Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition for which there is no cure and is largely unexplained. We don’t know how or why people get fibromyalgia although there is some discussion that it may start after a period of stress or illness. It is thought that 1 person in every 25 could be suffering with Fibromyalgia in the UK, and although it predominately affects women between the ages of 30 and 60 years old, it can strike anyone at any age, regardless of gender.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that has many symptoms, primarily pain in the joints and muscles, fatigue, muscle spasms, weakness and stiffness. Sufferers will find it very difficult to get relief from the constant pain and fatigue, and are often unable to get a restful night’s sleep. Fibromyalgia patients are more likely to suffer from other chronic illnesses such as Endometriosis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Costochondritis, chronic headaches or thyroid problems… There are many associated illnesses linked to Fibromyalgia.
Here at the Wellbeing Clinic we are often contacted by people who have been recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. This diagnosis can often bring mixed feelings; there may be a sense of relief that their symptoms have been recognised and that it’s not just in their head, but there may also be feelings of hopelessness and despair at being told they have a chronic illness. The reality is that this is a condition which they are going to have to manage for the rest of their lives, and common worries such as ‘how am I going to work?’ or ‘how will I look after my children?’
How is Fibromyalgia Treated?
Treating Fibromyalgia takes a multi-faceted approach, which through the NHS will mainly consist of medicine, lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise and rest, and talking therapies such as CBT, however, complementary therapies can also be very helpful to help ease the symptoms caused by Fibromyalgia.
Crainosacral Therapy at the Wellbeing Clinic
There have been a few trials in to the effectiveness of complementary treatments and Fibromyalgia, some of which have shown positive results. These trials have been centred around massage therapy, primarily craniosacral therapy, which works on an emotional and physical level, and according to a 2004 study reported in the Journal of Muscular Skeletal Pain, craniosacral appears to be highly effective at reducing the symptoms of Fibromyalgia with 61% of people recieving the treatment reporting a reduction in pain levels by as much as 50%. Craniosacral is a very light touch therapy, so can be tolerated by most people, no matter how severe their pain.
Other popular treatments for Fibromyalgia sufferers are Swedish or Hot Stone Massage, Acupuncture and Reflexology. It is important to find an Hot-Stone-Massage-Wellbeing-Clinicexperienced therapist who can tailor treatments to specific needs, as some Fibro patients have a higher tolerance to pain than others.
Cognative Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Hypnotherapy are also helpful therapies to help people manage the emotions surrounding this disorder. Both treatments focus on the ‘here and now’ – how your current thoughts and behaviours are affecting your wellbeing, and may actually help to ease pain symptoms and can help you to take control of the extent to which pain, tiredness or other symptoms affect your life.
So if you’ve been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and want more information on the treatments available, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We understand, and can help to guide you towards the right therapies for you.
Originally written by Helen Pinnock. Edited by Carla Moore, a Fibromyalgia sufferer too!