More than 3.7 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia, and for these patients, fibromyalgia pain management can be one of the most important topics they deal with. Once dismissed as purely psychological in nature, fibromyalgia pain has now been widely and firmly recognized as real, and a number of treatments have been developed which can help patients manage pain more effectively.
If you suffer from fibromyalgia, you know how important it can be to find relief from the pain. There are many alternatives to approaching pain management with fibromyalgia. You can talk to your doctor about medication options or look into the possibility of getting referred to a pain specialist. You can explore home remedies and lifestyle options, such as essential oils, supplements, meditation, stretching, and low-impact aerobic exercise.
One very effective method of pain management for fibromyalgia is to practice relaxation techniques on a daily basis. Because the link between stress and fibromyalgia is so strong, the more you can do to relax and relieve stress, the more you can find relief from pain.
Our Self-Guided Relaxation CD has tracks specifically designed for managing fibromyalgia pain.
Click Play on the media player below to listen to Track 19 – “Dissolving Pain”
One of the distinct characteristics of fibromyalgia pain is localized areas of tenderness centering around joints. These are known as tender points, and they do not feel like a deep type of pain but rather like they are just under surface of the skin.
There are actually 18 specific spots on your body that have been identified as tender spots, including areas on the ribs, buttocks, neck, shoulder, knees, and lower back. In fact, in order to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you must have at least 11 out of these 18 tender points. Management of fibromyalgia pain often focuses on relieving the pain that patients feel in these specific tender points.
The chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia can have an enormous impact on day-to-day living if not managed properly. The ongoing pain can disrupt sleep patterns , which, in turn, can result in increased feelings of fatigue during the day.
Although you may have a strong desire to get aerobic exercise, it may be difficult due to pain in your muscles and joints. Because the pain can seem to be never-ending, you may find it increasingly difficult to communicate with friends and family members, which can lead to social isolation and depression.
There is a long-running debate in the medical community about the causes of fibromyalgia pain, and many physicians still disagree on the issue. However, in recent years new research has provided clues that point toward an answer.
One study from the University of Florida identifies an abnormal reaction in the central nervous system that can turn normal repetitive physical stimulation into debilitating pain in sufferers of fibromyalgia. Another study from Louisiana State University looked at brain metabolite abnormalities and concluded that exposure to chronic stress plays an important role in the exaggerated sensations of pain experienced by fibromyalgia patients.
Fibromyalgia pain management can be a daunting subject for those suffering from the disease. But there are many effective methods that can provide relief.