Those with fibromyalgia suffer from chronic muscle pain throughout the body, in addition to pain due to touch or pressure, and tender points in specific areas of the body. The disorder is also associated with fatigue, anxiety, depression, gastrointestinal problems, and headaches. More than 5 million people in the United States suffer from fibromyalgia, and most of these are women.
Many fibromyalgia patients find treatment with a pain medicine specialist to be helpful, as pain doctors have an in-depth understanding of the disorder and its treatment
Because there is often no obvious inflammation or damage to the painful areas of the body, fibromyalgia has previously been widely thought of as a disease with roots only in emotional and mental stress. However, fibromyalgia is becoming better understood as a complicated medical disorder with both biological and psychological aspects. A study at McGill University found through brain imaging that the brains of fibromyalgia patients undergo a premature aging process. The study could not determine whether the accelerated aging was a cause or outcome of the disease, but it finally provided some evidence that the disease is connected to real physical dysfunction.
Exercise has been shown to be one of the best remedies for those with fibromyalgia. Studies have shown that both walking and strength training have significant positive effects on the functional deficits and pain caused by the disorder. The most positive outcomes have been associated with a moderately intense level of aerobic exercise, two to three times a week, but even 30 minutes of low to moderate exercise per day, five to seven days a week has been associated with significant improvement in symptoms. As hitting the gym when in pain and feeling fatigued can be quite challenging, other studies have shown that low intensity workouts such as water aerobics, yoga, and tai chi also have strong positive outcomes not only in pain reduction, but also in mood, quality of life, and sleep.
Many fibromyalgia patients find treatment with a pain medicine specialist to be helpful, as pain doctors have an in-depth understanding of the disorder and its treatment. They can help fibromyalgia suffers get to the point that they can pursue a more active lifestyle, and even perhaps begin a fitness regimen. If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or are suffering from its symptoms, the physicians at Louisiana Pain Specialists can help.