Natural Health Journals

What is Fibromyalgia? Is it Contagious?

By Jamell Andrews

Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness that is usually very difficult for physicians to diagnose because of the vagueness of the symptoms that generally exist in patients.

This condition occurs in approximately 2% of the United States population. It affects women more than men, and the risk of developing this disease increases with age. Often times, there is no discernable cause for the development of fibromyalgia.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

One of the most important things to understand about fibromyalgia is that the symptoms of it can change depending on a person’s stress levels, physical activity, the time of day, or even the weather.

Pain is the most reported symptom associated with fibromyalgia, and it is typically described as being a constant, dull ache in the muscles. Pain from this condition is usually widespread, which means that it occurs on both sides of the body, above and below the waist. The pain experienced by people with fibromyalgia is not generally localized to one or two areas.

People with fibromyalgia also tend to experience additional pain when certain parts of the body have pressure applied to them. These areas are known as tender point locations, and they include the following:

  • Sides of hips, and upper hips
  • Inner part of the knees
  • Back of the head
  • Tops of the shoulders
  • Upper part of the chest
  • Sides of the neck

Many health care professionals believe that fibromyalgia prevents people from getting the benefits of deep sleep that they need, which means that these individuals often wake up in the morning feeling tired, even if they got at least eight hours of sleep the night before.

In addition, people who suffer from this condition usually have a co-existing condition such as:

  • Lupus
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Endometriosis
  • Headaches
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Depression
  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Treatments

For pain relief, doctors usually prescribe acetaminophen or an anti-inflammatory for patients. In addition, muscle relaxers or anti-depressants may be used to help patients deal with the variety of symptoms they are experiencing.

In many cases, people with fibromyalgia also suffer from depression or anxiety, so therapy is often beneficial in helping people deal with their condition. In some instances, people find that they are able to cope with their pain without having to also take a prescription for depression or anxiety. In other cases, people may find that they are better able to cope when a combination of therapies is used.

Aerobic exercise is highly recommended for people who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Any type of low-impact activity is very important because it helps to keep joints and muscles limber and conditioned, which may help to prevent pain.

People with fibromyalgia are also advised to try some alternative therapies as they seek different ways of dealing with their pain.

  • Acupuncture
  • Massage therapy
  • Hypnosis
  • Stress management
  • Group therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Physical therapy

These alternative treatment methods are all recommended simply because they provide people with non-traditional routes of pain management, which is the key to living with fibromyalgia. Acupuncture, in particular, is believed to be of benefit to patients with this condition because it has proven to provide significant relief to people who suffer from extreme pain. So, fibromyalgia is not a contagious condition or disease like the flu or a cold.

9 thoughts on “What is Fibromyalgia? Is it Contagious?

  1. Ken Davis

    I have suffered with Fibromyaliga nowfor 10 years and I have not found a cure for it .Im on Tramadol and Diclofenec its not a cure but it does help .I all so do the aerobic’s twice a week which helps me but not a cure .I try many things to try to cure it but theres nothing out there as a cure .Its just finding a way to get thro the day and every one is so different in what they do to easy the pain for them.
    Im sure when I look back on when I first got it ,that it was working on me for many , many years before it came out on me .I hope this helps some one some where yours Ken Davis

  2. Sandy

    I was diagnosed with fibro in “02, but with symptoms beginning much earlier. The ONLY things that give me relief are pain meds and practically sterilizing my surroundings, as I’m EXTREMELY sensitive to smells. I pray for all that have this disorder because I know it certainly causes me tremendous pain and discomfort, as I’m sure it does to so many more of you out there. Let’s not give up that one day there may be a cure.

  3. dH

    I’ve had this for 13 years. Other than exercise the best thing I can do is stay away from caffeine, wheat, and GMO foods. It doesn’t eliminate the problem, but it helps lessen the pain.

  4. Ruby

    Fascia is currently being researched more extensively…fascia is a connective tissue that helps bind the muscles with the bones in a thin but strong plastic-like layer. Apparently it attaches to the bones and they contain nerves. I would like to hear about more on this matter

  5. Ruby

    I had a bad fall on my tailbone years ago and jammed my sacrum area then increasingly fibromayalgia symptoms appeared as I was also stressed and depressed..was through chiropractic work, and physio including intramuscular stimulation and then yoga did I start seeing improvement. Especially when my sacrum was cracked back into place while in a yoga pose(butterfly) while massaging under the thigh and pulling in my belly button.there are a lot of nerves in the sacrum area.stretching is vital. I feel more energy then ever. Every case will be unique so the more stress you can take away in your life works well and power of thought. The ability to change your mindset to a positive one can make a big difference as difficult as it is. I recommend keeping an update on fascia research.

  6. Ruby

    I also went on a one month detox program called isagenix. It’s a whey protein shake one and is a tolerable one. You are able to have one healthy lunch , and a shake for breakfast and one for dinner. Painless. Also felt way more energy on it. May not be good if your lactose intolerant.

  7. Ruby

    I recommend staying away from the pharmaceuticals. U should try methods to get rid of the toxins, not ingest them.

  8. Ruby

    The fascia may become stiff and be twisted and stuck to muscle and bone fibers…then there may be a lack of oxygen getting to those muscles and connective tissues. Try also practicing the art of breathing into every body part from your head to your feet and everything in between. Eventually work up to stretching as well while doing this.

  9. Marcus

    I have a relative who was recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and this post really helps me to understand what that person is going through and how they can help to treat it. Thank you very much

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