What is Fibromyalgia?
How Can It Be Relieved?
What it is:
Fibromyalgia is the most common musculoskeletal condition after osteoarthritis. Its characteristics include widespread muscle and joint pain and fatigue, as well as other symptoms. Fibromyalgia can lead to depression and social isolation.
Fibromyalgia is not only a common but also a chronic disorder. This means it is long-lasting.
The word fibromyalgia comes from the Greek ‘myos’ meaning “muscle”, Greek ‘algos’ meaning “pain”, and New Latin ‘fibro’ meaning “fibrous tissue”.
What Are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia causes the body to ache all over, even on arising. Specific tender points on the body may be painful to touch.
You may experience disturbances in deep-level or restful sleep, mood disturbances or depression.
The following symptoms commonly occur together:
- Anxiety or depression
- Decreased pain threshold or tender points
- Incapacitating fatigue
- Widespread pain
Some patients with fibromyalgia have pain and achiness around the joints in the neck, shoulder, back, and hips. This makes it difficult for them to sleep or exercise.
Other fibromyalgia symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Chronic headaches
- Crippling fatigue
- Dryness in mouth, nose, and eyes
- Hypersensitivity to cold and/or heat
- Inability to concentrate (called “fibro fog”)
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Muscles feeling overworked, even without exercise
- Muscles twitching, burning, or having deep stabbing pain
- Numbness or tingling in the fingers and feet
Fibromyalgia can cause signs and feelings similar to osteoarthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis. Some experts include it in this group of arthritis and related disorders. However, while the pain of bursitis or tendinitis is localized to a specific area, pain and stiffness with fibromyalgia are widespread.
Bowen Therapy and Fibromyalgia
Bowen Therapy can help manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia as it manipulates the muscles and soft tissues of the body and helps ease deep muscle pain.
It also helps relieve pain of tender points, muscles spasms, and tense muscles. Similarly, Bowen therapy as a myofascial release therapy, works on a broader range of muscles. It can gently stretch, soften, lengthen and realign the connective tissue to ease discomfort.
Treatments for Fibromyalgia
There is no fibromyalgia cure. And there is no treatment that will address all of the fibromyalgia symptoms. Instead, a wide array of traditional and alternative treatments, including Bowen Therapy, has been shown to be effective in treating this difficult syndrome. A treatment program may include a combination of:
- Exercises — both strengthening and moderately intense
- Aerobic conditioning
- Holistic therapies to manage pain, and
- Behavioural techniques.
Along with alternative therapies, it’s important to allow time each day to rest and relax. Relaxation therapies — such as deep muscle relaxation or deep breathing exercises e.g. Bowen Therapy — may help reduce the added stress that can trigger fibromyalgia symptoms.
Having a regularly scheduled bedtime is also important. Sleep is essential to let the body repair itself.