What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a long-term health condition causing pain and tenderness throughout the body, as well as fatigue and issues with sleep, memory and mood. It’s a disorder that baffles many—patients and doctors alike—as if your body’s volume control for pain is turned up too high, and every sensation is broadcasted on an amplified scale, turning ordinary sensations into a painful experience.

And it doesn’t just stop at pain. Fibromyalgia affects areas of life that many take for granted, like a good night’s sleep or the ability to concentrate. The ‘fibro fog’ that many describe illustrates this perfectly, where thoughts seem to move through molasses, making concentration and memory feel like uphill battles.

The exact cause of fibromyalgia remains unknown, but researchers believe it involves a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors.

Symptoms

A person might have fibromyalgia if they have the following symptoms:

  • Widespread pain throughout the body for more than three months
  • Tenderness or pain when pressure is applied to particular areas of the body, such as shoulders, chest, or hips
  • Numbness or tingling in arms or legs
  • Heightened sensitivity to pain, temperature, lights, or sounds
  • Persistent fatigue, even after a good night’s sleep
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering, which is sometimes called “fibro fog”
  • Frequent headaches
  • Mood fluctuations, including anxiety and depression

Why is Fibromyalgia so Hard to Diagnose?

Diagnosing fibromyalgia can be a difficult and often frustrating process as there is no specific test to diagnose the condition. The symptoms of fibromyalgia also vary greatly from person to person, and many of these symptoms overlap with those of other medical conditions, such as autoimmune, musculoskeletal and mood disorders. This makes it challenging to distinguish fibromyalgia from other possible causes, which leads to misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis.

Is There a Cure for Fibromyalgia?

While there is no complete cure for fibromyalgia now, a multidisciplinary approach is often recommended to manage symptoms successfully. This includes:

  • Medications to manage pain, improve sleep, and alleviate mood disturbances
  • Physiotherapy to improve flexibility, strength, and endurance
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy to develop coping strategies
  • Lifestyle modifications such as maintaining a healthy diet and getting regular exercise

How Does Balancecore Help?

Given its intricacy, turning to a professional who understands the nuances of muscular and skeletal health, such as a physiotherapist, can make a world of difference.

In the case of fibromyalgia, physiotherapists manage the condition like what an engineer manages a car that makes unusual noise. We assess the client’s body movements dynamically to identify any error in body mechanics and structure, analyze and rectify the root causes. As inappropriate movement habits can overstress certain parts of your body, we will also train you to form better movement techniques and healthier habits, so you can enjoy long-lasting relief and improve your quality of life.

No two individuals are the same, and understanding your unique challenges helps us to create a tailored strategy that resonates with your life. Strength training, for example, can fortify muscles and reduce discomfort, while stretching exercises promote flexibility and ease the stiffness that often accompanies fibromyalgia. Our physiotherapists will teach you which areas of the body require strengthening and which areas require stretching. Incorporating aerobic exercises, such as walking or swimming, can also boost energy levels and improve sleep quality, which are crucial components in managing this condition.

But it’s not just about physical activity. Making little changes to daily living can result in a big difference. Knowing how to pace yourself, recognize your body’s limits and set achievable goals can prevent overexertion and minimize flare-ups.

By working with our physiotherapists, you can combine these exercises and strategies into a cohesive plan towards reduced pain and increased energy, and in turn look forward to a more active and fulfilling life.

Should you have any other concerns and need a listening ear, feel free to book a consultation with us. We’re here to help!

If you’re interested in learning more, check out this CNA video that takes you through the lives of several fibromyalgia patients.