But when this pain is persistent and hinder your day to day activities, it should become a cause of worry.
Fibromyalgia may not be a household name, but it affects 30 per cent of population. ‘Fibro’ stands for fibrous body tissues and ‘algia’ stands for aches. So fibromyalgia stands for pain in the body tissues that is continual.
What is it?
Fibromyalgia is a muscular ailment that is characterised by muscle pains, fatigue and tenderness in areas such as the spine, neck, shoulder and hips (also known as ‘tender points’). These points hurt throughout the day and especially when strained excessively, for example while lifting a heavy bucket, studying with head bent down or working on the computer.
Who can it affect?
Of the 30 per cent of population that fibromyalgia affects most are women. In men, it is common in those who indulge in excessive physical activity that revolves around one joint.
Even though it can occur at any age, people between the ages of 20-35 are more prone to fibromyalgia. This especially includes working professionals who have sedentary lifestyles.
Difficulty in sleeping
Feeling tired even after sleeping all night
Numbness in hands and feet
Difficulty in waking up/ laziness
Sometimes it can result in irritation and severe depression in the patient
Aches in different areas of the body. Particularly near the upper back, shoulder blade and neck.
There is no absolute cause that can pinpoint why fibromyalgia occurs. But there are things that trigger it – accident, childbirth, stress, faulty sleeping habits (sleeping face down repeatedly). When the muscle or ligaments in the body are severely strained over a period of time, fibromyalgia occurs. Also sometimes after a severe muscle injury, the healing makes the muscles stiff, making it lose its original flexibility, thereby resulting in the ailment. Research has also found that deficiency of serotonin in the central nervous system and resulting the imbalance is blamed for its occurrence.
There are a number of ways to deal with fibromyalgia.
There are oral muscle relaxant pills and painkiller ointments that are prescribed to the patient.
If the fibromyalgia is at a more serious level, then regular physiotherapy is also administered.
In some cases when fibromyalgia leads to depression, anti-depressants are prescribed.
Clinical healing through heat or vibration treatment can also be given to the patient.
Coping with it
Since fibromyalgia has no fixed cure, only its symptoms can be treated by effectively managing it. Here is how to cope:
Stiffness is often caused by fibromyalgia. This can be treated with simple stretching exercises. Try out active stretching (stretching through yoga) instead of using gym equipments. You could even workout on the gym ball. However make sure you inform your trainer about your weak spots.
Swimming relaxes the mind and energizes the body. It will equally stretch the entire body at one go.
Hot water bath:
If you feel lazy after waking up, massage your body with scented oils and have a hot water bath to refresh yourself.
Take short breaks while working for a long period of time. This will calm down the strained muscle.