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Fibromyalgia

What is Fibromyalgia?

Who develops Fibromyalgia?


What causes Fibromyalgia?

What are the symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

Treatments


RAMS Therapy Centre and Fibromyalgia

FibromyaIgia

 

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that affects muscles, tendons and ligaments throughout the body, resulting in widespread pain, stiffness and fatigue. It does not involve the joints, as does rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. In some cases the condition may affect only one part of the body but more commonly it affects several different areas, usually the limbs, neck and back. It is thought that people with fibromyalgia, for some reason, are unable to obtain the deep restorative sleep that our bodies need. This leads to a cycle of fatigue and pain.

The name fibromyalgia comes from the Latin word 'fibro', meaning fibrous tissues (tendons, ligaments), 'my' meaning muscles, and 'algia' meaning pain.

 

Who develops Fibromyalgia?

Anyone can develop fibromyalgia, although the condition affects more women than men. In most cases, fibromyalgia occurs between 35-60 years of age, but it can develop in people of any age, including children and the elderly.

 

What causes Fibromyalgia?

What causes the disease is unclear, but it is thougt that the development of fibromyalgia may be related to stress, injury or illness.

 

What are the symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

Some of the main symptoms are:-

  • pain - there are usually aches all over the body, although there will be certain areas where the pain is more localised

  • fatigue

  • sleep disturbance and waking up feeling un-refreshed

  • morning stiffness

  • headaches

  • concentration problems

  • irritable bowel

Pain: Quite often, the pain and stiffness are worse in the morning and you may hurt more in muscle groups that are used repetitively. People with the condition suffer chronic widespread pain, which can be described as burning, throbbing, shooting, or stabbing, Painful areas often include the upper back, shoulders, neck, the low back, and other areas around the joints. Many people will say, "I hurt all over."

Fatigue: Most people with fibromyalgia complain of fatigue. This symptom can be mild in some patients and yet incapacitating in others, interfering with all daily activities. The fatigue has been described as "brain fatigue" in which patients feel totally drained of energy. Many patients depict this situation by saying that they feel as though their arms and legs are tied to concrete blocks, and they have difficulty concentrating. Feeling tired a lot of the time can make it hard to carry out simple everyday tasks such as doing housework or going to work. This can also make you feel frustrated and depressed.

Sleep disorder: Most fibromyalgia patients have an associated sleep disorder called the alpha-EEG anomaly. This condition was uncovered in a sleep lab with the aid of a machine which recorded the brain waves of patients during sleep. Researchers found that fibromyalgia patients could fall asleep without much trouble, but their deep level (or stage 4) sleep was constantly interrupted by bursts of awake-like brain activity).

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Constipation, diarrhoea, frequent abdominal pain, abdominal gas and nausea represents symptoms frequently found in roughly 40% to 70% of fibromyalgia patients.

Chronic headaches: Recurrent migraine or tension-type headaches are seen in about 50% of fibromyalgia patients and can pose as a major problem in coping for this patient group.

Temporo-mandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome: This syndrome, sometimes referred to as TMJD, causes tremendous face and head pain in one quarter of FMS patients. Most of the problems associated with this condition are thought to be related to the muscles and ligaments surrounding the joint and not necessarily the joint itself.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome: Sensitivities to odours, noise, bright lights, medications and various foods is common in roughly 50% of fibromyalgia patients.


Other Common Symptoms: Painful menstrual periods (dysmenorrhea), chest pain, morning stiffness, cognitive or memory impairment, numbness and tingling sensations, muscle twitching, irritable bladder, the feeling of swollen extremities, skin sensitivities, dry eyes and mouth, frequent changes in eye prescription, dizziness, and impaired coordination can occur.

 

Treatments


There is no simple cure for fibromyalgia, but there are ways of managing the symptoms. The condition can be successfully treated using a combination of medicines such as antidepressants to help with pain, sleep disturbance and depression; complementary therapies; and lifestyle changes.

Other treatment strategies include physiotherapy, exercise and massage; flowtron therapy; hyperbaric oxygen therapy; electromagnetic therapy and vibrotherapy to ease pain, stiffness and fatigue; improve bowel function, enhance mood and sense of well-being as well as to help people with the condition relax, sleep better and manage their condition more effectively.

 

 

RAMS Therapy Centre and Fibromyalgia

 

RAMS Therapy Centre provides a range of therapies, designed specifically for Fibromyalgia. Follow the links below for further information on these treatments. Therapies will be provided individually as stand-alone treatments or offered in combination. Each person will be assessed and advised on a suitable treatment programme.

Note: permission from your doctor or consultant is required before treatment begins.

 

                                                          Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

               Physiotherapy

        Flowtron Therapy

                Electromagnetic Stimulation Therapy

               Vibrotherapy