It could just start with a little stiffness every other morning. Then it gradually becomes a regular occurrence, but still there’s no pain, just a little tenderness, nothing to worry about.
Until one day the pain becomes so unbearable it never stops shooting to high heaven. Help is needed. And help is at hand, from the most basic of domestic easy to apply remedies to proper medical treatment after diagnoses is given.
The point being made here is that, like other illnesses or conditions, it’s not always easy to diagnose whether a person has fibromyalgia or not, particularly during the earliest stages and when symptoms are barely worth noticing.
A note on fibromyalgia
But the most astute health-conscious person will tell the unconverted that they ignore these tiny early warning signals at their peril.
Now, in the case of fibromyalgia, it’s also helpful to know a little bit about the syndrome to better able to identify those deceptive signs (before they turn to full-blown pain and agony).
Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by muscle or musculoskeletal pain which is accompanied by tenderness or stiffness in parts of the body.
It is a debilitating condition which can disable a sufferer (such as not being able to work) but it is not a disease.
Fibromyalgia is a rheumatic condition but there is no connection with rheumatoid arthritis (usually prevalent in older people) whatsoever.
Defining the term – contraindications
Contraindications are instances where drugs, treatments, procedures and surgery, among other healing products and processes, are determined to be harmful to the patient. When contraindications do occur, they are coherently explained to the patient.
There are also two categories of contraindications, namely; relative contraindications and absolute contraindications.
In the case of a relative contraindication, warnings or cautionary advice is given where a patient is required (or is using) to use one or more drugs or procedures.
In the case of absolute contraindications, however, strict advice against using a specific drug or procedure is given.
So, for instance, in the case of a fibromyalgia patient, while massage therapy has been proven to be of benefit, it may be deemed a contraindication for this particular patient because there may be a risk of blood clots for instance.
Rational rather than emotive behavior
It can happen that when excruciating pain is experienced for the first time, the new FMS sufferer, apart from already being upset, can easily overreact due to his or her vulnerable emotional state and go against the grain of proper medical advice on what to do and what not to do.
Rational behavior, challenging under the circumstances, will always be the right approach towards controlling fibromyalgia and nipping it in the bud.
How to respond effectively
An effective response to the first signs of fibromyalgia is also swift. It is quick and indicative of the person thinking on his feet, if you will.
The earliest visit to the doctor may lead to better control of the syndrome before it gets worse, if at all.
Where contraindications are concerned and particularly when the patient correctly visits his GP first time round, the doctor should have an intimate knowledge of what drugs (if any) his patient is currently using before making out new prescriptions for the acute treatment of fibromyalgia.
It is also important that effective communication exist between the doctor and his patient and the pharmacist with whom they are dealing.
What should be happening next – medical diagnosis
We’ve mentioned that diagnosing fibromyalgia is extremely difficult. It can be complex too because many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia can be found in other syndromes and illnesses too.
To name two relevant examples of what the consequences of misdiagnosis might bring the fibromyalgia patient. Imagine being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
Or imagine being diagnosed with full-blown depression even though you are the happiest of souls on the best of days. But imagine the relief and joy once you’ve been correctly diagnosed.
It is as though your life, as a FMS patient, has just begun. Treatment, if it is to be effective, is multi-purpose and involves a handful of specialists, from the physiotherapist to the psychologist.
With so many hands on deck there is less likelihood of the fibromyalgia patient being influenced by contradictory drug treatment and physical therapy regimes.
Traditional clinical prescriptions for the treatment of fibromyalgia all seem to have one thing in common, not just the treatment of fibromyalgia.
Because of the extreme anxiety and high levels of stress associated with regular muscular pain and stiffness, patients are often prescribed anti-depressants, sleeping aids and narcoleptic drugs apart from the usual pain relievers.
Now, many of these drugs will have side effects which, strictly speaking, the GP, specialist and pharmacologist should all be well aware of long before considering these options for their patients.
Yoga, meditation, tai chi and acupuncture remain some of the most widely known natural remedies which can work wonders in the treatment of fibromyalgia without being blindsided by contraindications.
But where medical treatment is still required, there’s a boost when it comes to choosing natural treatment alternatives. It’s called 5-HTP and is a natural amino acid.
It also produces serotonin and works similarly to the traditional anti-depressant which is listed as a contraindication for fibromyalgia patient.
Then there’s manual limp drainage therapy, an intricate massage technique which helps move essential lymph fluids throughout the body.
The path towards avoiding misdiagnosis and mistreatment begins with you or someone you know intimately.
In the event, the slightest suspicion over a joint or muscle pain must not be taken lightly. And if it persists, the potential sufferer needs to take remedial action as soon as possible by scheduling visits with his doctor or specialists.
While the syndrome might not be detected so early, going through these motions also help to at least reduce the chances of ever contracting fibromyalgia.