Fibromyalgia and Dance Therapy

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Finding relief for your fibromyalgia can be a challenge. Although doctors will often prescribe medications to give you fibromyalgia relief, that is usually only part of a broader range of treatment therapies. Most fibro sufferers need to have a list of potential therapies that they use in combination. Dance therapy is one of the more unconventional treatments you might want in your arsenal. Here’s how dance therapy may help you get some relief.

The Benefits of Movement

Exercise and movement are great for any chronic pain patients. It may seem like exercise could cause more pain for people who already experience a lot of pain. But the result is actually the complete opposite. It can seem like it’s counter-intuitive, but regular exercise has a lot of pain-relieving benefits.

Some of the physical benefits of exercise include the following:

  • Improved flexibility, which can help loosen tight or tense muscles
  • Increased range of motion, which can make it less painful to do daily activities
  • Increased muscle strength
  • Improved coordination and balance, which can prevent falls
  • You may lose weight, which can put less pressure on your joints

The best exercises are often those which you’ll actually do on a regular basis. In that regard, dance therapy can be a great choice: it’s so much fun that you may hardly notice that you’re also getting a good workout at the same time.

Mood-Boosting Endorphins

Exercise has benefits for both the mind and the body. Dance therapy, like other types of exercise, has great advantages to promote mental health. Dancing reduces anxiety, helps you to cope more easily with worry. It also produces feel-good chemicals in the brain called endorphins. You may be familiar with the concept from terms like a “runner’s high.” But you don’t need to run or do other high-intensity forms of exercise to get all the good results for your mental health.

Dance therapy has other positive effects on mental health as well. It helps to alleviate depression. It also boosts stress reduction, which can ultimately lead to less pain. Because stress can lead to physical pain, especially in fibromyalgia patients, reducing stress can also reduce pain.

One-on-One vs. Group Dance Lessons

If you don’t know much about dance therapy, you may not be aware that you have multiple different options available. The number of options available can depend on the size of the area where you live, the number of local people with fibromyalgia, and whether or not there are trained dance therapists.

Many people with fibromyalgia have to stay at home a lot and might enjoy more opportunities to be social. For these people, group dance therapy classes can be fun and helpful. Group dance therapy classes can vary in size. Small groups may only include two or three people, while large groups can contain up to 20 participants. This can feel like an enjoyable, social way to get your exercise, which may make you more likely to keep attending classes.

Individual dance therapy is a good option for people who may need more one-on-one attention. Some people with fibromyalgia may have poor coordination or balance and may need more direct assistance. Others may feel self-conscious or anxious in group settings and would prefer the comparative relative privacy of individual work with an instructor. One-on-one classes can also progress at your own pace, depending on your strength and stamina.

How to Find Dance Therapy for Fibromyalgia

Dance therapy for fibromyalgia may be a well-kept secret in your town. Chances are that you won’t see any billboards for dance therapy along the highway, for example. But if you ask around and put in a little bit of legwork, you may be able to find such opportunities where you live.

A good place to start your search is by asking around at your local hospital or even your doctor’s office. Hospitals often allow therapy groups to meet on their property if they are affiliated with the group, or they may know where such groups meet in your community.

Also, consider calling your local YMCA or community recreation facility. Local fitness groups are sometimes organized through the YMCA and community centers.

If there isn’t any existing dance therapy option for fibromyalgia, consider contacting local dance instructors and ask if they would be willing to develop either a group class or provide one-on-one instruction.

 

 

 

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Fibromyalgia and Flare-ups

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“What does a fibromyalgia flare up feel like?” It’s a question you might be asking if you’ve just been diagnosed or think you might be going through one right now. Or you might just be trying to get a sense of what the disease is like so that you can understand what a suffering loved one goes through. Unfortunately, it’s not an easy question to answer. You see, a fibromyalgia flare up can feel different for different people. So when it comes to the question “what does a fibromyalgia flare up feel like,” there’s no answer that covers every person with fibromyalgia.

There are a few general things that are common in flare ups which can help us get a start in understanding what it’s like. But first, let’s talk about what exactly a fibromyalgia flare up is.

What Is A Fibromyalgia Flare Up?

Put simply, a fibromyalgia flare up is a sudden increase in the severity of someone’s fibromyalgia symptoms. So if your fibromyalgia pain is at around a 3 on a 1 to 10 scale on most days and then suddenly one day it’s at an 8, then you’re experiencing a fibromyalgia flare up.

But flare ups don’t just come with increased pain. A lot of the other symptoms of fibromyalgia also get worse during a flare up. The fatigue or mental fog are both noticeably heavier for many people during a flare up.

What Causes Fibromyalgia Flare Ups?

There are actually a lot of things that can cause a fibromyalgia flare up. Probably the most common trigger is simply stress. Stress is known to cause a variety of health problems like weakened immune systems, and it’s possible that it also limits the ability of your body to deal with fibromyalgia pain, leading to a flare up.

But while stress seems like a pretty obvious trigger, there are also some surprising things that can lead to a fibromyalgia flare up. For instance, exercise is a significant trigger for people with fibromyalgia. People with fibromyalgia often find that just working up a sweat can be enough to trigger days of fibro flare ups. That’s a serious problem because exercise has been shown to be a very effective treatment for fibromyalgia, which is just another little aggravation when it comes to living with fibromyalgia.

And even things like changes in the weather can cause painful fibromyalgia flare ups. Much like people with bad hips who can feel when it will rain, people with fibromyalgia often get flare ups with changes in the air pressure caused by the weather.

What Does A Fibromyalgia Flare Up Feel Like?

Basically, a fibromyalgia flare up is a period where the pain from fibromyalgia is worse than usual. So it’s worth talking about what fibromyalgia usually feels like. See, for people with fibromyalgia, their muscles and joints often feel a sort of dull aching. This is pretty constant but can spike up to more severe levels of pain during a fibromyalgia flare up. This pain can feel like a knife is being forced into the muscle, or like the muscle is being pulled. In short, a fibromyalgia flare up can be excruciatingly painful. And it can basically shut down anything you are doing for days. Fibromyalgia sufferers end up

And in addition to feeling pain and fatigue, fibromyalgia flare ups often come with a kind of mental cloudiness. This is usually called “fibro fog” and the best way to describe it is that you have a hard time focusing on anything. It’s a common symptom of fibromyalgia and can get especially intense during a flare up. So when you’re asking “What does a fibromyalgia flare up feel like,” it’s important to consider the mental aspect of it as well as the physical pain.

Both can make it difficult to complete daily tasks or go to work. Not only do you have to suffer from agonizing pain, but you can’t focus on the simplest things. So people with fibromyalgia often end up in bed for days at a time during particularly difficult flare ups. Thus, it’s important to remember that people with fibromyalgia will go through easier and harder times. And if someone you love or just work with has fibromyalgia, try to be understanding about that. Give them a rest during their flare ups, and try to be supportive.

 

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Fibromyalgia & Haloperidol

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Haloperidol is an anti-psychotic that can be used to help treat certain kinds of mental disorders as well as help control symptoms of Tourette syndrome. More specifically, it can help with psychosis, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Haloperidol works by lowering the levels of the chemical dopamine in the brain, which helps treat psychosis.

A prescription is needed for this medication, and it is commonly known as Haldol Decanoate. Also, it can be given in different forms: as an oral tablet, an oral solution, or an injection. For this article we will be examining the oral tablet form of haloperidol. Also, we will observe how this medication is connected to helping fibromyalgia patients.

Please note that I am not a doctor. This article has undergone extensive research, but it should not replace your doctor’s expertise and advice. Contact your doctor for any other questions you may have.

Warnings

As with other medications, haloperidol has some warnings. If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to your doctor. Here is a list of warnings:

  • Allergies: Let your doctor know if you have had any allergic reactions to this or other medications. Stop taking haloperidol immediately if you experience any severe reactions, such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the tongue or mouth, or hives. If you believe you are experiencing a severe allergic reaction to haloperidol, call 911 immediately.
  • Pregnancy: There may be possible risks associated with this medication while pregnant. However, your doctor may recommend haloperidol depending on if the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk to the fetus. Contact your doctor for the best option for your condition. Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or become pregnant. Also, please note that you should avoid breastfeeding to your child while using this medication.
  • Alcohol: Do not drink alcohol while using this medication. Consuming alcohol while taking haloperidol can cause serious side effects and cause your blood pressure to decrease.
  • Children: Keep this medication out of children’s reach. It is not approved for children under the age of 3 years old.
  • Seniors: If you are 65 years or older, the effects of haloperidol may be stronger. It is possible to be more at risk for side effects, including movement disorders, such as tardive dyskinesia.
  • Other conditions: There are certain conditions that may negatively interact with this medication. If you have Parkinson’s disease, low white blood cell counts, or thyrotoxicosis, do not take haloperidol as it could lead to more serious symptoms. Let your doctor know of any other medical conditions you have in order to discern more accurately what treatment options are best for you.

Side Effects

There are several side effects of haloperidol. Here is a list of more common symptoms:

  • drowsiness
  • anxiety
  • agitation
  • difficulty sleeping
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • weight gain
  • dry mouth
  • decreased sexual activity
  • change in menstrual cycle

There are certain side effects that are more serious than the ones listed above. Also, if you experience serious side effects, contact your doctor immediately. More serious side effects include:

  • jaundice
  • tardive dyskinesia
  • dystonia
  • blurred vision
  • low blood pressure
  • irregular heart beat
  • heart problems
  • seizures
  • stiffness
  • swelling
  • trembling

If you have side effects that persist over a long period of time or become severe, stop taking haloperidol and call your doctor. However, if your side effects appear to be life threatening call 911 immediately. For a full list of side effects, visit Medicine Net.

Uses of Haloperidol: Fibromyalgia

As mentioned earlier, haloperidol can help treat certain conditions, including disruptive disorders and behavior problems. However, it can also help treat fibromyalgia. In fact, studies have found that Haldol that has active ingredients of haloperidol that can help patients with Fibromyalgia.

How does it treat Fibromyalgia?

Not only does haloperidol help treat some mental health conditions, it can also treat chronic pain as well. This relates directly to fibromyalgia because of the related symptoms including mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression, as well as chronic pain. There are some studies that have been conducted involving the effects of anti-psychotics and how they can help treat both acute and chronic pain in adults.

Additionally, there are different online discussion spaces that offer a way for patients and individuals to talk about their experience of fibromyalgia and haloperidol. Individuals with fibromyalgia who have experienced using this medicine discuss their different reactions on ProHealth and Treato. If you are looking to see what other people think of haloperidol, you can always participate in other online conversations as well.

Talk to your doctor about other methods or treatment options to find out if this medication is right for you. Also, please note there have been some cases in which haloperidol has had negative effects or severe side effects. Haloperidol may not be right for everyone.

 

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Fibromyalgia & the Opioid Epidemic

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It’s hard to avoid the fact that the nation is in the midst of a major opioid epidemic, resulting in over 42,000 deaths in 2016. You hear about drug overdoses not only on the streets of big cities but even more often in small towns. Patients get addicted to opioid medications like Norco and Oxycontin. But when the supply of prescription drugs runs out, many turn to heroin to get the same relief. Or they may combine opioids with other drugs like Xanax, which slow down the breathing rate, which makes overdoses much more likely to happen.

Doctors are working to try to reduce these addictions and their tragic deaths by cracking down on opioid prescriptions. But the unintended additional result is that people who rely on opioids for managing chronic pain, including fibromyalgia patients, are being affected, too. Here’s what you need to know.

What’s Going on with the Opioid Epidemic?

The typical opioid-addicted patient looks different than how you might imagine a drug addict. Very few start out looking to get high from the medicine. Most are only looking for relief from pain and find that the medication actually works. Many people end up inadvertently addicted to opioid medications like Vicodin and Oxycontin after injuries or surgeries. Patients with fibromyalgia also get prescriptions for opioid pain relievers.

But doctors get a lot of scrutiny about how they prescribe opioids. Many doctors get nervous about prescribing opioids indefinitely. It only takes a couple weeks to become addicted to opioid medication. When doctors cut off the access to the medication, addicted patients can start to experience drug withdrawal. Many turn to illegal sources of the opioid medication, which may include prescription drugs bought on the black market. These drugs are not necessarily regulated by the FDA, so they may not contain the active ingredient. Illegal prescription drugs often contain powerful medications like fentanyl. Because fentanyl is so powerful, even very small amounts can cause fatal doses. Other patients turn to heroin instead. Any of the alternative options when patients run out of legitimate access to prescription drugs can result in overdose and death.

How the Opioid Epidemic Affects Patients

The Food and Drug Administration issued new prescribing guidelines earlier in 2018.  But in July, the FDA admitted some possible errors in calculating the number of people addicted to opioid medication. As a result, many people with serious conditions causing chronic pain lost access to the pain relief they needed. This includes many patients with fibromyalgia.

If you had a doctor who was prescribing opioid medication for you before, you may have found it difficult to get what you need. Many fibromyalgia patients report being suddenly limited to a much smaller amount of the medication. Others have found themselves completely without access, which can cause “cold-turkey” withdrawal symptoms.

Doctors now face serious consequences for prescribing opioids for chronic pain. Although most medical associations support the right to prescribe these medications, the FDA disagrees. Doctors who overprescribe opioids may be fined or even lose their medical licenses. The FDA and doctors’ associations are working together to review the prescribing guidelines for opioids. Fibro patients may have more access in the future to opioid pain relievers. But as it stands now, it will likely continue to be difficult to get them.

How to Get Pain Relief during an Opioid Epidemic

The FDA and a minority of medical doctors say that opioids aren’t an effective long-term pain management solution. Only terminal cancer patients have easy access to the medications since the risk of addiction is comparatively low. That leaves a lot of people with legitimate chronic pain without the relief they need.

Doctors may try to substitute alternative medications for pain relief. Some of the medication alternatives include non-narcotic pain relievers such as Tramadol or antidepressants like Cymbalta. However, many fibro patients have already tried these medications or may be using them along with opioids. Medical cannabis is also seen as an alternative.

Patients may try a variety of other options, including yoga, meditation, biofeedback, or writing in a journal. Some people find benefit from using essential oils. Those in states where medical marijuana is legal may try that as well. Most fibro patients have to combine a variety of strategies to get the relief they need.

A hallmark of fibromyalgia is always being in some degree of pain. Even when you have access to opioids, they still generally don’t provide complete relief. Rather than seeking out the few remaining doctors who may prescribe opioids, it may be best to find alternate coping mechanisms. Although they’re less than ideal, they don’t carry the same risk of addiction or accidental overdose. Fibro patients can still seek relief while staying safe from the opioid epidemic.

 

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Fibromyalgia and Suicide

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Fibromyalgia and suicide. It’s one of the main ways that fibromyalgia is fatal, as depression and anxiety are often present in fibromyalgia patients.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the muscles and tissues of the body, causing them to ache and become stiff. This pain can range from moderate to severe, and can cause pain and aches all over the body. This pain can be debilitating, and can cause people to become lonely, anxious and depressed. People with fibromyalgia suffer from pain that can be so bad, they do not want to leave their bed or even get dressed in the morning.  This is terribly sad, as people often begin to feel despair and loneliness. Which means there can be a higher coincidence of fibromyalgia and suicide, as in some cases, people with fibromyalgia lose the will to live, as their depression becomes more and more severe.

Fibromyalgia & Suicide

Although pain of fibromyalgia may bring great suffering to people- both mentally and physically- people need to work hard to maintain optimism and positive outlook. It is important to maintain as regular a schedule as possible, even if this schedule only takes place in the house and in the front or backyard of a person’s home.

This routine could be simple, including beginning the morning with a warm bath to loosen muscles, eating healthy meals, spending some time outside, and taking time to socialize with others. Maintaining a routine can take some of the exhaustion out of the day, as surprises and activities can be overwhelming for those who have fibromyalgia and are in a great amount of pain. People can have flare-ups that occur at any time, and therefore need to be prepared for their course of action if a flare-up should occur.  Maintaining a regular schedule as much as possible can help reduce fatigue.

Extreme fatigue is a symptom of fibromyalgia that can be debilitating.  This fatigue gets worse as sleeping gets more difficult due to pain. People who are very tired and not rested will have a difficult time waking up in the morning and carrying on with their day.

But this is why maintaining a schedule is so important- because tiredness is hard to kick. Waking up and going to bed at the same time can help, as can taking multiple breaks throughout the day to relax and recharge.

There are many different ways people choose to relax- they may listen to music, create art, play with a pet, or others. It is only important that a person identifies what relaxes them and brings them joy- and then do that activity as much as possible. It is important to maintain interests and hobbies, especially those that can be done at home or close to home.

Some people are naturally more social than others, and for these very social beings, it can be extremely difficult to deal with the pains of fibromyalgia and still maintain their very active social life.

But just because it is more difficult does not at all mean it is impossible.  People who are naturally social need to maintain social activities in order to keep their spirits up. Being around others is energizing for social people and cutting others off because of pain will be more harmful in the end. Having social activities nearby one’s house can be very beneficial.

If there is a restaurant nearby that a person enjoys, they should try to go there once or more a month, just to be in the world and around others, in an energetic environment. The same is true of people who love music, and enjoy seeing concerts and other live events.

Even though it may seem like the pain is too much to bear, it can be even worse to stay home in bed alone for days, weeks, and months on end. This is when depression strikes, and this is definitely not a place anyone wants to end up. It can be difficult to gain any energy to get out and participate in activities, but it is definitely possible and very beneficial.

If getting out of the house seems overwhelming, it is just as fair to invite a close friend over to the house for an hour or two, just to catch up and chat.

Speaking with friends and family, and maintaining regular positive contact is not only beneficial for those dealing with chronic pain, but is also necessary. It can be difficult to stay positive when experiencing so much pain, but people need to focus on maintaining positivity in their lives in whatever brings them happiness and joy.

Some people may enjoy socializing, while others may enjoy cooking, reading, listening to music, or millions of other things.  The most important thing to do is to continuously bring joyful activities into one’s life.

What are you suggestions for preventing incidents of fibromyalgia and suicide?

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