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fibromyalgia

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what is fibromyalgia? 

Fibromyalgia is a common condition that causes widespread pains in the body along with tenderness. It is also known as ‘Central pain amplification disorder’ where some people feel the sensations of pain much more than others. The pain and tenderness seem to move about in the body and come and go at intervals. Women are affected more by this condition than men.

how can fibromyalgia be identified?

While the symptoms of fibromyalgia are similar to arthritis and joint inflammation, but like these two conditions, it is not an auto-immune condition but is a disorder of the nervous system. 

Its symptoms depend on the age of the patient and the severity of the condition. Mostly the symptoms start appearing after the age of 45 years. Some of the most common fibromyalgia symptoms include:

  • Feelings of tenderness or pressure when certain parts of the skin, muscles, or joints are touched. 
  • Prolonged feelings of fatigue.
  • Not waking up fresh even after proper sleep.
  • Stiff joints in the morning.
  • Persistent headaches.
  • Inability to sleep properly.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Tingling and numbness in the hands and feet.
  • Painful menstrual periods.
  • Problem remembering things.
  • Inability to think clearly.
  • Pain or stiffness in the jaws and the facial area.
  • Ringing in the ears.
  • Sensitivity to heat or cold. 
  • Vision problems.
  • Urinary and pelvic problems.
  • Weight gain. 
  • Dizziness. 
  • Persistent cold-like symptoms. 
  • Problems in breathing.
  • Depression and anxiety.

what are the causes of fibromyalgia?

The causes of fibromyalgia are still unclear to doctors and researchers. Since it is a condition of the nervous system, it is assumed that it is a problem associated with the heightened sensitivity of the pain processing function of the brain to any of these triggers:

  • Going through stress for a long period.
  • Suffering frequent traumatic incidents.
  • Auto-immune conditions like lupus, spinal arthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. 
  • Other disorders of the nervous system.
  • Genetic factors impacting how a person reacts to painful stimuli.

how is fibromyalgia diagnosed and treated?

There are no specific tests to diagnose fibromyalgia. There are certain criteria that a person has to meet for her/him to have fibromyalgia. These include:

  • Having severe pain in 3 to 6 different areas of the body.
  • Having mild pain in 7 or more different areas. 
  • Your symptoms have remained the same or progressed in the last 3 months. 

Once a person meets these criteria, she/he will have to undergo a physical examination to check for swollen joints, muscular pain, etc. Your doctor may have to conduct blood or urine tests or X-Rays to rule out conditions with overlapping symptoms like arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, depression, etc. 

how is it treated? 

Since there is no permanent cure, fibromyalgia treatments are designed to relieve the patients of pain and discomfort. Some of the most common lines of treatment include:

  • Medications: Your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-depressants to help reduce pain and promote better sleep. Some anti-epilepsy medications and anti-seizure drugs may also help in reducing the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
  • Natural treatments: Self-care and natural remedies contribute towards managing the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Some of the most common and effective fibromyalgia natural treatment remedies include:
  1. Managing your stress: This includes reducing emotional stress and overexertion through practices like meditation, deep breathing, and inculcating a positive outlook, etc. 
  2. Sleep management: Fatigue is one of the most common components of fibromyalgia, which occurs mainly due to lack of proper and adequate amount of sleep. It helps to minimise your daytime naps, sleeping for a minimum of 7-8 hours daily, avoiding caffeine and screen-time before sleeping, etc.
  3. Eating healthy: Eating a well-balanced diet is advised. Reduce the intake of carbonated drinks and stop using taking alcohol, tobacco, etc. You may also be advised Vitamin D, magnesium, and creatine supplements to bolster your nutrition. 
  4. Exercising regularly: Exercises like cycling, swimming, water aerobics, walking, etc. are known to reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia. 
  5. Counselling: Talking to a counsellor about your symptoms and learning strategies to manage pain and dealing with stressful situations is said to help. 
  6. Yoga: This combination of slow movements, breathing exercises, and slow movements is said to control stress and pain. 

how does physiotherapy help in the management of fibromyalgia?

Physiotherapy is one of the most effective techniques used to control the persistent and widespread pain that comes with fibromyalgia. Here are some insights into how can physical therapy help relieve fibromyalgia pain?

  • It helps in reducing the stiffness of muscles and joints. 
  • It helps in relieving the pain and constant discomfort.
  • Physiotherapy helps in reducing muscle spasms. 
  • Improves patterns of sleep.
  • Helps in maintaining better energy levels. 
  • It helps in reducing stress and anxiety.
  • All of these help in improving a person’s disposition, wellness, and overall quality of life.
  • The patient becomes more agile, functional, and independent as her/his symptoms are effectively managed.  

which are the best exercises for fibromyalgia?

After assessing your condition, your physiotherapist will design a comprehensive exercise plan for you. Some of the common methods include:

  • Acupuncture: This ancient Chinese therapy has shown some benefits in relieving the symptoms.
  • Manual therapies: These include acupressure, massages, mobilisation techniques, massages, etc. and are known to reduce your heart rate, relax the joints and muscles, and improve blood circulation that helps in controlling fatigue, stress, and anxiety. 
  • Hydrotherapy: Water aerobics etc. are known to improve blood circulation, strengthen your joints, and subsequently result in reducing fatigue and improving the functioning of the body. 
  • Stretching exercises: These are mainly done to heal connective tissues and reducing the risk of injuries again. 
  • Cardiovascular exercises: These are designed to improve blood circulation and reduce fatigue. 
  • Electrical stimulation: This involves the use of electrical currents to facilitate the function of the muscles and the joints and stimulate the nerves. 

how can portea help in managing your fibromyalgia? 

Portea is often credited for being one of the most credible healthcare companies that have made care more affordable and accessible for lacs of people. We have brought nursing care, doctor consultations, vaccinations, lab tests, and so much more right into the homes of people. This is especially true when people need long-term physiotherapy services and are homebound for some reasons or find in-home sessions more convenient. Here are some benefits of taking physiotherapy at home:

  • We have physiotherapists specialising in a range of therapies to address a variety of issues. They are trained in the latest techniques like kinesiology, manual therapies, electrotherapy, hydrotherapy, etc.
  • All our therapists are professional and experienced and are selected only after passing rigorous screening tests. 
  • Our clinical procedures are developed in consultation with leading medical professionals in the US so that you receive the best possible healthcare. 
  • Since our therapists visit your home, you are relieved of the stress of commuting and disrupting your schedule. You also save cost of travel.
  • All the therapy programs are customised according to your specific needs and are solely aimed at helping you heal faster. 
  • Our therapists will not only guide you about what type of physical therapy for fibromyalgia should you take but will also provide postural education and advice you on how to make lifestyle changes to manage your symptoms.  
  • Physiotherapy at home is economical as compared to getting it at a hospital or clinic.

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Mr. Mahesh

I had a serious L4 & L5 disc prolapse when I sought Portea’s physiotherapy. Thanks a lot to Dr. Amitava and Portea for their prompt service. Keep up the good work.

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chameli verma

I had a very good experience with (Magimai rani) who visited our house and helped us.Thanks..!

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Chetan

Rakesh was excellent with the service and he was able to diagnose the problem very soon and gave the right treatment.
I was feeling better just after one session. Highly recommend him!