Fibromyalgia is soft tissue rheumatism that makes you feel like you haven’t slept at all when you wake up in the morning, despite getting enough sleep at night. Fibromyalgia, which can usually be treated by changing the lifestyle, can recur when stress comes into play. It is also known as chronic pain and fatigue syndrome. What are the symptoms fibromyalgia?
WHAT IS FIBROMYALGIA? (FIBROMYALGIA SYNDROME, POINTS)
Chronic soft tissue rheumatic pain syndrome manifested by sleep disturbance, widespread pain and tenderness in the muscles, extreme fatigue, weakness, and morning stiffness. It manifests itself with extreme sensitivity, especially from certain points of the body. Fibromyalgia syndrome, which is seen in 3 percent of the population, negatively affects the quality of life of patients.
Which is the second most common disease among rheumatic diseases, is seen three times more frequently in women than in men. Studies show that there are approximately 1.3 million fibromyalgia patients in our country. The possibility of comparing the symptoms of fibromyalgia with different diseases is very high. Although fibromyalgia complaints decrease when a correct diagnosis is not made, the risk of relapse after a while is very high. When fibromyalgia is not treated, it causes a decrease in quality of life and loss of workforce.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF FIBROMYALGIA?
Although the symptoms are not very sharp, the most important symptom is tenderness in certain parts of the body. In addition, manifested by pain and difficult waking up in the morning. Difficulty in breathing and tinnitus are also the biggest symptoms of fibromyalgia.
That makes you feel like
People with fibromyalgia syndrome have a special character. They have very high expectations of themselves, are perfectionists, very meticulous, and their moods change very quickly. These people are more likely to experience increased pain during stressful times.
The symptoms, which are compared with low back and neck pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, hypothyroidism, and sleep disorders, can be listed as follows;
- Perceiving any pain more than usual.
- Feeling non-painful stimuli as pain.
- Tingling sensation and numbness in hands and feet
- resistance to exercise
- Constipation, diarrhea and gas complaints
- depressed state
- memory problems
- Feeling tired during the day
- The feeling of being awake without rest
- Decreased sleep quality
- General tenderness felt with pain reduction due to noniceptive stimuli
- Concentration disorder, difficulty learning new things
- Edema sensitivity that varies according to the person
- 30-50% of patients have joint hypermobility.
- Tendency to flushing limited to the upper part of the body
- Hypersensitivity at certain points of the body is also considered the most prominent feature of this disease.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF FIBROMYALGIA? WHY IT HAPPEN?
Although the cause is not well known, research shows that genetic factors are very important. Accordingly, the risk of developing this disease increases 8 times in people whose first degree relatives have fibromyalgia. At the same time, environmental factors are one of the important causes. Physical and emotional traumas, especially in childhood, are considered among the major risk factors.
Also a disease with a psychological dimension. More common in people with depression, sleep disorders, and people with high anxiety. Fibromyalgia syndrome (soft tissue rheumatism), which is more common in women between the ages of 25-55, can also be seen in men and in childhood. The disease is more common especially in people with higher education and economic level. A perfectionist and workaholic personality structure can also be shown among the causes of fibromyalgia.
Frequently seen in those who work in professions such as journalism, architecture, and the financial sector. In addition, seen in people who do not like their job. Since unhappiness is a factor that increases pain, those who are not satisfied with their job are at least as likely to have fibromyalgia as those who work in stressful occupations.
In general, the causes can be listed as sleep disturbance, pain perception disorder, imbalance of substances called neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, nervous system and hormonal system disorders, muscle and muscle dysfunction, overwork of the sympathetic system.
HOW IS DIAGNOSED?
As soon as the symptoms of fibromyalgia are noticed, it is necessary to apply to a rheumatology specialist of a fully equipped hospital for diagnosis and to physical therapy units for treatment. A multidisciplinary treatment is applied for fibromyalgia, which is a very complex disease. Apart from psychologists and physiotherapists, support can be obtained from many branches.
The diagnosis of fibromyalgia is made by the patient’s history, symptoms, and physical examination. For a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, complaints and symptoms must persist for three months. In the fibromyalgia examination, it is determined whether these painful points are present in approximately 11 of the 18 tender points of the body called tender points. It is considered essential that the patient be extremely sensitive at these reference points. Fibromyalgia should not be expected to show up only in blood tests. However, blood tests may be requested for differential diagnosis. In fibromyalgia, which is often confused with other diseases, examinations to prevent this confusion are of great importance.
HOW IS TREATED?
Consistency is very important in the treatment. If the correct diagnosis is not made, the treatment of a different disease will be started and the patient may encounter additional problems under an unnecessary drug load. This also causes fibromyalgia to become chronic. Constantly changing doctors, interrupting the treatment and seeking different treatments also negatively affect the treatment. It is very important to make the treatment sustainable, especially in fibromyalgia that can be treated with medication.
In addition to drug treatment, patients need to make some changes in their daily lives. A stress-free, regular life, balanced diet and regular sleep are the most important keys to treatment. As long as the body cannot rest, the person will overreact to even the smallest event in daily life.
The most important principle in the treatment is patient-doctor cooperation. Among the personalized treatment options, PRP applications, physical therapy and rehabilitation methods, one or all of the exercise programs can be applied. Especially recently, it is much easier to destroy fibrositis (painful muscle knots), which is the main cause of fibromyalgia, with the PRP method. Some physical therapy options that may vary depending on the person in the treatment are as follows;
- Regional Injections,
- Ozone Therapy,
- Electrotherapy Applications (Tens, Ultrasound Therapy, Interventional Currents, Biofeedback, Hvgs),
- Temperature Agents,
- Tissue Massage,
- Classic Massage,
- Stretching & Relaxation Trainings
- Prp (Platelet Rich Plasma),
- neural therapy,
Exercises: Exercises are one of the most important parts of the treatment process. After a tiring and stressful working day, it is necessary to spend time doing sports at least 3 times a week. Working at a desk for long hours and inactivity negatively affect the development of muscles. Thanks to sports, the person’s muscles work and he feels good. It should be noted that it is not possible to cure this disease with medication alone.
The aim of the treatment is to prepare treatment options for the problems of the person who complains of pain and fatigue and whose physical and social life is affected. Painkillers and muscle relaxants are preferred in drug treatment. However, in addition to drug therapy, patient education is also important. It should not be forgotten that long-term sitting, standing, stress, writing for a long time, lifting weights, working with the arms in a stretched position will increase the complaints.
With the exercises, the condition is increased, traumas and external harmful stimuli are reduced, and the pain cycle is broken. It is very important patients to do aerobics, posture, stretching, pilates, yoga, and swimming exercises. In addition, physical therapy applications such as hot treatments, electrical simulations, spa, and massage are very effective. Although fibromyalgia patients have difficulty in exercising, a great increase in life quality is observed when starting with a mild intensity and continuing with mild intensity.
Use of Medications:
Each patient should be handled and treated individually. Long-term use of medication can also be harmful in drug-treated fibromyalgia. Antidepressant group drugs can also be used in fibromyalgia syndrome. These drugs both regulate sleep and are good for chronic painful conditions. However, using these drugs for a long time can cause addiction in people. This causes fibromyalgia to go untreated. Psychiatric drugs are recommended to be used only in case of an accompanying psychological disorder. In the use of painkillers used for pain, attention should be paid to kidney, stomach and blood pressure problems.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is exercise good for fibromyalgia?
It is very important to exercise regularly. Activities such as relaxation exercises, stretching exercises, cardiovascular conditioning exercises, low-intensity walking, swimming and cycling, and water aerobics are especially beneficial.
Can I use my usual pain reliever?
Medications used to treat fibromyalgia are aimed at reducing pain, regulating sleep, and treating depression. Antidepressants, pain relievers, sleep regulators and muscle relaxants should be used under the supervision of a doctor.
Is hot weather and heat good for this disease?
Hot and dry weather can be good for fibromyalgia. Of the physical therapy treatments, hot application, deep heaters and electrical stimulation, massage and spa treatments are recommended.
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