What Is Fibromyalgia Pain Syndrome?



ourwomenshealth has receives a lot of inquiries from our subscribers  about more detailed info. on: Fibromyalgia Pain Syndrome?..this article address the issue in more greater details:

Fibromyalgia pain syndrome affects the muscles, fascia (covering of the muscles), tendons (bands at the ends of muscles that connect muscles to bones) and connective tissues of the body. This condition can be painful and debilitating and is characterized by generalized muscle stiffness, soreness, muscle pain, joint pain, tender areas called trigger points, depression, extreme fatigue and sleeping difficulties. Fibromyalgia is not a life threatening illness in itself but does much decrease the quality of life of its sufferers. Pain interferes with the ability to do everyday activities, emotional disturbances, like depression and anxiety can take its toll on personal relationships.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition which is characterized by widespread muscle and joint pain that is typically accompanied by fatigue and a variety of other symptoms. It is not a sign of a serious underlying condition and does not increase the risk of other illnesses, however, it can seriously affect the quality of life as the pain often interferes with the patient’s abilities to do everyday activities. Widespread and persisting pain can also cause sleep disturbances, while the frustration of managing the pain can affect the sufferer’s mood, emotional state and relationship with other people who in turn can lead to depression. There are medications that can aid to relieve or cover up symptoms but these are not without side effects, some of which may also potentate the problems already present. Antidepressants aid the person to cope with the symptoms as well as sleep better, but again have side effects. Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, biofeedback, meditation, herbal medicine may help as well. Massage therapy is another alternative treatment that has been shown to be the most valuable modality to aid healing of muscles and connective tissues involved in this potentially debilitating condition.

Myofascial Tissue

All muscles of the body are enveloped by a thin, tough, and resilient tissue similar to cellophane wrap. Normally this covering is elastic and pliable but injuries, sedentary lifestyle, and physiological factors can cause this covering to constrict, stiffen and tighten up. The myofascia extends from the muscle belly all the way to the tendons where muscles attach to bones. When myofascia becomes restricted and tight it restricts muscle movement and decreases circulation, oxygen supply, nutrients, and electrolytes (important for muscle contraction and relaxation) availability to muscles. This can become very painful, causing restriction in movement and creating an abundance of muscle function problems and imbalances. All these symptoms will cause a person to limit and decrease physical activity which only makes the problem worse.

Trigger Points

Restrictions caused by dysfunction in myofascia promote the formation of trigger points. The presence of trigger points in muscles refer pain to other areas of the muscle involved and other muscles nearby. These TPs (trigger points) are lacking in vital nutrients, oxygen and blood supply and may feel cooler that surrounding tissues. The presence of a TP will generally effect the muscle(s) function even more creating a cascade like effect. Simple explained, without proper intervention the problem worsens and pain and dysfunction becomes even worse, causing more pain and dysfunction. Dysfunction leads to more injuries as other muscles and joints try to compensate and take on extra work due to the lack of strength and muscle movement in the affected area. Joints become irritated, muscle fatigue occurs in compensating muscles increasing risk of injuries and possibly causing falls leading to fractures and other injuries.

Muscle Function is Diminished

Studies done on fibromyalgia show the presence of myofascial abnormalities, trigger point, as well as diminished muscle function due to nervous system and physiological abnormalities. Researchers have found that with fibromyalgia muscles seem to have an inability to “rest” and are always firing even during sleep. This doesn’t allow muscles to relax and may cause small tears and injuries in the microscopic cells of the muscle due to constant activity. The muscles unable to rest and exchange wastes adequately cause an increase in the buildup of lactic acid and other substances. This is similar to what happens after intense exercise. In fact, persons with fibromyalgia require an increased recovery time after exercise due to this fact. Some literature suggest that trigger points should ideally be released before muscle activity such as stretching and workouts or the problems may become worse and affect other muscles and tissues.

Assess, Treat, Repeat!

A trained massage therapist, after performing a thorough exam including muscle function and range of motion, can develop a customized plan of care to aid in fibromyalgia pain syndrome. Initially the first visit should consist of a thorough consultation to treat the client safely and holistically. A thorough medical history as well as medication assessment should be performed to scan for side effects of current medications which may affect treatment choices. A consultation may be needed with the client’s physician if medical conditions are present that may be contradictions to message therapy. Present activity level should also be assessed to gain knowledge of clients current and past activity level as well as any repetitive movements that may be increasing the pain. Pain should be evaluated on a 1 to 10 scale and should be compared to previous level of function. A posture and gait analysis will also allow the massage therapist to pinpoint problem areas. Finally, a hands on assessment of myofascia, tender areas, skin temperature, and scan for trigger points should be performed. Length of sessions and modality choice should be approached according to personal client’s pain level and tolerance to massage. If pain level is 6 or higher manual lymphatic drainage should be performed first to decrease swelling to lessen the discomfort of treatment. Assure the client that in order to do the treatment efficiently certain steps have to take. It is important to reassess the client’s condition with each visit and be flexible in the overall treatment plan. The client needs to fully understand that if excess pain is being experienced after the session it is important to relate this the therapist so that treatment may be modified so. Communication between the client and therapist will improve treatment outcome and aid to develop trust in the client therapist relationship.

What Can Massage Do?

The goal of massage for fibromyalgia pain syndrome is to decrease pain and in turn increase function and sense of well-being. If swelling and excess pain is present manual lymphatic drainage will increase circulation to the lymphatic system and optimize its role, thus allowing the therapist to perform treatment in a comfortable way and not cause pain to the client. Next myofascial release will allow the therapist to reach muscle layers which will then be massaged and assessed, starting with superficial layers and continuing with deeper layers as the patient’s pain level diminishes and allows. All the while the therapist will also be locating TPs and treating those areas accordingly. Stretches will be suggested for the client to do at home only after TPs are addressed and corrected. Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom salt) soaks will be recommended between treatments to aid in relaxation of muscles. Due to diligent treatment and the general effects of massage, (an increase in serotonin and endorphins levels), eventually the client will report better sleep, experience less pain, function more efficiently, and feel better overall. The client and therapist will decide on a maintenance plan which will be perpetually adjusted according to client’s symptoms.

Winning the Fight!

Too often persons with fibromyalgia pain syndrome might give up the fight, but help is out there and if action is taken, living with fibromyalgia does not have to be debilitating. Prior function and enjoyment of life can be restored and there is light at the end of the tunnel with proper treatment. I also want to mention here, that there are other symptoms that go along with fibromyalgia that were not discussed in this article, diets, foods that may cause inflammation of which will increase the constant pain state and grief due to the increase in gastrointestinal function as well as psychological issues. Pain can be a debilitating cause, will affect thought processes as well as emotional well-being and create a strain on personal relationships. Economic problems relating to job performance issues may also add to the crisis. This suffering is not necessary and I recommend anyone experiencing chronic pain of any type to seek help so that life can be enjoyable again. Even if your loved ones are diagnosed with fibromyalgia are chronic pain, remind them that there is help out there and there is hope. fight chronic pain and start living life again!

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The Anti-Inflammatory Diet



Being Fully Alive

Shortly after I moved to Maui last summer someone handed me a sheet of paper that delineated the “Symptoms of Inner Peace” (the author is unknown to me). These nine statements encourage one to live a life of great vibrancy and aliveness. I wish to share this inspiration with you:

  1. A tendency to think and act spontaneously and not from fears based on past experiences.
  2. An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
  3. An increasing tendency to let things happen and not to make them happen.
  4. A loss of interest in judging other people.
  5. Frequent attacks of smiling.
  6. A loss of the ability to worry. (This is a very serious symptom.)
  7. Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
  8. Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.
  9. An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.

Vibrant living is living your life in a way that makes you smile with the sheer joy of being alive. You remember that your purpose here is Divine and that you make a difference in the world by your mere presence.

It takes courage to live a life of radiant aliveness. It can be much easier to shut down the emotions or dull any physical pain with substances or activities than to live a life of trust and inner connectedness. Allow the force of life to flow through you in its perfection.

Open yourself to the depths of who you are which goes beyond all concepts of the mind. You will find yourself more at peace, more able to cope with life, more alive and more directed in your life.

These “Symptoms of Inner Peace” help to guide me to live a life of greater awareness and courage. May they help you in your awakening to who you really are which is life itself.



Symptoms Of Unwellness

A general feeling of “unwellness” can mean many different things and can manifest in various ways.
It is important first, to find exactly what it is you are feeling when you experience “unwellness.”
What are your specific symptoms? They can vary widely and from person to person: everybody is different.
For example, do you feel tired or lethargic all the time?
Do you suffer with aches and pains? Are they in the joints or the muscles?
Do you find that your performance in daily tasks is suffering?
Are irritated, stressed out, and annoyed much of the time?
Are you overweight?
Do you sleep well or do you find that even though you seem to sleep all night, you wake up feeling as if you’ve been pulled through a hedge backwards? Is your sleep light and fitful, where you are woken up by the slightest noise? Do you find yourself waking up every night at the same time, say 3am, and then finding you cannot get back to sleep again until the wee hours?
Are you taking medications? Have you checked the possible side effects? Could these be contributing to your feelings of unwellness?
Possible Medical Causes
These are dependent on many factors and it is very difficult to pin down exactly what might be causing your malaise. Some common conditions that cause a feeling of general malaise include chronic fatigue, depression, fibromyalgia; you could have anemia or low blood pressure, or, you might have a urinary tract infection.
Problems that are more serious can include HIV and AIDS, cancer, diabetes and adrenal gland dysfunction. If your feelings of malaise go on for more than seven days, it is wise to see a medical practitioner.
The most obvious step is to discuss your symptoms with your doctor who is going to give you a thorough check-up and an educated diagnosis. It is important to get your health checked out to rule out the possibility of anything serious, or, if it is something serious, to catch it early and hopefully treat it successfully and prevent major problems from developing further down the line.
Your doctor will give you a physical examination and probably want you to get some blood tests or x-rays done to rule out certain problems such as thyroid disease or cardiovascular problems.
Identifying Your Needs and Deficits
Optimal wellness begins when we address the whole person, also known as holistic healing. This means that we need to take care of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing, along with considering our financial (the main cause of stress for many people) and occupational wellness.
In order to assess your own wellness, it’s important to take an honest and comprehensive inventory of your life and self to find problem areas to begin the journey to reach an ideal level of wellbeing.
Basic Ways You Can Improve Your Overall Wellness
Manage your sleep: There are some ways to help your sleep: for instance, don’t eat after 6pm. Try to turn off your computer at least one hour before you go to sleep. Reading is a good way to make yourself drowsy last thing at night. Meditation or listening to a relaxation recording can be helpful. Drinking a cup of warm milk before bedtime is soothing and helps you to settle down.
Eat well: a sensible diet with plenty of leafy greens and fresh fruits and vegetables is key to feeling well. Try to avoid too many carbohydrates as these can make you feel sleepy and light-headed.
Exercise, in moderation, is beneficial to your overall sense of well-being. Walking for half an hour daily can help you feel better.
Rest and relaxation: Getting enough of both will make sure you feel and do your best.
Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol, sugary drinks, and caffeine: Water can help flush your body of toxins and avoiding stimulants like sugar and caffeine can help calm the nervous system.
Reduce Stress: Whenever possible try to cut stress from your life. Create a calm and welcoming home environment. Avoid people who are negative and complaining. Find time to have fun. Connect with others and grow your social network. Laughter alleviates stress.
Self-care: At the core of all successful wellness attempts is self-care. This means making yourself and your wellbeing a priority, it is truly the foundation of your wellness.