Naturally Treat Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a common syndrome in which a person has long-term, body-wide pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, depression, and anxiety. It affects 1 in 50 Americans and is most common among women aged 20 to 50.
The cause is unknown. Possible causes or triggers of fibromyalgia include: Physical or emotional trauma, abnormal pain response - areas in the brain that are responsible for pain may react differently in fibromyalgia patients, sleep disturbances, infection, such as a virus, although none has been identified.
People with fibromyalgia tend to wake up with body aches and stiffness. For some patients, pain improves during the day and gets worse at night. Some patients have pain all day long. Pain may get worse with activity, cold or damp weather, anxiety, and stress.
Fatigue, depressed mood, and sleep problems are seen in almost all patients with fibromyalgia. Many say that they can't get to sleep or stay asleep, and they feel tired when they wake up. Other symptoms of fibromyalgia may include: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), memory and concentration problems, numbness and tingling in hands and feet, palpitations, reduced ability to exercise, and tension or migraine headaches.
Many people find fibromyalgia help through natural treatments — about 90 percent of those with fibromyalgia have tried some form of them.
Natural treatments include:
Vitamin D: Both vitamin D and magnesium levels have been found to be low in people with fibromyalgia. Vitamin D does have some effects on nerve and muscle function, and some studies have suggested that low levels of vitamin D may be associated with chronic pain of fibromyalgia.
Acupuncture: There have been several studies on the usefulness of acupuncture in fibromyalgia. Although this fibromyalgia treatment seems to relieve pain, the results are not long-lasting.
S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe): Because SAMe is a naturally occurring substance throughout the body and involved in many of the body's processes, its role as a pain reliever has been studied. SAMe has been shown to relieve depression and the chronic pain associated with osteoarthritis. Some studies show that taking SAMe may reduce fibromyalgia symptoms of pain, fatigue, and stiffness. SAMe is not found in food, but can be taken as a supplement in the form of a tablet.
Massage therapy is another alternative pain treatment that is one of the most commonly tried for fibromyalgia. The benefits of massage are hard to demonstrate in a clinical study, but it does seem to be helpful for many types of muscle pain, including fibromyalgia. Massage relieves tightness and promote relaxation, temporarily relieving fibromyalgia pain.
Capsaicin comes from pepper plants and is considered a natural pain reliever. When applied to a painful area of the body, it stimulates the release of a body chemical called substance P. As substance P is depleted, the pain sensation seems to decrease. Capsaicin has been used for chronic pain in diabetes, cancer, and cluster headaches. It may also temporarily relieve fibromyalgia pain.