There are nearly 12 million people in this country who suffer from the disease known as fibromyalgia.
Although the root cause of this malady is not known, what is known that the common symptoms felt by sufferers of fibromyalgia include aches and pains, extreme fatigue or tiredness, anxiety and depression.
There are three medicines approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration or FDA for the treatment of fibromyalgia. These drugs include prescription Cymbalta, Lyrica and Savella.
Unfortunately many fibromyalgia patients do not respond well to these drugs and their symptoms thus go untreated.
There are experimental treatments that are being explored as well that have proven effective with some but not every fibromyalgia patient, including the same treatment given to opioid addicted individuals (such as heroin) known as Naltrexone and Peripheral Nerve Stimulation or PNS, which involves hooking up electrodes to the pain sensors in the body.
Typically the most effective way to manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia is through a combination of prescribed and over the counter pain relievers as well as experimental and alternative medicines.
Any therapy or treatment option however should be administered by a trained professional and advice should always be sought as to the relevancy of any course of treatment in relationship to a specific patients situation.
There are however several simple treatments that may be shown to be effective in treating or certainly managing the effects of fibromyalgia.
Massage as a Simple Solution for Fibromyalgia Sufferers
One of the factors that fibromyalgia sufferers share in common is stress, which is thought to contribute to increases in the pain and discomforted experienced with the disease.
A way to relieve some of the stress and reduce the effects of fibromyalgia is through a regular course of massages. Regular massage therapy is thought to have a therapeutic and calming effect.
Because fibromyalgia patients suffer from high levels of pain, deep muscle massages may not be as therapeutic but light and gentle massages may be the answer.
The trick to massage therapy is to do it on a regular and consistent basis and not only when the effects of the disease are at their most intense in a fibromyalgia patient.
Scheduling a minimum of two or three short massage sessions a week can help reduce the pain fibromyalgia sufferers experience as oppose to sitting through one long massage session.
The touch of a trained massage therapist and the methods used to reduce stress can prove to be a useful tool in lowering pain and stress and managing overall the impact of fibromyalgia on the body.
Subscribing to a Course of Acupuncture as a Simple Treatment Option
The traditional Chinese medicine treatment of acupuncture to relieve pain is also thought to be an effective option for fibromyalgia patients.
Individuals who have experienced severe pain in their necks and backs have attested to the miraculous healing power of a acupuncture session, especially one administered by an individual who has been trained in the art of acupuncture.
The thin needles used in acupuncture have been known for centuries in traditional Eastern medicine as a pain cure that is effective and long lasting.
The proper insertion of an acupuncture needle into those pressure points on the body releases pressure and stress, thereby reducing pain.
It is rationalized by others that the use of the thin acupuncture needles redirects the flow of blood and the response of neurotransmitters in the brain that signal pain responses.
By redirecting certain pain receptors from fibromyalgia to other areas of the body, acupuncture creates a level of “misdirection” that patients find helpful and are grateful for.
There is always the thought in the mind of those who have never experienced acupuncture that it will be a painful experience.
Acupuncture has not been found to cause pain and, aside from those individuals with a high sensitivity to needles in general, relieves pain almost immediately upon application.
The long term effects of pain relief experienced through acupuncture can last for days or even weeks.
The Use of Hypnosis
Yet another effective treatment for fibromyalgia that is quite simple is hypnosis. Hypnosis works to reprogram the brain, even if temporarily, from the thought of the pain and stress caused by fibromyalgia and toward increasing relaxation and calm, which can reduce the more severely painful effects of the disease.
Again, like with massage and acupuncture, hypnosis works on the reduction or elimination of stress, which is a contributing factor associated with the disease of fibromyalgia.
The use of hypnosis (as with massage therapy and acupuncture) should be considered as part of an overall strategy for dealing with the effects of the disease as oppose to singular or myopic solutions.
This includes the prescription of approved medications that have proven to be effective with some fibromyalgia patients and the incorporation of alternatives and experimental treatments for other sufferers.
The Use of Biofeedback Techniques
Biofeedback is a process that measures various bodily functions in order to provide information to a patient as to how the body works.
This information can be powerful when use to control those thinks that take place unconsciously or without the knowledge of the fibromyalgia sufferer.
Those automatic responses top stress and pain, once known to the patient can be controlled to the extent that they can reduce the amount of pain and suffering that the person with the disease experiences.
One of the ways in which biofeedback is useful in controlling fibromyalgia is in understanding and locating those body functions or brain signals that are most impacted by the disease.
For example, a person whose pulse rate increases may come to learn that the malfunction comes from signals being sent through the hypothalamus in the brain, which acts as the control center.
Once identified, self-management and control techniques can be taught and once learned, greater control of the disease can be gained.
Massage therapy, acupuncture, hypnosis and biofeedback are just some of the simple solutions that may prove effective for the management of fibromyalgia.
Again, remember that no one option is a miracle cure or cure all for every person who suffers from the disease.