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Some of us may not yet be aware of fibromyalgia and how it can affect our health. Its symptoms can be somehow similar to joint inflammation and arthritis. However, unlike arthritis, fibromyalgia causes myofascial pain and soft tissue problems. If you feel that you're at risk or experiencing this health issue, then it is also crucial that you become knowledgeable of various fibromyalgia treatments. Of course, it is also important to know some ways on how to prevent it.
Fibromyalgia is a health condition described by widespread musculoskeletal pain, along with mood issues, memory and sleep problems, and fatigue. Medical experts believe that fibromyalgia heightens painful sensations by making an impact on how the brain processes pain signals.
Commonly, fibromyalgia symptoms commence after surgery, infection, physical trauma, and even stress. Some medical experts also added that women are more at risk of having this health condition compared to men. Some individuals who experience fibromyalgia can also have irritable bowel syndrome, tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, depression, and anxiety. There is still no proven cure for fibromyalgia, but various medications can reduce or alleviate its effects.
The following are the most common symptoms you should be aware of if you think you have fibromyalgia:
#1 Cognitive issues such as inability to focus and pay attention
#2 Irritable bowel syndrome
#3 Fatigue (which is usually experienced after waking up despite having a complete night sleep)
#4 Sleep disorders
#5 Migraines and tension headaches
#6 Pain which is described as a frequent dull ache that can last up to several months
#7 Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ)
#8 Painful bladder syndrome or interstitial cystitis
Some medical experts still can't confirm the major causes of fibromyalgia. However, you should know several factors that can cause this medical condition:
#1 Physical and emotional trauma
A car accident, as well as other physical trauma, can trigger fibromyalgia. Besides, psychological stress can also contribute to having this condition.
There are some diseases that can also stimulate or worsen fibromyalgia. These may include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis.
Fibromyalgia is said to run in families. That means, if one in your family had fibromyalgia, you could also be at risk of having this. You can be more susceptible to having this disorder.
So, how can fibromyalgia affect us? Clearly, the pain, fatigue and discomfort associated with fibromyalgia can hamper your capability to perform tasks at work and home. You can be frustrated because of tasks not completed and the health problems that you can acquire.
Fibromyalgia should be taken seriously since it can cause other adverse effects on health and work. This is the reason why we should be aware of the medications to help reduce the pain and other complications of fibromyalgia. Here are some of them:
#1 Pain relievers
Several kinds of pain relievers can be used to treat the condition such as Tylenol, Naproxen Sodium, and Ibuprofen. As per the severity of the condition, your physician can also prescribe some other medications like tramadol.
#2 Anti-seizure medications
There are certain medications made to treat epilepsy that can also help ease pain and fatigue due to fibromyalgia. Before using any of these medications, make sure to consult your doctors first. This is to avoid any side effects that may cause complications.
There are some types of therapies that can aid in reducing the effects of fibromyalgia. These include physical therapy (exercises that help improve flexibility, stamina, and strength), counselling (talking to a counsellor to establish the trust in your abilities in dealing with stressful situations), and occupational therapy (doing specific tasks related to work performance).
#4 Manage and reduce stress
Learn how to handle stress effectively. Keep in mind to ensure that it will not overwhelm your physical and mental state. Change your routine when needed. Evaluate those things that cause you stress. Instead, do something that can make you healthy and happy. Meditation, for instance, is proven to be an effective method to relieve stress and anxiety.
#5 Make sure to maintain a healthy lifestyle
Your lifestyle plays a big part in keeping yourself free from fibromyalgia. As Mayo Clinic stated:
"Lifestyle changes and medications can lessen the severity of fibromyalgia pain and fatigue, but you'll probably still have some bad days. Knowing that you can plan ahead for those bad days. The following tips may help take your mind off the pain and possibly ease your discomfort."
Keeping a healthy lifestyle involves various activities such as eating healthy foods, doing exercises regularly, and promoting proper posture.
In relation to that, it is also essential to make sure that you're using the proper tools and equipment when at work. Standing desks, desk converters, and ergonomic chairs can play a significant role in creating a healthy and comfortable work experience. Whether you're working in the convenience of your home or in a company office, applying workplace ergonomics is of top importance.
#6 Alternative and complementary medicine
Several types of alternative and complementary therapies such as acupuncture, yoga, tai chi and massage therapy can also reduce the pain due to fibromyalgia.
Some additional tips to avoid having fibromyalgia include:
- Listen to music; it has a powerful impact on emotions and moods. It can make you stay active and help reduce pain. Not only that, but it can also aid you to sleep better.
- Be happy and always keep a sense of humour. Watch funny movies and read inspirational books. Laughter and positivity can help ease the pain because these can release chemicals that promote a better sense of well-being.
- Go for wellness treatment. You can go to a spa and indulge yourself on a relaxing day.
- Do positive visualization. Avoid negative thoughts as much as possible. Instead, choose happy and positive thoughts.
- Do things that you are passionate about. One reason why some individuals are getting engaged with an inactive lifestyle is that they keep themselves stagnant. To avoid its consequences, make sure to stay active by doing meaningful activities that can enhance skills and passion.
Fibromyalgia can affect someone's health and work performance. The pain it brings can interfere with daily activities and other important tasks. It can lower the productivity level or the quality of work in the workplace. It is vital to be aware of the different ways on how to treat or prevent fibromyalgia. As always, getting informed with any health condition is the best way to deal with it.