- Chronic and/or sharp muscle pains
- Disrupted sleep cycles/irregular sleep schedules
- Fluctuations in mood
- Forgetfulness or disorientation
- Identified tender areas of the body in a specific pattern
- Sensitivity to touch/numbness
It is normal to experience a little bit of pain from time to time, most of the time, you’re able to shake it off and go about your day. However, sometimes people can experience pain that’s widespread and chronic, failing to diminish despite their best efforts. This can cause a large impact on one’s life that anti-inflammatory drugs simply will not fix.
Fibromyalgia is somewhat of an umbrella term used to describe someone who is experiencing a certain combination of symptoms. The exact causes of fibromyalgia are still unclear, although some medical experts believe it may be caused by an overactive sympathetic nervous system – the part of your body that elicits “fight or flight” responses. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, fibromyalgia is a pattern of imbalance with a set of interrelated body systems. Fibromyalgia also tends to affect more women than men, and your likelihood of developing it increases if you have a family member with the same condition.
Since fibromyalgia is not a disease, but rather a range of symptoms related to multisystem imbalances, there is no single, surefire treatment for the condition. Primary physicians will typically prescribe some sort of pain medication or an anti-depressant to manage symptoms; however, those medications do not address the chronic nature of the condition or the loss of function that chronic pain and distress typically bring. Treatments will typically begin with pain-relieving modalities to provide relief and promote healing. Some effective treatments may include, acupuncture and Chinese medicine, trigger point therapy, massage, stretching, electrical stimulation, or other therapeutic tools beneficial to your recovery. After this, your treatments will shift toward active therapies, such as muscle strengthening, range-of-motion activities, and cardiovascular exercises. Studies have shown that cardiovascular exercise paired with postural strengthening activities not only relieves widespread pain, but also increase energy levels, improves sleep, and elevates mood.
Regardless of where you are on your journey, it is possible to find relief from even your worst fibromyalgia symptoms, through our complementary medicine services. Contact Vineyard Complementary Medicine today at our martha’s vineyard office for more information, or to schedule your evaluation and find out how physical therapy can get you started on the road to recovery.