No one has to tell Fibromyalgia patients that their pain is real and not in their heads as many physicians have told them. Pain for a Fibromyalgia patient is real, constant and everywhere throughout their body. It can range from acute intense pain to chronic mild to again severe. It can move all over their body including their joints. Fibromyalgia patients can complain of a wide range of aching gnawing symptoms. On top of all this Fibromyalgia patients have additional conditions that they have to deal with. Their condition of Fibromyalgia makes these “secondary conditions” worse.
Fibromyalgia pain is considered chronic because it has been present for at least three months or longer. The pain can be mild at times or severe. Once the nervous system has been stimulated for an extended period of time it causes an accumulation of painful stimuli and an intensity in symptoms that leads to chronic pain.
Fibromyalgia affects anywhere from 6 to 8 million individuals or one in fifty Americans. That’s approximately 4% of the population. This is from the American college of Rheumatology study in 2004. These figures will be higher today. Fibromyalgia is the second most common condition affecting the musculoskeletal system after osteoarthritis.
There is a very important little known research fact that the general public has very little knowledge of. Chronic pain such as that suffered by Fibromyalgia patients shrinks the brain. A study at Northwestern University, November 23, 2004 showed as much as 11% of gray matter over a 10 year period of aging occurs. Gray matter of the brain is important for information and memory. This comes out to 1.3 cubic centimeters of gray matter are lost for every year of chronic pain.
I have found there are a number of pain relieving solutions. Most of them are bad for the patient’s overall health even though they may offer a palliative short lived pain reduction. All the Lyrica’s, symbalta’s, Savella’s have more side effects than positives. Opioid’s including fentanyl and heroin are high risk drugs. A study from the Columbia University Medical Center found that 60% of those who died from opioid overdose where actually diagnosed with chronic pain.
Here are some of the safe pain relieving solutions for Fibromyalgia and any other patients suffering from chronic pain that I have used in the Fibromyalgia Wellness Center.
Pure Omega-3 Fish oil – 300mg EPA – blocks the brain from producing prostaglandins which produce pain.
- Malic acid – a natural anti-inflammatory
- Acupuncture – Needle and needleless, a 5000 year old medical treatment
- Electrical stimulation – in the form of interferential, hi-volt galvanic, micro-stimulation, TENS unit Cold Laser
- Massage (but not aggressive)
- and Gentle Chiropractic Adjustments