5 Common Myths about Fibromyalgia

MYTH: Strong pain medications are the only way to help patients with Fibromyalgia

FACT: There are many recommended treatments that have been shown to have big benefits in reducing pain that does not require a prescription. The Mayo Clinic says that some studies show that acupuncture can help relieve fibromyalgia symptoms by inserting very fine needles into the skin at varying depths, possibly increasing the blood flow and pain receptors in those areas of the body affected. Many sufferers also find that regular massage therapy sessions help to reduce heart rate, relax and sooth muscles and improve flexibility in joints. Yoga and tai chi use meditative breathing, slow movements, and deep breathing to help relieve stress and anxiety. Physical therapy and counseling can also provide drug-free relief from the mental and physical effects of the condition.

MYTH: People with Fibromyalgia shouldn’t exercise.

FACT: According to the National Institutes of Health, regular exercise is one of the most useful treatments for fibromyalgia. Some people who have fibromyalgia may often be too tired or in too much pain to want to engage in physical activity, so it is best to start with low impact exercise such as walking or swimming. Resistance training has been shown to be very effective strengthening muscles and improving movement without the stress placed on the body when doing traditional weightlifting.

MYTH: Only women have fibromyalgia.

FACT: Although this condition is much more common in women, men are also affected. Around 80% to 90% of those diagnosed are women. The condition usually presents in middle age, between the ages of 20 and 55 but may also affect the elderly as well as children, although the development of symptoms in children can be slower.

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