What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain all over the body, sleep problems, fatigue, and often emotional and mental distress. People with fibromyalgia may be more sensitive to pain than people without fibromyalgia. This is called abnormal pain perception processing. Fibromyalgia affects about 2% of the adult population. The cause of fibromyalgia is not known, but it can be effectively treated and managed.
What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
Pain and stiffness all over the body
Fatigue and tiredness
Depression and anxiety
Problems with thinking, memory, and concentration
Headaches, including migraines
Other symptoms such as tingling or numbness in hands and feet, pain in the face or jaw, digestive problems, including abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and even irritable bowel syndrome are less common.
What are the risk factors for fibromyalgia?
Age: Most people are diagnosed during middle age and people are more likely to have fibromyalgia as they get older.
Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis: People who have lupus or rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are more likely to develop fibromyalgia.
Sex: Women are twice as likely to have fibromyalgia as men.
Stressful or traumatic events, such as car accidents or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Repetitive injuries: Injury from repetitive stress on a joint, such as frequent knee bending
Illness (such as viral infections)
How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?
No test can determine whether someone has fibromyalgia. Instead, diagnosing fibromyalgia is a process of exclusion.
How is fibromyalgia treated?
At the moment, there is no magic bullet to relieve fibromyalgia. Generally, fibromyalgia should be treated by a team of health care professionals with a combination of treatments, which may include:
Medication: There are only two medications approved by Health Canada for the treatment of fibromyalgia, Cymbalta, an antidepressant, and Lyrica, an antiseizure medication that can provide pain relief.
Natural treatment: Lifestyle changes, stress management, exercise, yoga, acupuncture, massage, and chiropractic therapy can relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
Acupuncture is fantastic to relieve pain, move blood, calm the mind for those with anxiety and to promote better sleep. Acupuncture is believed to correct neuroendocrine dysfunctions by stimulating endorphins in the midbrain. Endorphins have multiple homeostatic effects on the neuroendocrine system and are known to reduce pain, improve mood, and increase the patient’s sense of well-being.
At Gathered Roots, we provide a safe, natural, and effective way to address the symptoms of fibromyalgia. We recommend receiving acupuncture every week for up to 12-15 sessions in order to complete one course of treatment. Then, to maintain the results, the treatment can be done every 3-4 weeks depending on the severity of symptoms.