The day to day battle with enduring pain, sometimes fibromyalgia patients are drawn into combat on another level, proving to health practitioners, family, friends and others that this never ending grueling condition is real and that the pain and discomfort they are faced to live with is not something they have fabricated in their minds.
Women suffer immensely from fibromyalgia and its symptoms are complicated. What makes this condition worse, there is no cure available. Due to these reasons there are a lot of patients and several health practitioners who state that fibromyalgia is not commonly recognized and adequately treated in the United States. One woman from Ohio, who had starting symptoms of fatigue and sever joint and muscle pain in 2004 stated it was frustrating. She had felt that most of the practitioners she had seen were not accepting the fact she was actually in pain.
They had left her feeling as if she was overstating her symptoms or that they simply did not exist. It even progressed to one point when she had seen a neurologist who simply informed her husband he needed to take her to a psychiatrist because there was not a thing wrong.
After point less tests one after another, two years later her practitioner finally diagnosed her with fibromyalgia.
Extreme price tag, human feelings
In 2007, a survey of 2,000 fibromyalgia patients was taken the results had shown that more than a quarter of the patients had reported their health care practitioner simply did not believe them due to the fact their view point was fibromyalgia was not a real condition.
It is know as the credibility condition to many fibromyalgia patients. Grant the fact it has improved some in the medical community. The Food and Drug Administration has aided this in part by their approval of the medication Lyrica in 2007 for fibromyalgia patients. However, there is stigmatization still attached to this condition.
In another incidence, an elderly woman had endured on and off pain in her neck and upper back for better of twenty years before the diagnoses was finally made. Most of the practitioners she had seen had recommended she also see a psychiatrist. This had caused her to withdraw from society. She simply stopped seeing health practitioners and refused to discuss her pain and discomfort with anyone. Unfortunately, it also had her blaming herself at times.
Her theory was if she just learned to relax or whatever she needed to do it would simply just leave. This was soon changed when for a period of six months pains all over her body and symptoms which resembled the flu plagued her, she was sent to a rheumatologist, he had diagnosed fibromyalgia.
Why is believability an issue?
Fibromyalgia in the medical community is still fairly new condition. In 1994, the American Fibromyalgia Symptom Association was originated and the National Fibromyalgia Association in 1997.
Current day still has on complete agreement in the medical community. Dr. John Kincaid, professor of neurology at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, states opinions of practitioners is wide in range. Some believe in the condition and some simply do not. If he had to guess it is at a fifty-fifty split.
Fibromyalgia difficult to treat
Fibromyalgia is a complex pain disorder that affects physical, emotional and social aspects. It is labeled as a syndrome and not disease. A disease is a medical condition is which there is one causes or several causes and has signs and symptoms which can be recognized. A syndrome has an array of symptoms, signs and medical issues in which tend to happen together but not linked to one certain cause that can be identified.
Unfortunately, treating fibromyalgia is on a hit and miss system, it brings great disappointment to practitioners and the patients in the meantime who are suffering. Dr. Daniel Clauw, director of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan, Ann Harbor, states there are times when practitioners take their frustrations out on the patients and start to blame the patient for the illness. There is a lengthy history of this occurring.
Does gender play a part?
Dr. Patrick Wood, senior medical advisor to the NFA, has the belief that gender could be the basis for this. Society seems easily to dismiss complaints of a woman in the age range of thirty to fifty. Society tends to view their experiences as unimportant. The compliant is simply dismissed however, if it was a man it would be recognized. Skeptics exist past the medical community. It is hard to claim a medical condition when your outside appearance shows you look just fine.
Tribulations of diagnoses
There is no particular test in which can be done to diagnose fibromyalgia. Practitioner does a complete exam and review medical history. The practitioner needs to eliminate other conditions in which could be causing the condition. Tests may be run like blood tests, chemical tests to test for things like glucose, that does give issues similar to fibromyalgia and even a thyroid test may be done or any others they deem necessary.
Next, they will evaluate the symptoms to satisfy the diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia syndrome outlined by the American College of Rheumatology. It includes wide spread pain that lasts for at least three months. Definition of widespread pain is pain that is present on the left and right side, above and below waist, chest, neck and mid or lower back. There will also be tender points on the body.
Alternative treatments manage fibromyalgia
Alternative therapies even though not completely scientifically tested have been noted to manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia and the best part is there are no dreadful side effects from treatments. Here are some of the more common treatments used by fibromyalgia patients.
Chiropractic care has grown hugely among the millions of patients that endure fibromyalgia. It has dramatic results in decreasing the chronic widespread pain and bringing patients a better quality of life.
It has been noted that chiropractic techniques which aim to correct spinal misalignment. As the joint functioning improves, patients have remarked of decreased pain and in some cases it has been totally eliminated. Once this part of the symptoms is under control, chiropractic treatments then help to alleviate fatigue, sleep deprivation and depression also diminished. Retired Brig. General Becky Halstead, suffered from fibromyalgia during her service as first woman General in the United States Army to command in Iraq, highly recommends chiropractic care for fibromyalgia along with a host of other celebrities including Montel Williams.
A study which was published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings had shown that acupuncture treatments can provide relief of fatigue and anxiety in fibromyalgia patients. It was noted that the treatment could possibly last as long as seven months. However, studies have not shown to date that it can alleviate pain. More research is still being done to explore this option.
Massage therapy is becoming more commonly known and used by fibromyalgia patients. The massage therapy can help alleviate pain, fatigue, increase blood circulation, improve stiffness and more. A scientific study showed results indicating it could reduce pain by 38%.
Massages for fibromyalgia that are usually most often used include:
Swedish increases the amount of oxygen that is sent to the muscles. This helps to rid the body of toxins and improve muscle flexibility.
Deep tissue is used on those muscles that tissues that are immobile. It aims at the deep layer of muscles and tendons which aide in releasing tension and pain.Sources:
Medical News Today