Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes chronic pain, but research suggests fibromyalgia treatment is possible with high-pressure oxygen. Roughly one in 70 Americans will be affected by fibromyalgia and, unfortunately, the condition is incredibly difficult to diagnose and treat.
Fibromyalgia can be caused by head trauma, a neurological infection, or even severe emotional distress. Symptoms of fibromyalgia include chronic pain, fatigue, memory loss, and mood swings.
A study conducted by Tel Aviv University found that women with fibromyalgia chronic pain significantly reduced – or even eliminated – their use of pain medicines following the hyperbaric oxygen treatment.
The researchers uncovered that the underlying factor for fibromyalgia is the disruption of the brain mechanism that processes pain. Lead researcher Dr. Shai Efrati said, “As a physician, the most important finding for me is that 70 percent of the patients could recover from their fibromyalgia symptoms. The most exciting finding for the world of research, however, is that we were able to map the malfunctioning brain regions responsible for the syndrome.”
Hyperbaric oxygen chambers expose patients to pure oxygen and are commonly used to treat patients with embolisms, burns, carbon monoxide poisoning, and decompression sickness.
For the study, researchers had patients go through two months of hyperbaric oxygen treatment. They witnessed significant changes in brain activity and symptoms in 70 percent of patients. The trial involved 60 women who had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia for at least two years. Half the women who completed the trial received 40 hyperbaric oxygen treatments, with each session lasting for 90 minutes, five times a week. Dr. Efrati explained, “The intake of the drugs eased the pain but did not reverse the condition. But hyperbaric oxygen treatments did reverse the condition.”
“The results are of significant importance. Hyperbaric oxygen treatments are designed to address the actual cause of fibromyalgia — the brain pathology responsible for the syndrome. It means that brain repair, including neuronal regeneration, is possible even for chronic, long-lasting pain syndromes, and we can and should aim for that in any future treatment development,” concluded Dr. Efrati.
Treatment options to reduce fibromyalgia pain
There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but treatments are available to reduce symptoms. In order to get the best treatment, several doctors may be involved, as fibromyalgia can affect many different areas of the body. Doctors that can aid in fibromyalgia treatment include a rheumatologist, a neurologist, and a psychologist.
Treatments may involve medications such as painkillers, antidepressants, sleep aid medications, muscle relaxants, anticonvulsants, and antipsychotics.
Other helpful treatments include swimming, personally-tailored exercise programs, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychotherapy, relaxation techniques, and psychological support.
Alternative therapies – such as acupuncture, massages, manipulation, and aromatherapy – have also been found to be successful in some patients and may be worth trying.
Physical therapy, exercise to reduce fibromyalgia pain
Although there are no specific exercises for fibromyalgia pain reduction, exercise in general can benefit patients as it can increase mobility, relieve stiffness, and reduce pain. Physical therapy is often prescribed for fibromyalgia patients as the therapist can create personally-tailored regimens for the patient to best suit their needs.
Some recommended exercises include aerobic exercises like running or jogging, swimming, weight training, and flexibility exercises. Activities and sports that can benefit fibromyalgia patients include golfing, hiking, tennis, and other recreational activities. Prior to beginning an exercise program, always speak to your doctor or physical therapist.
Here are some tips to consider prior to starting an exercise program or any physical activity:
- Understand that exercise can be beneficial and it won’t make your pain worse.
- Start slowly – Don’t just rush into exercise full force as it increases your risk of injury and other complications. Start slow and work your way up gradually as you become stronger.
- Listen to your body – If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it, simple as that. Your body is a good indicator of whether or not you should be doing that activity, so pay attention to any aches and pains, and what does and doesn’t feel right.
- Do something everyday – It doesn’t always have to be vigorous, intense exercise, but any form of movement on a regular basis is enough to keep the pain and other symptoms at bay.
- Modify your workout – Once again, if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it, but also consider modifying your routine to make exercising easier until you’re strong enough to work yourself up.
- Be patient – Above all else, be patient. Dealing and living with fibromyalgia pain is a process and you won’t receive the relief you need overnight. It may be difficult at first, but it does get easier with time, so as long as you stick to your regimen, you will see the results.
Natural home remedies for fibromyalgia pain
We already mentioned a few natural home remedies for fibromyalgia pain, like acupuncture, massage therapy, and even yoga or tai chi. Another important tip to consider to help improve your fibromyalgia pain is getting proper and adequate sleep, as poor sleep can worsen symptoms and increase sensitivity to pain.
It’s also important to naturally balance out your hormones with diet and supplements, but remember to speak to your doctor prior to beginning supplementation. Keeping a strong immune system can also help relieve pain. Fibromyalgia puts you at greater risk for certain illnesses as well, so a strong immune system can help ward these off.
Always remember to eat whole foods and balanced meals, and avoid processed goods and added sugars as much as possible. Eating well can help boost your immune system, balance hormones, and boost overall health.
Keeping your emotional health in check can also be beneficial. In many cases, fibromyalgia is brought upon by extreme stress, so managing your anxieties and emotional health can help manage fibromyalgia pain.
Lastly, consider reaching out to a support group. Feeling alone can worsen your emotional and mental health, which in turn can intensify your pain sensitivity. Reaching out to others reduces loneliness and can help boost overall health. Whether you speak to friends and family, or a specific fibromyalgia support group, feeling connected to others can uplift your mood and help your condition.
Fibromyalgia symptoms can vary greatly and overlap with many other health conditions, which can make it much more difficult to diagnose fibromyalgia – especially because the underlying mechanisms still aren’t fully understood. Continue reading…
Acupuncture treatment may ease fibromyalgia pain, according to new findings. Fibromyalgia patients were given acupuncture treatments over the course of 10 weeks, and by completion patients’ pain score dropped 41 percent on average. Results were compared to a group of patients who only received simulated acupuncture – their pain scores only reduced 27 percent. Benefits of treatment were still experienced over the course of a year. Continue reading…