Fibromyalgia Treatments & Exercises
by Graham Beckett
Fibromyalgia is a rare disease that occurs primarily in women and involves overall pain in a person's muscles. There are various treatments, both drug and herbal, and despite it seeming counterintuitive, exercise is a good means of reducing muscle pain and fatigue from fibromyalgia.
This disease involves chronic fatigue and pain in the muscles throughout the body. It is most commonly found in the areas of the neck, back of the head, between the shoulder blades, and the upper chest area of the body. Fibromyalgia tends to awaken the person even though she is already fatigued from the disease. Its causes are not known at this time, but doctors believe it is a genetic disorder, may arise from an infection, or could emerge from a physical or emotional trauma.
People who take drugs for this disease will often take Tylenol, or the prescription drug Ultram. Your doctor may also recommend aspirin in conjunction with other medications. Some patients even take antidepressants such as Prozac, or even anti-seizure medications such as Neurontin. Finally, there is Lyrica, the first FDA-approved drug to treat fibromyalgia.
There are also herbal remedies. Many people take high doses of vitamin B12, as well as natural sleep remedies such as melatonin or valerian root. Vitamin D is a good vitamin to treat chronic pain, as is magnesium malate. Others seek out acupuncture to treat specific pain areas. Finally, there are various forms of massage therapy that release pressure and pain that fibromyalgia may be causing. Myofascial Release Therapy is an advanced massage technique that gently manipulates the connective tissue underlying the bone and muscle structure.
Many patients view exercise as the last thing they would do since muscle movement causes more pain. Nonetheless, a complete lack of movement may simply make the disease worse. You should not necessarily do "strenuous" physical activities, but begin with stretching and deep-breathing exercises at least once a day. This will increase blood flow to the muscles and may assist in reducing pain in those regions.
If you do begin to exercise, begin slowly and take frequent breaks. Consider doing exercises in a pool because water removes the strain that gravity can put on your body. This will make exercise less painful to the body if you swim or stretch in the water.