Treating Fibromyalgia

Treating Fibromyalgia

Don’t worry, you’ve got this!

There are many options for treating fibromyalgia. It’s important to remember that treatment for fibromyalgia will try to ease some of your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life, but there’s currently no cure.

First Steps

Your GP can help you decide what’s best for you, depending on what you prefer and the available treatments. In some cases, several different healthcare professionals may also be involved, such as a:

  • Rheumatologist – a specialist in conditions that affect muscles and joints
  • Neurologist – a specialist in conditions of the central nervous system
  • Psychologist – a specialist in mental health and psychological treatments

Fibromyalgia has many symptoms, meaning that no single treatment will work for all of them. Treatments that work for some people won’t always work for others. You may need to try a variety of treatments to find a combination that suits you and your condition. This normally will be a combination of medication and lifestyle changes.

Treatment Options:

  • Medication
    There are many different types of medication that are available to treat fibromyalgia. Your G.P. will know the best to prescribe to you. This may be pain killers, anti-depressants, muscle relaxants, anti-convulsant or anti-psychotic tablets.
  • Low Impact Exercise
    Swimming, sitting or exercising in a heated pool or warm water (known as hydrotherapy) or following an individually tailored gentle exercise programme could help ease symptoms.
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) 
    A talking therapy that aims to change the way you think about things, so you can tackle problems more positively. This will also help with the effects of depression that may accompany your fibromyalgia.
  • Relaxation techniques
    Meditation and mindfulness can help relax you and provide great self-care for when dealing with flare ups.
  • Alternative Therapies
    Some people with fibromyalgia try complementary or alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, massage manipulation or aromatherapy 1.

Restless Leg Syndrome

Studies also show that people suffering from fibromyalgia are more likely to experience restless legs syndrome. This disorder causes the urge to move your legs along with uncomfortable sensations and further impact on sleep for firbo sufferers. However, there is an effective treatment for restless legs syndrome which is likely to improve the quality of life for sufferers. 2

There isn’t one set treatment plan for every fibromyalgia sufferer. Contact your G.P. and follow the treatment plan given by your consultant.

Do you need support going through your treatment?

Many people find support groups helpful, knowing you are not alone in going through this condition can really help. Just by talking to someone who knows what you’re going though can make you feel better. Find out more about Fibromyalgia UK and how they can help you through the condition here.

 

Turn Up the Heat on Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes pain and muscle stiffness all over the body. This can make drifting off to sleep, and even getting comfortable, a challenge. A great way to relieve the pain and stiffness from your muscles and...

Sleep and Fibromyalgia

Sleep and fibromyalgia don't go well together. Sleep disturbances are very common for sufferers of the condition. While they may not have difficulty falling asleep, their sleep is likely to be light and easily disturbed so, when they wake up, they feel exhausted or...

Treating Fibromyalgia

Don't worry, you've got this! There are many options for treating fibromyalgia. It's important to remember that treatment for fibromyalgia will try to ease some of your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life, but there's currently no cure. First Steps Your...

Signs you have Fibromyalgia

What are the signs and symptoms of Fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia has many symptoms that tend to vary from person to person. The main symptom is a widespread pain throughout the body. There may be periods when your symptoms will vary maybe getting worse and then getting...

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

When your body is in pain, your brain’s the first to know it. Nerve signals travel from the painful spot on your body through your spinal cord to your brain, which interprets these signals as pain. This is a warning sign that something’s wrong. As you heal,...

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia, also known as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term health condition that causes widespread muscle and joint pain, as well as other symptoms. What is fibromyalgia? You may have heard of it before, but just what is Fibromyalgia? It is the most...
Signs you have Fibromyalgia

Signs you have Fibromyalgia

What are the signs and symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia has many symptoms that tend to vary from person to person. The main symptom is a widespread pain throughout the body.

There may be periods when your symptoms will vary maybe getting worse and then getting better. This can depend on factors such as:

  • Stress
  • Changes in the weather
  • Physical activity

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

  • Widespread Pain
    One of the main symptoms for fibromyalgia is likely to be a widespread pain. This may be felt throughout your body but could be worse in particular areas, such as your back or neck. The pain can feel like an ache, a sharp stabbing pain or a burning sensation.
  • Extreme Sensitivity
    Fibromyalgia can make you extremely sensitive to pain, and you may find that even being touched is painful. If you hurt yourself, the pain may continue for much longer than it normally would. You may also be sensitive to things such as smoke, certain foods and bright lights.
  • Stiffness
    Fibromyalgia can make you feel stiff. The stiffness may be most severe when you’ve been in the same position for a long period of time, meaning symptoms can be often worse in the morning. It can also cause your muscles to spasm, which is when they contract (squeeze) tightly and painfully.
  • Fatigue
    Fibromyalgia can cause fatigue. This can range from a mild, tired feeling to severe exhaustion. Fatigue may come on suddenly and can drain you of all your energy. 
  • Poor Sleep
    You may wake up feeling tired, even when you’ve had a good night’s rest. This is because Fibromyalgia can sometimes stop you from sleeping deeply enough to refresh yourself properly. This is often described as “non-restorative sleep.”
  • Cognitive Problems (Fibro-Fog)
    Cognitive problems are issues related to thinking and learning. If you have fibromyalgia, you may have trouble remembering and learning new things, problems with attention and concentration.
  • Headaches
    Due to the stiffness in your back and neck, you may also have frequent headaches. These can vary from mild to severe migraines.

Other symptoms:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Dizziness and clumsiness
  • Feeling too hot or too cold – this is because you’re not able to regulate your body temperature properly
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Tingling, numbness, prickling or burning sensations in your hands and feet
  • In women, unusually painful periods
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

If you are suffering from these symptoms it is important that you contact your GP for proper diagnosis and medical advice1.

Find out more about fibromyalgia here.

Turn Up the Heat on Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes pain and muscle stiffness all over the body. This can make drifting off to sleep, and even getting comfortable, a challenge. A great way to relieve the pain and stiffness from your muscles and...

Sleep and Fibromyalgia

Sleep and fibromyalgia don't go well together. Sleep disturbances are very common for sufferers of the condition. While they may not have difficulty falling asleep, their sleep is likely to be light and easily disturbed so, when they wake up, they feel exhausted or...

Treating Fibromyalgia

Don't worry, you've got this! There are many options for treating fibromyalgia. It's important to remember that treatment for fibromyalgia will try to ease some of your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life, but there's currently no cure. First Steps Your...

Signs you have Fibromyalgia

What are the signs and symptoms of Fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia has many symptoms that tend to vary from person to person. The main symptom is a widespread pain throughout the body. There may be periods when your symptoms will vary maybe getting worse and then getting...

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

When your body is in pain, your brain’s the first to know it. Nerve signals travel from the painful spot on your body through your spinal cord to your brain, which interprets these signals as pain. This is a warning sign that something’s wrong. As you heal,...

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia, also known as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term health condition that causes widespread muscle and joint pain, as well as other symptoms. What is fibromyalgia? You may have heard of it before, but just what is Fibromyalgia? It is the most...
What Causes Fibromyalgia?

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

When your body is in pain, your brain’s the first to know it. Nerve signals travel from the painful spot on your body through your spinal cord to your brain, which interprets these signals as pain. This is a warning sign that something’s wrong. As you heal, the pain gets better, and in time it goes away. But if you have fibromyalgia, you experience this pain even without injury, this pain does not go away and has a lasting impact on your life.

Some doctors believe this is caused by the way your brain and spinal cord handle and interpret pain signals. When you have fibromyalgia you may have more cells that carry pain signals than normal. And you may have fewer cells that slow pain signals down. This means your pain volume is always turned up, like music blasting on a radio. The result is that minor bumps and bruises hurt more than they should. And you may feel pain from things that shouldn’t hurt at all.

Doctors aren’t sure why some people get fibromyalgia. There are many contributing factors that could cause your pain signals to be affected. Different people report different things that seemed to trigger their condition and you can even have more than one cause.

 

Causes:

  • Genetic factors
    Fibromyalgia tends to run in families. Your parents may pass on genes that make you more sensitive to pain. Other genes can also make you more likely to feel anxious or depressed, which makes pain worse.
  • Other conditions
    A painful disease like arthritis or an infection raises your chances of getting fibromyalgia.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    Experiencing traumatic events is also linked to developing fibromyalgia.
  • Gender
    The condition is much more prominent in women than in men. Doctors think this could be related to differences in the way men and women feel and react to pain, as well as how society expects them to respond to pain.
  • Anxiety and depression
    These and other mental health disorders seem to be linked to fibromyalgia, though there’s no proof that they actually cause the condition.
  • Lack of physical activity
    The condition is much more common in people who aren’t physically active. Low impact exercise is one of the best treatments for fibromyalgia to help control the condition and improves symptoms for some patients.

Turn Up the Heat on Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes pain and muscle stiffness all over the body. This can make drifting off to sleep, and even getting comfortable, a challenge. A great way to relieve the pain and stiffness from your muscles and...

Sleep and Fibromyalgia

Sleep and fibromyalgia don't go well together. Sleep disturbances are very common for sufferers of the condition. While they may not have difficulty falling asleep, their sleep is likely to be light and easily disturbed so, when they wake up, they feel exhausted or...

Treating Fibromyalgia

Don't worry, you've got this! There are many options for treating fibromyalgia. It's important to remember that treatment for fibromyalgia will try to ease some of your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life, but there's currently no cure. First Steps Your...

Signs you have Fibromyalgia

What are the signs and symptoms of Fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia has many symptoms that tend to vary from person to person. The main symptom is a widespread pain throughout the body. There may be periods when your symptoms will vary maybe getting worse and then getting...

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

When your body is in pain, your brain’s the first to know it. Nerve signals travel from the painful spot on your body through your spinal cord to your brain, which interprets these signals as pain. This is a warning sign that something’s wrong. As you heal,...

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia, also known as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term health condition that causes widespread muscle and joint pain, as well as other symptoms. What is fibromyalgia? You may have heard of it before, but just what is Fibromyalgia? It is the most...
What is Fibromyalgia?

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia, also known as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term health condition that causes widespread muscle and joint pain, as well as other symptoms.

What is fibromyalgia?

You may have heard of it before, but just what is Fibromyalgia? It is the most common musculoskeletal condition after osteoarthritis and more common in women aged 25-60 1.

Sufferers of fibromyalgia often have specific trigger points on their body which are very painful to touch. Even without taking part in any activity or movement, muscles may feel overworked and sore. Some patients experience severe pain around the joints in the neck, back, shoulders, and hips. This makes it very difficult to sleep and causes extreme fatigue.

In the past, fibromyalgia was often confused with degenerative joint disease or muscular rheumatism. But fibromyalgia isn’t linked with inflammatory or degenerative arthritis despite the symptoms being similar.

It is important for people with fibromyalgia to have a regular sleep pattern. While we sleep our body rejuvenates, sleep disturbance can make the pain worse. While the condition does not cause any long-term damage to the body, it is important to keep active to avoid weakening the muscles. It is common for symptoms to come and go, be more severe, or even to remission only to reappear later and often there is no known reason or trigger for this.

The chronic pain of fibromyalgia means sufferers often become inactive and miss out on social gatherings because of the pain. This can cause a person to become withdrawn and isolated which can even lead to depression.

Do you think you have fibromyalgia?

Find out more about Fibromyalgia here and learn about how to get support from Fibromyalgia U.K.

 

Turn Up the Heat on Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes pain and muscle stiffness all over the body. This can make drifting off to sleep, and even getting comfortable, a challenge. A great way to relieve the pain and stiffness from your muscles and...

Sleep and Fibromyalgia

Sleep and fibromyalgia don't go well together. Sleep disturbances are very common for sufferers of the condition. While they may not have difficulty falling asleep, their sleep is likely to be light and easily disturbed so, when they wake up, they feel exhausted or...

Treating Fibromyalgia

Don't worry, you've got this! There are many options for treating fibromyalgia. It's important to remember that treatment for fibromyalgia will try to ease some of your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life, but there's currently no cure. First Steps Your...

Signs you have Fibromyalgia

What are the signs and symptoms of Fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia has many symptoms that tend to vary from person to person. The main symptom is a widespread pain throughout the body. There may be periods when your symptoms will vary maybe getting worse and then getting...

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

When your body is in pain, your brain’s the first to know it. Nerve signals travel from the painful spot on your body through your spinal cord to your brain, which interprets these signals as pain. This is a warning sign that something’s wrong. As you heal,...

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia, also known as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term health condition that causes widespread muscle and joint pain, as well as other symptoms. What is fibromyalgia? You may have heard of it before, but just what is Fibromyalgia? It is the most...
An Introduction Into Circadian Rhythm

An Introduction Into Circadian Rhythm

Have you ever noticed that you tend to feel energised and drowsy around the same times every day?

 This is caused by your circadian rhythm, but just what is it?

 

What is a Circadian Rhythm?

Your circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain. It cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It’s also known as your sleep/wake cycle.

For many, the biggest dip in energy happens in the middle of the night. This usually happens somewhere between 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m., when you’re usually fast asleep. Another time this can happen is just after lunchtime (around 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., when you tend to crave an afternoon siesta). These times can be different if you’re naturally a night owl or a morning person. You also won’t feel the dips and rises of your circadian rhythm as strongly if you’re all caught up on sleep. It’s when you’re sleep-deprived that you’ll notice bigger swings of sleepiness and alertness

.

 

 

What affects my Circadian Rhythm?

A part of your brain called the hypothalamus controls your circadian rhythm. But other factors, like lightness and darkness, can also effect it.

When it’s dark at night, your eyes send a signal to the hypothalamus that it’s time to feel tired. Your brain, in turn, sends a signal to your body to release melatonin, which makes your body tired. That’s why your circadian rhythm coincides with the cycle of day and night and why it’s so hard for night shift workers to sleep during the day and stay awake at night.

What Could Help Keep My Circadian Rhythm Regular?

Your circadian rhythm works best when you have regular sleep habits. When things get in the way, like jet lag, daylight savings time, or a get together that keeps you up into the wee hours of the morning, you can disrupt your circadian rhythm. This is why you can feel out of sorts and as if it’s harder to pay attention.

If you find it particularly difficult to rise in the morning, there are helpful products, such as the Lumie Bodyclock that simulate a sunrise to gently wake you from your sleep.

Maybe you are having trouble getting to sleep or want to keep an eye on your nightly sleep pattern. The Beurer SleepExpert Sleep Sensor monitors your sleeping habits, which allows you to identify sleep patterns and take informed measures to tackle them.

Your circadian rhythm will likely change as you get older, and you may not have the same sleep/wake cycle as your partner, child or parents. But the more you pay attention to your body and notice feelings of alertness and drowsiness, and the more time you spend developing good sleeping habits, the better your sleep will be and the more rested you’ll feel.

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