Fibromyalgia is 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.
Many researchers believe that repeated nerve stimulation causes the brain and spinal cord of people with fibromyalgia to change. This change involves an abnormal increase in levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain.
In addition, the brain’s pain receptors seem to develop a sort of memory of the pain and become sensitized, meaning they can overreact to painful and nonpainful signals.
There are likely many factors that lead to these changes, including:
- Genetics: Because fibromyalgia tends to run in families, there may be certain genetic mutations that may make you more susceptible to developing the disorder.
- Infections: Some illnesses appear to trigger or aggravate fibromyalgia.
- Physical or emotional events: Fibromyalgia can sometimes be triggered by a physical event, such as a car accident. Prolonged psychological stress may also trigger the condition.
Sign and symptoms
The most common symptoms of fibromyalgia are:
- 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 the body and above and below the waist.
- Fatigue and tiredness: 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.
Fibromyalgia often co-exists with other conditions, such as:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Migraine and other types of headaches
- Interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome
- Temporomandibular joint disorders
- Postural tachycardia syndrome
- Age: Fibromyalgia can affect people of all ages, including children. However, most people are diagnosed during middle age and you are more likely to have fibromyalgia as get older.
- Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis. If a person has lupus or rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you are more likely to develop fibromyalgia.
- Sex: Women are twice as likely to have fibromyalgia as men.
- Stressful or traumatic events, such as car accidents, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Repetitive injuries: Injury from repetitive stress on a joint, such as frequent knee bending.
- Illness (such as viral infections)
- Family history
The pain, fatigue, and poor sleep quality associated with fibromyalgia can interfere with your ability to function at home or on the job. The frustration of dealing with an often-misunderstood condition also can result in depression and health-related anxiety.
In the past, doctors would check 18 specific points on a person’s body to see how many of them were painful when pressed firmly
Instead, the main factor needed for a fibromyalgia diagnosis is widespread pain throughout your body for at least three months.
To meet the criteria, you must have pain in at least four of these five areas:
- Left upper region, including shoulder, arm or jaw
- Right upper region, including shoulder, arm or jaw
- Left lower region, including hip, buttock or leg
- Right lower region, including hip, buttock or leg
- Axial region, which includes neck, back, chest or abdomen
Your doctor may want to rule out other conditions that may have similar symptoms. Blood tests may include:
- Complete blood count
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
- Cyclic citrullinated peptide test
- Rheumatoid factor
- Thyroid function tests
- Anti-nuclear antibody
- Celiac serology
- Vitamin D
If there’s a chance that you may be suffering from sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend an overnight sleep study.
Homeopathy medicines offer a natural treatment for fibromyalgia and help alleviate the symptoms and treat the problem for long-term relief. They have no side effects and are made of natural substances that are safe for use.
Rhus Tox is a top listed medicine for treating fibromyalgia. It is indicated in cases where there is widespread pain in the body. The pain is present in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments and can be tearing, shooting, stitching in nature. It is seen to get worse with exertion and during the night. The sleep gets disturbed, and there is marked stiffness in the body. Back pain is very prominent, and it gets better with motion. Rhus Tox is also indicated for numbness and a prickling sensation in the limbs.
Arnica Montana is a natural medicine for fibromyalgia prepared from the Leopard’s Bane plant. It belongs to the family Composite. It is primarily used in cases of fibromyalgia where there are sore, bruised pains in the body. The body feels lame and sore as if beaten. It is sensitive to touch, and the person feels afraid to touch the painful parts. Fatigue, numbness, and tingling of limbs may be present. A history of injuries is usually present in people needing this medicine.
Kali Phos is a natural remedy for fibromyalgia used to treat marked fatigue and sleep issues in cases of fibromyalgia. There is an intense weakness, tiredness and whole system feels drained out. The affected person gets easily fatigued and has body aches. Exertion worsens the condition. Sleeplessness is another major issue that is treated well with this medicine. A prickling sensation in the hands and feet and fibromyalgia linked with stress are also indicative of this remedy.
Bryonia Alba is a very beneficial medicine for fibromyalgia considered in cases where pains get worse from motion. Lying down and absolute rest offers relief in pains. The type of pain varies from sharp, stitching, bursting, sore to tearing in nature. Pressure causes pain on tender points founds on the lower back and knee. Stiffness also attends the pain.
Magnesia Phos is a well-indicated natural treatment for fibromyalgia where warmth relieves the pains. The pains in the body are mostly shifting in nature, changing from one place to other frequently. The character of the pain is mostly sharp and shooting. Light touch tends to worsen the pain, and there is a pain in the neck, lower back, and lower limbs. The pains also tend to radiate from the point of origin. Restlessness and extreme weakness are present, and cold tends to worsen the pains.
Ruta Graveolens is a remedy for fibromyalgia prepared from the fresh plant of Garden Rue of the family Rutaceae. Its use is indicated for pains in the body along with restlessness. Soreness of tendons and pains are of deep, sharp, drawing, tearing in nature are mainly present in the neck, shoulders, lower back, and knee.
Arsenic Album is a useful medicine for fibromyalgia with marked fatigue. The key indications for using this medicine include sudden weakness, excessive tiredness, exhaustion from slight exertion, burning pains in the body in areas like the back and limbs. Use of this medicine is also considered in cases of fibromyalgia when intense anxiety (particularly about health) and restlessness is present. All the complaints are seen to get worse during the night.
Cimicifuga Racemosa is indicated for fibromyalgia with marked pains in the muscles of the neck and the lower back. A feeling of stiffness and contraction in the neck is also present. Dull, heavy aching in the lower back that is improved by rest, pains in muscles worsening from motion and excessive muscular soreness are other accompanying symptoms.
Gelsemium Sempervirens is prepared from the plant Yellow Jasmine. The natural order of this plant is Loganiaceae. Key indications for the use of this medicine include aching in muscles and tiredness, deep-seated pains that are worse in the back, hips, neck, and under the scapula. Exertions worsen the pain and headaches may also be present along with the above symptoms.
Coffea Cruda is a medicine used to treat sleep issues in fibromyalgia. The person needing this medicine has severe insomnia (sleeplessness). It is indicated in cases of restlessness and disturbed sleep. Hypersensitivity towards pain is another common feature.
Ignatia is a natural medicine for fibromyalgia and depression. A history of some emotional shock like loss of a loved one, or any major grief or disappointment may be present in people needing this medicine. Symptoms of depression like sadness, weeping, desire to be alone are well marked along with mental and physical exhaustion.
Causticum is a medicine for treating fibromyalgia with widespread pains. Pain is prominent in the neck, lower back, buttocks, shoulders, shoulder blades, elbows, and knees. The pains are present constantly and can vary in intensity. There is tearing pain in the back of the neck along with stiffness. Pinching, cramping pain in the lumbar region and buttocks, pressure and pain over the shoulders which is worse on motion, pressing pain in the elbows, and marked pain in the hips during the night are present. There are tearing pains in the limbs that shift from one part to another.
Acid Phos is a natural medicine for fibromyalgia where a person suffers from extreme brain fog. The person needing this remedy finds it difficult to collect thoughts and may experience a random disassociation in thoughts along with mental weakness. The person may find it difficult to comprehend things or concentrate on a task. In most cases, a history of some grief or sorrow may be present. Issues of sleeplessness and extreme weakness may also be present with the above symptoms.
It is for lameness, weakness, trembling and twitching of muscles.
It is the most well indicated among Homeopathic medicines for fibromyalgia with fatigue and general debility. The person complains of pain in the limbs and joints with weariness and fatigue even at the slightest touch.