The pain of fibromyalgia can ruin your life completely. More than the fatigue or the wide variety of unusual symptoms like tingling limbs and Raynaud’s syndrome, the pain of fibromyalgia is what makes it such a devastating condition to live with. And the worst part is the way that no one really seems to understand what you’re going through.
But is there really any way to manage or even just lessen the horrible pain of fibromyalgia? What can we do to deal with it? And what causes fibromyalgia pain in the first place?
What Causes Fibromyalgia Pain?
No one is really sure where fibromyalgia comes from, but there are a number of different theories. Some people have speculated that the source is tiny micro tears in the muscles that accumulate over time. This would explain why vigorous exercise tends to make fibromyalgia worse. But it doesn’t account for all the fatigue and mental fog symptoms.
Others think that low levels of neurotransmitter chemicals like serotonin and dopamine in the brain. These chemicals control movement and low levels can lead to muscle pain and stiffness. And people with fibromyalgia often have lower levels of these chemicals than the general population.
And another theory is that fibromyalgia is actually an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system begins attacking and destroying your cells.
But while we don’t know for sure what the basic cause of the pain is, we do know that there are definitely certain things that make it worse. Stress is a known factor in elevating how much pain you feel. A lack of sleep also contributes, which is an unfortunate catch-22 for people with a condition that causes insomnia. And finally, over-exertion is a major trigger for fibromyalgia.
All of these things can lead to episodes where the symptoms of fibromyalgia get more intense, generally called flare-ups. And these flare ups along with the increased fibromyalgia pain are when you need treatment the most.
What Drugs Are Available To Treat It?
The most commonly prescribed drug for treating fibromyalgia pain is probably Savella. Savella is a drug derived from anti-depressants that can help some people with their pain. It works by increasing the amount of serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is a type of chemical called a neurotransmitter that affects everything from your mood to how well your muscles can move. And low levels of it clearly play some role in fibromyalgia as well.
But Savella isn’t effective for some people, which is why other drugs are commonly prescribed for the condition. These drugs include anticonvulsant drugs like Gabapentin, which can sort of sooth the over-active nervous systems of fibromyalgia patients, and opioid pain killers. Opioids work by blocking the interaction between pain signals and the brain, which makes them very effective for relieving short-term pain.
Alternative Methods To Fight Fibromyalgia Pain
If you either find drugs ineffective for treating your symptoms or simply don’t want to be on a bunch of different drugs, there are a number of alternative treatments that may people find quite effective. A lot of them are simple things like adopting a healthy lifestyle and diet.
Some people think that cutting gluten from their diet helps with the pain for instance, but science shows that a healthy, balanced diet is best for people with fibromyalgia. And in one of the many little ironies that come with living with fibromyalgia, exercise is one of the best ways to treat fibromyalgia. People with fibromyalgia who exercise regularly experience much less severe symptoms than those who don’t. But of course, fibromyalgia is a condition that makes it very difficult to exercise. Even if you somehow manage to fight through the pain and crippling fatigue, you run the risk of your exercise setting off a painful
But of course, fibromyalgia is a condition that makes it very difficult to exercise. Even if you somehow manage to fight through the pain and crippling fatigue, you run the risk of your exercise setting off a painful fibro flare up. So the best thing to do is to exercise when and if you are able and not to push yourself too hard.
Finally, a lot of people with fibromyalgia swear by yoga as a surefire way to relieve fibromyalgia pain. The benefits of yoga are well known for all kinds of different conditions and the advantage is that it’s a good form of exercise without being too demanding on your body. Here are some simple poses to get you started.
But you tell us, how do you deal with your fibromyalgia pain? Let us know in the comments section.