The disorder fibromyalgia remains a mystery despite, the researchers carried out all over the world. Fibromyalgia is a disorder of musculoskeletal system that is characterized by severe pain all over the body or at some points referred as tender points.
It was first described by the America College of Rheumatology (ACR) in 1990. APR suggested that any pain to be referred as fibromyalgia pain should be widespread in the patient’s body for at least three months and 11 of the 18 tender points should be painful when touched.
ACR published the official guidelines for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. American Pain Society (APS) published the first treatment guideline for this disease.
New criteria for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia were proposed in 2010. This was an alternative method to diagnose the disease.
In this approach, the tender points were completely removed and included widespread pain index (WPI) and symptom severity (SS).
WPI includes 19 body areas and the index should be more than or equal to 7. In case of SS, the severity should be more than or equal to 5. Symptom Severity (SS) includes the severity of fatigue, related symptoms and waking up fresh or un-fresh.
One of the worst thing related to this disease is that no cure is available to treat the disease. Relaxing also cannot give any relief to the sufferer because of the pain in the neck, shoulder, hip, back, hands, feet, etc.
Medications and alternative therapies are available that can minimize the pain associated with the diseases and other symptoms but cannot cure the disease.
Northwestern press release in 2008 stated from a study conducted in Northwestern University that in a healthy brain all the regions are in equilibrium and works in a coordination with each other while in people with chronic pain the front cortex region of the brain which is associated with emotion is always functional.
It is a challenge to live with fibromyalgia on daily basis. Chronic fibromyalgia pain affects sleep and daily activities. It also leads to obesity and other diseases.
The Journal of Headache and Pain in 2011 published that migraine headaches can trigger fibromyalgia. Researchers also suggest that curing migraine can slow down the development of fibromyalgia in some people while in others it can minimize the symptoms in a sufferer.
In 2016, it was published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders that Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients with fibromyalgia had lower levels of joint inflammation.
It was further stated that such patients might that soft tissue tenderness with inflammation in the joints.
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What are the Symptoms Associated with Fibromyalgia?
Life with fibromyalgia is not easy. Even the daily routine tasks become difficult to perform and the sufferer starts to feel depressed.
Fibromyalgia is a combination of many symptoms such as a headache, fatigue, depression, constant pain throughout the body and at various tender points, sleep disturbances, flushed skin, stiffness in legs, etc.
Women are more sufferer of fibromyalgia than men. 8 out of 10 sufferers of fibromyalgia are women. Women experience some other symptoms too apart from the symptoms mentioned above.
Dysmenorrhea, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain dysfunction (CPPD), etc are some of the symptoms that are found only in women suffering from fibromyalgia. Women are also known to have more tender points of fibromyalgia than men.
Other than these, severe hip pain is also linked to fibromyalgia.
Is Hip Pain Related to Fibromyalgia?
Hip pain can occur in any normal individual without relating it to fibromyalgia. But if a fibromyalgia patient suffers from severe pain, both might be related to each other.
Tender points in the right and left buttock and on the sides of the hips may be painful to touch. This may cause difficulty in walking and sleeping.
Researchers have confirmed that women experience more hip pain than men. Many suggest that this may be due to weight gain and hormonal changes that are more common in women than men. Hip joint and buttocks can be painful at the same time.
Many people with fibromyalgia suffer from a low back pain and most of them can get better by a physiotherapy. It was revealed in a study from the University of Gothenburg in 2011.
For those who are suffering from long-term back pain can have little bit relief and will require extensive treatment. Thus it is advisable to treat the low back pain at an early stage.
Many researchers have suggested that different approaches to treatment should be applied to benefit fibromyalgia patients. The combination of two or more methods can be more fruitful than a single method of treating the disease.
The pain control medication can be equipped with good and clean diet, exercises, meditation, etc.
Research at the University of Gothenburg in April 2011 published that immediate treatment by a physiotherapist, can reduce problems with recurring low back pain. It was revealed in a thesis from this University.
How can A Severe Hip Pain Be Treated?
There are medicines available in the form of painkillers that can help minimize the severe hip pain. Apart from medicines, there are some alternative methods that can also soothe the pain. Some of these are as follows:
1- Hot and cold ice packs is a traditional home remedy that helps many sufferers. Hot pack is recommended for a person having severe hip pain not resulted from an injury.
If someone is confused about using a hot or a cold pack, he/she can try 20 minutes with one pack and see the difference and comfort level.
2- Stretching is an easy method to keep the body parts functional. Stretching gives stress and pain relief if the hip pain is not that severe.
If anybody is suffering from the chronic hip pain he/she must consult a yoga instructor or any other instructor for proper support and guidance.
Vigorous stretching is not recommended for fibromyalgia because it can worsen the pain. Stretching, yoga and exercise enhance blood circulation and help in improving chronic pain.
3- Aromatherapy can decrease muscle pain and increase blood circulation. It also helps to promote sleep and mental peace.
4- Acupuncture also can give relief hip pain and increase blood flow. A qualified acupuncturist should be consulted.
5- A study conducted at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in 2010 suggested that breathing slowly can significantly reduce pain. It was also reported that fibromyalgia patients have also reported less pain when they are breathing slow.
But the pain might flare-up when there are negative feelings, anxiety, sadness, and depression. This research was published in PAIN a journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP).
A terrible shoulder is also associated with fibromyalgia. Stiffness can be felt in the shoulder that causes pain during movement of the shoulder, arms and causes sleep difficulty.
Fibromyalgia is a terrible and frustrating disease. It is very uncomfortable and unbearable. Going for alternative and natural therapies can be a better way to control the symptoms rather than the medications which are full of side effects and never give 100% relief.
Are There Alternative Therapies to Control Hip Pain?
Alternative therapies such as physical activities, exercise, yoga, aromatherapy, acupuncture, etc can help in controlling any kind of pain related to fibromyalgia.
A study conducted by York University, 2011 proved that practicing yoga reduces physical and psychological symptoms of chronic pain in women suffering from fibromyalgia.
It suggested that yoga works on the cortisol levels in women and helps in reducing symptoms of fibromyalgia in women. In a study, it was revealed that 75 minutes of yoga two times a week for a period of eight weeks can increase the level of total cortisol.
In October 2010, Oregon Health and Science University (OSHU) published that yoga exercises may have the power to combat the widespread pain of fibromyalgia.
This study was published online in PAIN journal. In a previous study at OSHU also suggested that yoga can combat a number of symptoms of fibromyalgia such as pain, fatigue, anxiety, poor memory, etc.
The pain was reduced by 24%, fatigue by 30% and depression by 42% in those who did yoga.
The Journal PAIN also commented that exercise is a subcategory of physical activity, the physical activity involves more than only exercising such a movement of the body during play, work, transportation, household chores and recreation. Both physical activities and exercise can help in reducing any kind of joint pain, hip pain or shoulder pain.
It is true that avoiding physical activities and daily chores do not reduce pain in fibromyalgia sufferer. But it can reduce fatigue and anxiety.
The patients that persist pain and undergo physical exercises ignoring their pain may lead to overactivity and may end up with troublesome levels of daily activities.
A better way to treat fibromyalgia is to educate the sufferer about the disease and prepare the patient for the upcoming symptoms so that the sufferer can cope up the disease mentally and physically.
Understanding pain and other symptoms are very important in fibromyalgia. Providing patients with pain neuroscience education changes the patient’s perception and belief towards pain.