“Chronic pain sufferers tend to minimize their pain to try to seem as normal as possible. We don’t want to be perceived as complainers, so we keep much of our pain experiences to ourselves.” ~ Unknown
While not as common as other well-known afflictions that cause chronic pain, fibromyalgia is a particularly insidious condition in that it’s cause is largely unknown. And there is not known cure.
The website of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention describes fibromyalgia as,
“…a condition that causes pain all over the body (also referred to as widespread pain), 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 4 million US adults, about 2% of the adult population. The cause of fibromyalgia is not known, but it can be effectively treated and managed.”
In addition, a diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be difficult as fibromyalgia is not the only condition that brings widespread pain.
One of the more frustrating aspects of this condition is the lack of a clear knowledge of the cause.
As the American College of Rheumatology states,
“The causes of fibromyalgia are unclear. They may be different in different people. Current research suggests involvement of the nervous system, particularly the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Fibromyalgia is not from an autoimmune, inflammation, joint, or muscle disorder.”
Recognizing and understanding the symptoms of fibromyalgia is a first step in finding effective relief and treatment.
The Distressing Array of Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
One of the prevailing issues with fibromyalgia is that not all physicians are aware of the spectrum of symptoms, and some are not wholly convinced that it is a legitimate pathology.
However, for those millions of Americans suffering from the myriad of symptoms of fibromyalgia, it is most definitely a real and often debilitating condition.
What are the signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia?
According to the Mayo Clinic the primary symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
- Widespread pain. The pain associated with fibromyalgia often is described as a constant dull ache that has lasted for at least three months. To be considered widespread, the pain must occur on both sides of your body and above and below your waist.
- Fatigue. People with fibromyalgia often awaken tired, even though they report sleeping for long periods of time. Sleep is often disrupted by pain, and many patients with fibromyalgia have other sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea.
- Cognitive difficulties. A symptom commonly referred to as “fibro fog” impairs the ability to focus, pay attention and concentrate on mental tasks.
As WebMD notes,
“Besides pain, another major symptom of fibromyalgia is chronic fatigue. But patients with other conditions also have chronic fatigue. There are other symptoms that may occur in fibromyalgia.”
Other common symptoms of fibromyalgia are:
- Pain and stiffness all over the body
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Depression and anxiety
- Sleep problems
- Problems with thinking, memory, and concentration
- Headaches, including migraines
Other less common symptoms can be present, and fibromyalgia can co-exist with other conditions, such as:
- Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Migraine and other types of headaches
- Interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome
- Anxiety and Depression
- Postural tachycardia syndrome
- Pain in the face or jaw, including disorders of the jaw known as temporomandibular joint syndrome (also known as TMJ)
- Digestive problems, such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and even irritable bowel syndrome (also known as IBS)
While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, there are several types of medications that can be used to help control symptoms. In addition to, or even in lieu of, medication, exercise, relaxation, and stress-reduction measures have often been found to be helpful.
However, one approach in particular has been shown to have a high degree of efficacy in treating the pain of fibromyalgia.
Active Release Techniques® and the Relief of Pain
As one practitioner has described it,
“Myofascial release is a way of manipulating and restoring movement to tissues that surround your muscles called fascia. Active Release Technique (ART) is arguably the most advanced and effective form of myofascial release ever created.”
This is important to recognize as it has been shown through several studies that various forms of myofascial release are significantly effective in treating the pain of fibromyalgia. And Active Release Techniques® is essentially at the top of the list.
One source has noted that,
“The research on the effectiveness of myofascial release in treating fibromyalgia is still in its infancy, but there have been a number of studies that indicate that it can result in better posture, decreased pain, an improved range of motion, and generally a better quality of life.”
While Active Release Techniques®, or ART®, as it is commonly called will not “cure” fibromyalgia, it can be especially effective treatment for a variety of conditions involving the soft tissues, including overuse and sports injuries. It can help relieve pain and stiffness and help restore your range of motion.
Treating Fibromyalgia Pain with Active Release Techniques®
Fibromyalgia pain and stiffness can lead to other problems if it is not addressed or treated. However, while total healing or recovery may not be possible, significant relief from pain and discomfort is. If you’ve been suffering from fibromyalgia pain, the good news is that relief is possible.
If you want to learn how, simply make a call to Pain and Performance Solutions and make an appointment with us today.
During your first appointment, we will take you through a process to learn about your present pain issues and conditions, as well as any history of discomfort. Achieving pain relief with the use of Active Release Techniques® begins once we understand where and how your discomfort started.
We will take you through a full examination which helps us determine which form of treatment is best suited to get you on your road to recovery. And, while your trust in us is vital, so is your honesty and openness.
Overall, getting your body healthy and working properly is the only way to achieve total recovery.
Our goal is to work through the sequence of pain and dysfunction to get your body as healthy as possible and working properly. Don’t hesitate to reach out, and we are here to help and will answer any questions that you may have.