Fibromyalgia is a condition that many patients describe as a chronic, dull ache that is persistent all day long. People who have been diagnosed with it have associated fatigue, trouble with sleep patterns, numbness and tingling, and diffuse muscle pain. The theory is that people with fibromyalgia have heightened sensation of pain. Where a normal touch is perceived as mild to moderately painful. These tender areas are not just in one area such as the neck or back but diffuse throughout the body. People, at times, have categorized it like feeling like the flu. This widespread pain can range from mild to debilitating.
There are many treatment options for people with fibromyalgia. First, medications are beneficial and allow people to help manage their pain. These medications are varied and include muscle relaxers, neuromodulators, antidepressants, Low dose Naltrexone and NSAIDS. Opioid medications are not seen as a treatment choice.
Other treatment alternatives to help with this chronic pain include yoga, acupuncture, massage therapy, trigger point injections, and physical therapy. Many people try to avoid these therapies as these require them to use the muscles they perceive as painful. However, numerous studies show that exercise is the most important intervention to help with fibromyalgia.
Exercise helps patients gain strength, improve motion and foster better feeling of long-term health. People should start slow with stretching exercises and gradually increase to walking, water aerobics and even biking. Doing this a few minutes each day can turn into 30 minutes several times per week with the right plan. This will help with spasm, flexibility and endurance. Being active may initially increase the pain level these people experience but in the long term it will be beneficial and reduce pain levels.
The old saying of “no pain, no gain” is true for people with fibromyalgia but the rewards of putting in the work will lead to a better sense of well-being and improved pain scores. Making time for exercise throughout each week is essential for fibromyalgia treatment.