We’re going to look at 5 of the most shocking myths about fibromyalgia. But before you write this off as the same old list that starts with “fibromyalgia isn’t a real disease” and only gets more boring from there, we’ve taken a fresh look at the topic. These are 5 myths that can apply to just about any pain condition.
Plus, we’re not going to stop at just listing 5 misconceptions about pain conditions and explain the facts. The article will conclude by discussing a form of natural care that is bringing a newfound hope to many fibromyalgia sufferers.
Myth #1 Anyone Who Takes Painkillers Will Get Addicted
It’s true that opioid abuse is rampant in the US today, and painkillers do bear some of the blame. However, it is important to note that not everyone who takes pain medication becomes dependent on it. You may have days when you need to take something just to make it through the day. Unfortunately, for most fibromyalgia sufferers, opioid painkillers do very little to reduce pain levels. This is because (as researchers have finally revealed in recent years) fibromyalgia originates in the central nervous system and also has some vascular origins. It’s the same reason these painkillers do little for migraine patients. Painkillers are more effective for pain that originates in the musculoskeletal system.
As for the likelihood of addiction – a doctor should always check if a patient has a personal or family history of substance abuse before prescribing opioids in the first place. According to a shocking report in 2015, 38% of Americans were prescribed opioids. Meanwhile, only about 1% are addicted to opiates, so taking a pain pill doesn’t mean you’ll get hooked. You just have to be careful.
Myth #2 Pain Is Just a Natural Part of Aging
This combines two of the most popular myths about Fibromyalgia – that it’s not real and that you only get it after you hit middle-age. The fact is that many people are stuck thinking that pain happens as a person ages. But if you are dealing with fibromyalgia, even if you developed it later on in life, you know that neither the pain nor any of the other accompanying symptoms are a natural part of aging.
Other symptoms of fibromyalgia besides the pain include extreme fatigue, sleepless nights, cognitive problems, sensory sensitivity, headaches, vertigo, and associated conditions such as IBS and depression or anxiety disorders. These are not simply things that we have to deal with as we get older.
Myth #3 The Pain Will Go Away if You Lose Weight
First of all, not all fibromyalgia patients are heavy, especially before the onset of the condition. The combination of being overweight and having fibromyalgia is often something that happens when a person becomes less active due to the pain. While losing weight may relieve some pain from your joints, it doesn’t have anything to do with the origin of the pain of fibromyalgia. That having been said, it is always best to try and maintain a healthy weight, especially when dealing with a chronic condition. Just don’t expect losing a few pounds to be a miracle cure.
Myth #4 Bed Rest Is Best for the Pain
There may be times when you simply don’t have the energy to get up and do anything. For fibromyalgia patients, having a “pajama day” now and then isn’t a choice so much as a symptom. However, don’t be fooled into thinking bed rest is always the best way to recover. In fact, too much rest can lead to stiff joints and weakened muscles. This can increase pain levels. Of course, you can end up fatiguing yourself into a week in bed by thinking you should try CrossFit on a day you feel good. The best way to avoid muscle atrophy and the keep joints flexible is to get a little bit of mild to moderate exercise every day. This has been shown in studies to reduce pain levels for fibromyalgia patients.
Myth #5 Weather Can’t Affect Pain
If you’ve ever had someone accuse you of just making excuses so you don’t have to go out during a storm, then you probably know at least one person who believes this untruth. While studies on the subject have produced a mixed bag of results, just about anyone with a pain condition, from fibromyalgia to arthritis, will tell you that weather makes a difference. The biggest effects seem to be due to sudden or drastic changes in things like temperature or barometric pressure.
What to Do About Fibromyalgia
If you are suffering from fibromyalgia, what can you do to feel better? While healthy lifestyle changes like adding daily exercise to your routine and maintaining a healthy weight are important, we’d like to introduce you to a natural form of care that has been seeing good results in case studies – upper cervical chiropractic.
What is upper cervical chiropractic care? This is a specific form of chiropractic that focuses on just the top two bones of the neck, the C1 and C2, which are located at the base of the skull. This sensitive area protects the brainstem as it joins the spinal cord and it also helps to facilitate blood flow to the brain. For these reasons, even a slight misalignment can cause the neurological or blood flow problems that can lead to most fibromyalgia symptoms.
Correcting such a misalignment has had significant benefits for some patients in reducing the severity of symptoms and the frequency of flare-ups. For others, it has resulted in complete resolution of the problem. To learn more about this precise and gentle form of chiropractic and what it may be able to do for you, please contact a practitioner in your area to schedule a consultation.
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