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FIBROMYALGIA - What is it, why do we get it and why can't we sleep?

Recently I have treated a number of patients who have been diagnosed with FIBROMYALGIA by their GP. So many people have heard about but don’t understand what it is so I thought I’d write about it this month. The main Fibromyalgia signs and symptoms include deep muscular pain, painful tender joints and morning stiffness. Other major symptoms include sleep problems, fatigue and anxiety. Widespread pain is a characteristic of fibromyalgia in most patients.  It is felt over the entire body, the pain can be deep, sharp, dull and throbbing or aching, and the pain is generally felt in the muscles, tendons and ligaments around the joints.
Common symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

  • Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of concentration and memory loss
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Morning Stiffness of joints
  • Painful menstrual cramps
  • Sleep problems
  • Swelling, numbness and tingling of hands, arms, feet and legs
  • Urinary symptoms

Fibromyalgia may be caused by a problem of the brains autonomic nervous system. This system helps to control a number of bodily functions such as digestion, reaction to stress and metabolism. Problems with the hormones and neuro transmitters used by the autonomic nervous system can interrupt certain bodily processes, causing a number of symptoms.

Sleep Disorders: A large percentage of sufferers of this condition have difficulty sleeping. Though once seen as a fibromyalgia symptom, it is now thought that the lack of sleep may actually be the cause of fibromyalgia.
Lack of sleep prevents injured muscles and nerves from being repaired!

Deep Tissue Massage is actually one of the most beneficial treatments for fibromyalgia and the benefits of massage include the following:

  • Increased blood circulation to the muscles, allowing for faster muscle repair;
  • Increased flexibility;
  • Increased range of motion;
  • Decreased stress and depression;
  • Reduced pain;
  • Reduced stiffness of joints;
  • Improved sleep patterns

The advice and support we can offer is that a patient joins a support group of Fibromyalgia suffers, so that he/she can get some support from other people that are suffering from the same condition. Furthermore regular exercise and change in diet can make a big difference. Eliminating wheat, diary and sugar from the diet and following a more Alkaline style diet is very effective and taking supplements such as Vitamin D and Evening Primrose Oil to help boost the serotonin levels in the brain.

If you think this article applies to you then please do not hesitate to contact Amanda on 07789 810752 ... For a FREE 20 minute assessment

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Written by Bournemouth based remedial massage therapist Amanda Burger