morning stiffness.

Stiffness is also one of the most common symptoms reported by fibromyalgia patients. It is particularly worse in the morning but usually improves during the day. Physical activities often exacerbate the stiffness.

Non-Medical Treatments

In an effort to improve the symptoms of fibromyalgia, a number of non-medical treatments have been used. Many patients with fibromyalgia respond positively to one or more these therapeutic modalities and there have been studies that can prove their effectiveness. My personal experience as a chiropractor is that fibromyalgia patients respond well to a combination of massage, manipulation, and hypnotherapy.

Below is a list of non-medical treatments that are commonly used in treating, or at least, alleviating fibromyalgia symptoms:

  1. Chiropractic therapy.
  2. Hypnotherapy.
  3. Massage.
  4. Acupuncture analgesia.
  5. Transcutaneous nerve stimulation (TENS).
  6. Tenderpoint injections.
  7. Cognitive behavioral therapy.
  8. Heat/Ice range-of-motion exercises.
  9. Laser therapy.
  10. Post-isometric relaxation.
  11. Interferential current stimulation.
  12. EMG-biofeedback therapy.

Aside from EMG-biofeedback, which has been studied and found to be effective in treating fibromyalgia, there is no definite proof that these treatments can completely help with the symptoms, but most patients prefer these as they do not include medications and thus, have lesser risks for side effects.

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