At BodaHealth, we offer a number of treatments and strategies for patients who are suffering from fibromyalgia. Because fibromyalgia is a syndrome that can cause a wide range of symptoms, practitioners treating this condition need flexibility, a variety of strategies, and a wide choice of healing treatments. At BodaHealth, we get it.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia, or fibromyalgia syndrome, is associated with a group of symptoms, the most common of which is pain and achiness all over. The pain may be worse on rising, and has been compared by some people as the achiness associated with the flu or sore muscles from overdoing it at the gym. People with fibromyalgia also commonly struggle with crushing fatigue, insomnia, and depression. Less common, but very real symptoms of fibromyalgia include memory issues, headaches, restless legs or twitching muscles, irritable bowel syndrome, painful periods, and hypersensitivity to temperature, noise or light.
Fibromyalgia symptoms may flare up and subside. Flare-ups may be triggered by stressful events and changes in the weather or barometric pressure. In addition, hormonal changes from your menstrual cycle or pregnancy can also trigger fibromyalgia symptoms.
While it’s not entirely clear, experts believe that fibromyalgia is caused by a problem with how nerve and pain signals are transmitted to your brain. They believe that in people with fibromyalgia, sensory signals are somehow magnified by their brain, amplifying pain, temperature, and other sensory messages.
Fibromyalgia affects more women than men. In addition, your risk of developing this condition is greater if you are obese, smoke, suffer from other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, or have experienced some kind of physical or emotional trauma.
Perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of fibromyalgia is how hard it can be to diagnose. There’s no lab test for this condition, so your health care provider must rely on subjective information. Generally, fibromyalgia may be diagnosed if you have had widespread pain, or pain at several of 18 specific tender points on your body, and if you are experiencing other common symptoms of fibromyalgia, such as fatigue or insomnia.
To make a diagnosis more confusing, there are a number of conditions that are associated with similar symptoms. Fibromyalgia may be confused with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), however the chief symptom with fibromyalgia is pain, and with CFS it is fatigue. Fibromyalgia has also been confused with other rheumatic conditions, such as arthritis, however patients with fibromyalgia don’t experience the inflammation and joint damage associated with arthritis.
Strategies and Treatments for Fibromyalgia at BodaHealth
Because fibromyalgia is a syndrome that affects each sufferer differently, our key strategy in treating this condition based on your unique health history, specific needs, and current symptoms. One goal in treating patients with this condition is to create a positive domino effect to improve your overall health. For example, a treatment strategy to improve sleep quality may provide additional benefits in the form of better energy, enhanced activity, and improved mental health.
At BodaHealth, we are staffed with practitioners from a wide variety of disciplines who are trained and experienced in working with people suffering from fibromyalgia. The treatments we offer include:
-Acupuncture. Commonly used to relieve many kinds of pain, acupuncture has also been found to be effective in treating the pain and other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. Scientists who recently reviewed the body of research on treating fibromyalgia with acupuncture concluded that acupuncture helped reduce pain, improve sleep, decrease fatigue, and improve both physical functioning and global well-being. They also discovered that providing acupuncture that included electrical stimulation, in which a mild current was passed through the acupuncture needles, was even more effective than acupuncture alone. Acupuncture affects your body to reduce inflammation, increase circulation, and promote the release of endorphins, which reduce pain and promote a sense of calm.
-Chinese Medicine. In addition to acupuncture, our practitioners of Chinese medicine are highly trained in dispensing Chinese herbal medicine, which may be used to relieve pain, enhance your energy, treat imbalances, and promote healing. They are also trained and skilled in Tui Na, which is a kind of massage that involves acupuncture points and pathways, as well as moxibustion, cupping and Gua Sha, which are treatments that help increase circulation, relieve pain, and stimulate healing.
-Massage Therapy. A hallmark symptom of fibromyalgia is muscle pain, and massage therapy can be an invaluable tool for relieving pain. Massage can be effective in treating other fibromyalgia symptoms as well. BodaHealth offers massage therapy to help reduce tension in often painful and tight muscles. The relaxing nature of massage also helps set the stage for better sleep and reduced stress, which, along with pain relief, are important components in improving your overall health.
-Therapeutic Exercise, Pilates, and Fascial Stretch Therapy. A critical component in managing fibromyalgia is movement. Our exercise therapists understand how important maintaining muscle strength, range of motion, and correct posture are to your well-being. Individualized sessions with one of BodaHealth’s exercise therapy practitioners can help decrease your pain, release tight and contracted muscles, improve your circulation, build muscle strength, improve endurance, maintain your range of motion, and promote relaxation and better sleep.
-Osteopathy. One of the foundations of osteopathy is that many illnesses are caused by problems with your body’s musculoskeletal system. Osteopaths are trained in assessing and treating health issues through a hands-technique, called manual manipulation. Our osteopathic practitioner is experienced in treating patients with a wide variety of health conditions, including the pain and the numerous symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.
-Naturopathic Medicine. At BodaHealth, our naturopathic physicians can assess your health on many levels. They may evaluate your nutritional status, hormone levels, digestion, and the amounts of toxic chemicals in your body that may be negatively impacting your health. They are able to order lab tests and prescribe prescription medications when necessary. In treating fibromyalgia, their plan for you may involve vitamin therapy, herbal or nutritional supplements, dietary guidelines, and other therapies to help relieve pain, reduce inflammation, promote better sleep, boost your energy, promote healing, and enhance your mood and mental health.
Shockwave Therapy. Shockwave therapy offered by BodaHealth involves the use of mild pulses to painful or injured tissues to relieve pain and promote healing. Experts believe that shockwave therapy, breaks up scar tissue and calcium deposits and gives your body the message to initiate healing. For patients struggling with painful trigger points, shock wave therapy can be beneficial in reducing or eliminating that pain.
Injection Therapy. One of the latest advancements offered by BodaHealth is therapeutic injections. This involves the injection of beneficial substances to treat muscle, joint, tendon, or nerve pain and inflammation. The substance to be used for injection therapy depends on the condition to be treated and the kind of tissue that will be injected. For patients with fibromyalgia, injecting painful hyperirritable muscular trigger points, can produce pain relief and decrease the number of painful areas.
With fibromyalgia, there is no “one size fits all” treatment. At BodaHealth, our practitioners understand that your fibromyalgia symptoms and history are unique to you. For that reason, they are dedicated to providing individualized care that is unique to your specific needs. If you are struggling with fibromyalgia, find out how our caring staff at BodaHealth can help you.