Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes chronic pain and inflammation of muscles. This pain can be debilitating, as it can rage from mild to moderate to severe. Those who have fibromyalgia have a variety of symptoms and related health issues.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia include pain in the neck, shoulders, hips, and other areas. Painful muscles may prevent people from regular activity and can cause depression and anxiety from increased stress levels.
People with fibromyalgia have a lot of chronic pain that can be consistent over months or years. Because of this chronic pain, people are easily tired and may have a hard time getting through the day’s activities without a nap or several rest periods.
This pain can lead to depression and isolation, as people may feel too exhausted to go out or to work. This lack of energy can lead to isolation and loneliness if the person is too exhausted to maintain social events and other engagements. Lack of sleep due to pain is a large reason why many people with fibromyalgia have fatigue and low energy.
There are many alternative therapies for people with fibromyalgia. There are drug treatments, but many people do not want to take pharmaceutical drugs, or find that these drugs do not improve their condition significantly. Rather than take drugs, people are seeking out alternative methods of treatment.
Many people are turning to massage, acupuncture, and trigger point therapies in order to ease their pain. Massage is often done by a professional in a relaxing setting that not only eases muscle tension, but also reduces stress and offers relaxation. At home massage can also be effective in alleviating muscle stiffness and pain.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine treatment that involved relaxing muscles and increasing energy flow by releasing qi. Qi is the body’s energy flow, and acupuncture has been tested to reduce stress and to ease the pain of fibromyalgia.
Trigger point therapies are designed to treat specifically the painful trigger points that are associated with fibromyalgia. Low level laser therapy in a non-invasive way to apply energy to deep muscle tissue and painful areas. Stretching with heat is another way to target tight muscles and ease pain. Heat can be applied to a specific area before it is stretched, so that muscles are loose and more flexible. Manual therapies include myofascial release and trigger point massage, and can be conducted by massage therapists or physical therapists. Lidoderm patches contain lidocaine and are available by prescription.
Trigger point injections (TPI) are done by introducing a needle with anesthetic (lidocaine or corticosteroid) into the center of the trigger point in order to release the tightness and pain. After the injection, the pain is eliminated because the pain cannot be processed. Injections are given in a doctor’s office and are a quick and relatively painless process. This treatment can be done on several locations of the body during one visit.
TPI is used to treat different muscle groups including arms, legs, lower back and neck. TPI is often used to treat fibromyalgia and tension headaches. It is also used to help treat myofascial pain syndrome.
Not all trigger points need to be injected, as some will respond instead to physical therapy, massage, or stretching. But for those that are chronic trigger points, TPI is a option that can alleviate pain and pressure.
Trigger point injections are ideal for patients who have active trigger points and are suffering from fibromyalgia or other muscle pains.
There are many ways to treat fibromyalgia and ease pain, and pharmaceutical drugs are only one way. People can try alternative therapies such as massage, acupuncture, exercise, trigger point therapies, and other methods. It is important for people with fibromyalgia to consider alternative therapies, because different treatments have proven to be more effective for different people.
Treating fibromyalgia is often concerned with making lifestyle changes, including setting a more regular schedule for the day, and not over planning and over committing. It is important for people to maintain their stress levels and to have methods in place to reduce stress and anxiety. Often, people will take a walk, listen to music, or watch a movie to reduce their stress levels. This can be very effective in managing chronic pain and in elevating mood and spirits.
Treating fibromyalgia through therapies such as trigger point therapy is also effective for many people. This is a slightly invasive method that can assist in pain management.
Trying different treatment methods is important for those with fibromyalgia, as many different treatments will prove to be effective for different people.