Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterised by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and cognitive difficulties. It is considered a central nervous system disorder, and its exact cause is unknown.
Fibromyalgia is a complex condition that can significantly impact a person's quality of life. Fortunately, Healand Clinic has a range of treatments that can help relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia. You can find a full overview of our pain treatments here.
Here's an overview of fibromyalgia:
The primary symptom of fibromyalgia is widespread pain that affects multiple areas of the body, including the muscles, joints, and soft tissues. The pain is often described as a deep ache, burning sensation, or throbbing.
People with fibromyalgia often experience persistent fatigue, even after getting adequate rest. Fatigue can be debilitating and may interfere with daily activities.
Sleep problems are common in fibromyalgia. Individuals may have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or experience non-restorative sleep, leading to daytime fatigue.
Often referred to as "fibro fog," cognitive difficulties are common in fibromyalgia. This can include problems with memory, concentration, attention, and mental clarity.
Sensitivity to stimuli
People with fibromyalgia may be highly sensitive to various stimuli, such as light, noise, temperature changes, and touch. This heightened sensitivity can worsen pain and discomfort.
Additional symptoms may include headaches, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), anxiety, depression, numbness or tingling in the extremities, and sensitivity to cold or heat.
Diagnosing fibromyalgia can be challenging, as there is no specific test or biomarker for the condition. Diagnosis is typically based on the presence of widespread pain lasting for at least three months and the exclusion of other underlying medical conditions with similar symptoms.
Healand clinicians may perform a physical examination, review your medical history, and conduct specific diagnostic criteria, such as the widespread pain index (WPI) and symptom severity scale (SSS).
The treatment of fibromyalgia aims to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. It often involves a multidisciplinary approach, including the following:
Certain medications may be prescribed to manage pain, improve sleep, and address associated symptoms. These may include analgesics, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, muscle relaxants, and sleep aids.
Gentle exercises, stretching, and low-impact aerobic activities prescribed by a physical therapist can help improve muscle strength, flexibility, and overall well-being. Heat therapy, massage, and relaxation techniques may also be beneficial.
Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)
CBT can help individuals manage the emotional and psychological impact of fibromyalgia. It focuses on developing coping strategies, stress reduction, and changing negative thought patterns.
Establishing good sleep habits, creating a sleep-friendly environment, and addressing sleep disturbances can help improve sleep quality.
Stress reduction techniques, such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques, can help manage stress levels and improve symptoms.
Maintaining a balanced diet, engaging in regular physical activity, pacing activities, and practising stress management techniques can contribute to overall well-being and symptom management.
It's important for individuals with fibromyalgia to work closely with healthcare professionals to develop a personalised treatment plan. Fibromyalgia requires ongoing management, and a multidisciplinary approach can help address the complex nature of the condition.
How can Healand help with fibromyalgia?
Headland Clinic offers a range of therapies that can help with fibromyalgia pain. Please book a consultation to discuss this further with us.