Fibromyalgia: how to relieve the pain

Fibromyalgia is believed to be a genetic disorder that produces a hypersensitization to pain. That is to say, the patient who suffers from it perceives as pain stimuli that normal people do not perceive as such.

It has been observed that there is a greater risk of suffering it if there is a family history (mother/siblings with this disease).

It is much more common in women than in men, with a ratio of 7 to 1.

Symptoms of fibromyalgia

The most frequent and most disabling symptoms of fibromyalgia are 3:

  • Pain
  • Feeling of fatigue and tiredness
  • Feeling of sadness.

One symptom may predominate over another, only one symptom may occur and after some time it may be associated with another, etc.

Along with fatigue, pain is the most disabling symptom. This pain is localized in multiple regions and usually respects the night’s rest. It worsens with sustained activity and lack of rest, as well as in cold environments.

How does this pain evolve over time?

The pain worsens and improves seasonally, depending on the physical activity, the patient’s emotional state (stressful situations will worsen the pain), cold environments, etc. If left untreated, it can become very disabling for the person.

Although it can be located in multiple regions, the most common are the cervical region, the dorsal-lumbar region and the lateral aspect of the thighs.

Diagnosis of fibromyalgia

To diagnose fibromyalgia, pain must be reproduced when pressing on at least 14 different points, known as “trigger” points, which can vary over time.

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A neurological and rheumatological examination should be performed by specialists in Neurology and Rheumatology and other causes that may have similar symptoms should be ruled out.

Sport in fibromyalgia

Sport and aerobic exercises will improve pain and the feeling of fatigue. It is not necessary to reach exhaustion.

Exercises such as swimming, Pilates or yoga, together with relaxation techniques, will help patients and enhance the effect of medical and physiotherapeutic treatment.

Treatment of fibromyalgia

In fibromyalgia treatment must be individualized. We have drugs that alone or in combination improve pain and usually reduce its intensity.

The treatment should be adapted to the type of life of the person and have clear and realistic goals. The main one is to improve the quality of life of the person.

In addition to the above treatments, it has been observed that infiltrations of trigger points (either with triamcinolone and mepivacaine, or with botulinum toxin) can relieve a high number of patients, if oral treatments have not been sufficiently effective.