Fibromyalgia is a painful condition, which is becoming more common, and yet about which very little is known.
The most widely accepted theory is that fibromyalgia is a central pain problem, caused by excessive levels of pain stimulators or amplifiers in the central nervous system.
It is generally diagnosed by sensitivity to certain pain points, and widespread pain over all areas of the body over a period of many months.
There is no known cure and treatment focuses on pain and symptom management. The most common symptoms are:
- Widespread pain.
- Increased sensitivity to pain
- Fatigue (extreme tiredness)
- Muscle stiffness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Problems with mental processes (known as “fibro-fog”) – such as problems with memory and concentration
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
It can affect anyone, but it is far more common in women than men, and generally develops between the ages of 30 and 50. It is hard to know exactly how many people have the condition as many of the symptoms are common to other disorders.
Diagnosis often begins by ruling out certain other conditions, including, M.E., Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Multiple Sclerosis.
Diagnosis for Fibromylagia is usually made if the following conditions are met:
- Severe pain in 3-6 areas of the body or milder pain in 7 or more different areas
- Symptoms have stayed at a similar level for at least 3 months.
- No other reason for the symptoms is found.
Treatment consists of a combination of painkillers (paracetamol, codeine and tramadol), anti-depressants (amitriptyline and prozac amongst others), and lifestyle advice.
The following video is of a woman I have been working with since 2015. She was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2006. She has a Reflexology treatment approximately once a fortnight.
After the first treatment she reported that the pain was more manageable, and she found it easier to get in and out of the bath. Within 3 months she was reporting overall improvement in symptoms, and in flexibility and mobility.
Here she explains in her own words how she feels Reflexology helps her manage the condition.