By Dr. Virginia Nsitem
Pride Health Columnist
This article will discuss fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes widespread muscle and joint pain, tiredness, poor sleep, difficulty with memory and mood swings. Some researchers believe that fibromyalgia increases the pain that you feel by changing the way your brain deals with pain signals. It causes you to feel muscle pain and discomfort everywhere. Unfortunately, researchers have not been able to determine the cause of fibromyalgia, but believe that genetics, infections, stress, emotional trauma, surgery and physical trauma may all play a part in the disease. Women are much more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. Because it is such a complex condition with variation in symptoms and triggers, it is difficult to diagnose causing the patient feels isolated and frustrated.
What are the common symptoms?
- Symptoms may come and go and become chronic
- Tender and painful points over your body
- Widespread muscle and joint pain and stiffness
- Difficulty with concentration and memory
- Headaches, facial pain, and jaw pain
- Digestive problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Sleep difficulty and fatigue
- Anxiety and depression
Treatment and Management
- See your chiropractor or family physician to get a proper diagnosis. You may be referred to a specialist for additional testing to rule out other conditions.
- You may be prescribed pain medications by your physician or a pain specialist.
- See your chiropractor for a comprehensive rehabilitation program that may include light aerobic exercises such as walking, gentle stretching exercises, massage therapy and other relaxation treatments, and chiropractic treatments.
- You may be referred to a psychologist for counselling to manage your anxiety, depression, and sleep difficulties. There are also many support groups that you may consider joining.
- Your chiropractor may recommend aqua therapy (swimming pool) for stretching and aerobic exercise.
Dr. Virginia Nsitem is a chiropractor specializing in laser therapy for muscle, joint and nerve injuries, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences in Canada. She may be reached at (905) 275-4993, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.