Often a Painful Comorbidity Associated with Rheumatoid Disease

According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, an estimated 3% to 6% of the world's population suffers from the condition.

Chronic widespread body pain is the primary symptom of fibromyalgia. Most people with fibromyalgia also experience moderate to extreme fatigue, sleep disturbances, sensitivity to touch, light, and sound and cognitive difficulties. Many individuals also experience a number of other symptoms and overlapping conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

So from a patient perspective what are we talking about here?  Slight to strong pain can show up at different parts of the body, move around and/or come and go in cycles.  Some people have it for weeks while others years.  Some swear by ginger and turmeric as a cheap and drug free way of controlling the symptoms while others prefer to use pain killers.  There seems to be nothing to explain what we get and why.  Clinicians often prefer to side step a discussion about "Fribro" because they either do not belief it is real or have nothing to offer.

While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, a variety of medications can help control symptoms. Exercise, relaxation and stress-reduction measures also may help.  A number of pharmacological treatments for fibromyalgia are available for prescription. These include:

  • Lyrica
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta┬«); and
  • Milnacipran (Savella┬«).

An important aspect of pain management is a regular program of gentle exercise and stretching, which helps maintain muscle tone and reduces pain and stiffness.  Another important aspect is diet as recent developments suggest certain dietary links, which are explored in the videos below.  In addition, some fibromyalgia patients have reported that they reduced their chronic pain by using ginger or by having regular hot baths. 

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