Fibromyalgia is a complex and disabling, chronic (long-term) condition that causes widespread pain, fatigue, and stiffness in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, as well as multiple tender points (places on the body where slight pressure causes pain).
Causes remain unknown but it is currently thought that a nervous system malfunction is the cause of the increased pain. Many patients with fibromyalgia may also have a lower pain threshold because of the increased sensitivity to pain. Changes in muscle metabolism may also lead to the development of fibromyalgia.
There is no cure for fibromyalgia although some treatments are effective in reducing symptoms, such as medications, patient education and exercise. It is important to find a doctor who has experience successfully treating fibromyalgia before beginning treatment.
Most frequently patients will be prescribed medications to treat symptoms of fibromyalgia which include pain, sleep disorders, and depression.
Generally, patients are started on antidepressant medications and/or the muscle relaxants and simple analgesics for the management of pain. Sedation is a common adverse effect with both of these medications which can make symptoms of fatigue worse.
It is well known that a supportive approach taken by the primary care physician with complimentary care recommendations is invaluable in achieving a good outcome.
Natural treatments used to effectively treat fibromyalgia are prescribed on an individual basis however these are some of the more common: Cardiovascular fitness training, strength training, and other lifestyle measures, cognitive behavioural therapy; for pain relief, Massage therapy, Chiropractic, Osteopathic medicine and Trigger Point Injections using natural homeopathics can all be effective.
To help with the digestive upset that is often present with fibromyalgia sufferers, naturopathy and holistic nutrition can help to identify food sensitivities and a nutritional plan that is best suited the patients needs. Fatigue is often due to impaired muscle metabolism, however it can also result from decreased nutrient absorption from the diet. While improving the health of your digestive system, IV nutrient therapy using a Myer's Cocktail is often very beneficial in increasing energy, motivation and providing an improved overall sense of well being. Dr. Slipacoff, ND has specialty certification in injection therapy and IV nutrient therapy.