Could Your Muscle Pain Really be Fibromyalgia? What You Should Know…

Electrical Help

Then there’s some shocking news. According to Carolyn McMakin, a chiropractor in Portland, Oregon, and an active proponent of microcurrent therapy, electricity can help zap FMS. Microcurrent therapy increases the rate of healing for injuries and fractures and controls muscle pain. According to McMakin, delivering microamperage (50 to 100 microA) electrical current to a patient increases ATP concentrations up to fivefold in the body.

Electricity can relieve pain in other ways, too. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), which first appeared in scientific literature around 1975, relieves pain by sending low-voltage electrical signals to nerves with a battery-powered device. TENS, used mainly by physical therapists but also by some MD pain specialists, is thought to work because the electricity stimulates the nerves in an affected area and scrambles normal pain signals. It also may help the body produce natural endorphins. One 2005 study looked at 218 chronic pain patients. After receiving TENS twice a week for six weeks, the patients had substantial improvement in disability and pain, which they maintained at a six-month follow-up exam.

While everyone hopes for a cure for FMS, that magic bullet that puts an end to the disease, all these different therapies and a number of lifestyle adjustments make the disease manageable. “People must change their lifestyles to make any progress,” Cabrera says. “Fibromyalgia involves a host of factors and an internal complex of concerns. Even though I am an herbalist, and I know herbs help, the entire answer doesn’t lie in substances.”

And Shomon adds, “There’s clearly no conventional medical cure or just one surefire treatment. What seems to work the best is a combination of customized tactics that focuses on ensuring quality sleep, reducing pain, increasing flexibility, improving metabolism, and reducing stress.”

Do You Have It?

Although an official diagnosis of fibromyalgia involves identifying pain and tender-point sites, below are the most common symptoms associated with this disorder.

Signs and Symptoms ………………………………Percentage of Patients
• Widespread pain……………………………………..90 to 100
• Tender points………………………………………….90 to 100
• Fatigue…………………………………………………..90 to 100
• Cognitive impairment (“fibro-fog”)…………………..70 to 90
• Sleep disturbances……………………………………70 to 90
• Dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation)……………70 to 90
• Irritable bowel symptoms…………………………. 50 to 70

By Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa

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