Functional Health: Beating Fibromyalgia

If you suffer from pain, chances are good you’ve heard of fibromyalgia.  Nearly 4% of people suffer from fibromyalgia, making it one of the most common pain syndromes in the world!  Although women are 70% more likely to suffer from fibromyalgia than men, the condition hits everyone.  Fibromyalgia can profoundly impact your quality of life, from mobility and strength to living with chronic pain.  If you believe you may have fibromyalgia it is important to see your practitioner before your symptoms get worse!

Symptoms

The most common indicator of fibromyalgia is pain and sensitivity to pressure on the skin.  Most sufferers describe the pain as stabbing and shooting, and it can occur all over the body.  Fibromyalgia pain is often worse in the mornings, and can vary based on restlessness and even temperature/humidity.

Neuropathic symptoms very frequently accompany fibromyalgia.  If you suffer from the condition, you may also be experiencing tingling in your extremities, numbness, the sensation of clothing running over your skin when none is there, and difficulty determining hot and cold in addition to the telltale pressure-sensitivity.  Of course, these symptoms can themselves contribute to other problems, such as sleep disturbance, disruption of appetite, and bladder-control problems.

Causes

The true cause of fibromyalgia is a point of some debate, and has never been decisively established; some researchers even point to the lack of physical abnormalities as evidence that it’s a distinct condition.  There are commonly-held theories, though, which include:

  • Dopamine dysfunction
  • Stress
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Physical trauma

Treatment

Fibromyalgia is traditionally treated with a variety of medications ranging from simple pain relievers, antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, and even dopamine agonists.  Since the root cause of fibromyalgia is not entirely understood, treatment with pharmaceuticals is a game of trial and error at best.  Understandably, this has led many doctors and researchers over the past decade to advocate alternative, non-pharmaceutical treatments.

Some of the more modern methods for fibromyalgia treatment include exercise, cognitive behavior therapy, adjustments to diet and lifestyle, electrotherapy, and even massage therapy.  Extensive research over the past few years even points to chiropractic and other manual therapies and acupuncture as potential routes for effective treatment.

Our clinic promotes newer methodologies for treatment, and discourages medications that could be ineffective, temporary fixes, or even lead to additional complications.

Our clinicians are experts in the latest methods of treating the symptoms of your fibromyalgia in ways that are both more effective and more affordable than dated pharmaceutical techniques.

Because everyone who has fibromyalgia experiences different symptoms, it’s very important to have a one-on-one evaluation with someone who really knows the condition.  If you’re not seeing a practitioner, contact us!  We can put you in touch with an expert who can help you find the ideal treatment for your specific case.

Please call us to schedule a visit at 781-659-7989 today!

References:

http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/guide/natural-therapies-and-alternative-treatments-for-fibromyalgia

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fibromyalgia/DS00079

http://fmaware.org/PageServerded3.html?pagename=fibromyalgia

 

Functional Health: Healthy Recovery From Injury (Exercise Myths and Truths)

After sustaining an injury, many people have common misconceptions about exercise during the recovery period. The goal of this newsletter is to help dispel some of the most commonly-held myths about exercise after injury.

Myth #1: You should avoid exercise altogether after an injury.

Fact: The right workout plan can help you keep your muscles strong and limber to help you avoid further injury. Avoiding exercise can leave you weak and unbalanced and more prone to injury than not exercising at all.

Myth #2: If you worked out regularly before your injury, you should jump back into your regular routine as soon as possible.

Fact: While it is important to keep yourself moving, you also need to be careful about the type of exercises you do. Even if you were in tip-top shape before your injury, your body still needs time to recuperate. You should start off slowly and ease into a regular exercise regime that incorporates safe exercises and plenty of rest on your off days.

Myth #3: If you’re not getting quick results, you should just give up.

Fact: Recovery from any injury takes time, so you shouldn’t get discouraged if you can’t pick up where you left off. You will likely need to build up your strength again, which can be frustrating, and it’s possible that your injury will prevent you from reaching your previous level of exercise intensity. That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy physical activity again, however. It just means that you may need to switch up your exercise routine. Which leads us to our next myth…

Myth #4: Now is not the time to try new things.

Fact: On the contrary, an injury is the perfect excuse to make changes to your exercise regime. If you were a seasoned runner who experienced a leg injury and find running difficult now, you may want to consider low-impact activities such as Pilates or water aerobics.

Myth #5: I should keep my eye on the prize (i.e. ultimate recovery).

Fact: You’d do better to set attainable short-term goals for yourself. Ask us to help you choose goals that will push you just enough to keep you moving toward recovery without straining your injury too much. Also, try to keep a positive mindset; instead of thinking about all the things you can’t do now that you used to be able to do, think about all the things that you can do now that you couldn’t right after your injury.

Water fitness programs are safe and beneficial for most exercisers.

Research has shown that water exercise can be effective for improving overall fitness as well as losing weight. Many people already know that water exercise is good for older people and those that are injured, but they aren’t the only ones who can benefit from aquatic exercise. In fact, some top athletes religiously implement a water fitness program in their exercise routines. The best part is that water workouts are easy on the joints, so chances of injury are slim. If you’re already suffering an injury that makes exercise difficult, aquatic workout is a great way to keep yourself fit without aggravating your injury.

Practice safe exercise techniques to reduce the risk of injury.

Whenever you work out, you need to make sure that you’re using the right techniques for each exercise, or you risk hurting yourself.

When in doubt, our staff can offer supervised exercise sessions, in addition to providing pointers for safe exercise.

And remember we can work with you or your loved ones to determine the best treatment plans for your health and fitness issues.

Please call us to schedule a visit at 781-659-7989 today!