When a person has Fibromyalgia, they are more susceptible to a variety of other types of muscle problems such as tendonitis, Fibromyalgia, muscle strain, muscle cramping and spasm, thoracic outlet syndrome and many other nerve compression syndromes. As well as external muscle, joint and nerve problems, a whole host of other health related issues such as chronic fatigue, insomnia, depression, poor digestion, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), as well as headaches and even impairment in cognitive abilities that include memory loss, confusion, and poor concentration.
The approach to treating Fibromyalgia therapeutically will be similar to other muscle problems by emphasizing procedures to support and protect the muscles, help them to loosen up and lessen the pain and minimize any inflammation. Due to the extreme sensitivity of a Fibromyalgia patient, extreme care should be taken to not over irritate the musculature from any procedure, as this may set their condition back temporarily.
Reducing inflammation and soothing the pain of the fibrotic tender points can be done topically if a pain reliever has the ability to penetrate the skin barrier and contains anti-inflammatory agents. A topical formula that contains natural menthol will not only relieve pain, but dilate the blood vessels. This allows for relief of the tender points, without causing any stiffening of the tissue. MSM, also known as Methyl Sulfonyl Methane is a natural supplement that is getting a lot of attention due to its role in tissue healing at a cellular level. It is a natural organic sulfur that comes from rain fall and is found naturally in the human body. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects on the tissues. See all about Glucosamine and MSM for more information this supplement. Ice can relieve inflammation, but will constrict the blood vessels and further stiffen the musculature. Cortisone injections can reduce inflammation, but unfortunately are very caustic and can cause a weakening of the tissue structure and a create more scar tissue. Dr. Swartzburg, our site editor, worked in conjunction with our sponsor, Relief-Mart, to develop a spray for Fibromyalgia Health called Therapain Plus. It has all natural pain relievers plus 14,000mg of MSM and Glucosamine.
Recently, studies on tart cherries have come to light and have shown a great benefit to Fibromyalgia patients. The reason may be two fold: First, tart cherries contain significant quantities of melatonin, which help regulate the sleep cycle. Secondly, the anthocyanins found in cherries contain some of the highest levels of Cox-1 and Cox-2 inhibitors of any known food. Cox-1 and Cox-2 inhibitors play a key role in the inflammation cycle. According to a recently published research conducted at Michigan State University, 20 tart cherries had a similar effect as Ibuprofen.
The pressure on the tender points can be reduced while sleeping by using a softer bed topper like a memory foam mattress pad or even getting a new mattress that is composed with memory foam and/or latex foam. Memory foam and latex foam reduce compression because they are the only substances that conform with the bumps and curves of the body and can thereby reduce the pressure spot by more evenly disbursing the weight of the body. See the article Sleep and Fibromyalgia for information on this subject.
Other treatment modalities include electric stimulation for reducing the pain and tenderness of the musculature, percussion massage to increase circulation (regular Swedish and especially deep massage may cause a flair-up of the tender points), Light stretches, and moist heat therapy.
Fibromyalgia Flair-up Prevention
While it may not be possible to ever totally cure Fibromyalgia, preventing flair-ups can be equally as important to leading a normal lifestyle. It is important for a person with Fibromyalgia to get at the source of any tension, lessen the physical stress placed on the body through improving poor posture and not overusing the muscles. Staying as active as your body will tolerate, and eating a proper balanced diet are also extremely important components. In fact, one thing in common that many Fibromyalgia patients who are living more active lifestyles share, is regular an exercise routine.