Foot Circulation Booster Machine Guide

Foot Circulation Booster Machine Guide

 

 

Bad circulation in feet can lead to a lot of different health problems. It can also be an indicator of existing health problems, such as diabetes.

When you increase foot circulation, you can help to alleviate some of those conditions, so let’s examine foot circulation booster machines.

 

A foot circulation booster machine is designed to help increase blood flow in your feet. If you regularly experience foot pain or discomfort, a circulation stimulator is worthy of your consideration. But, why do you have poor circulation in the first place?

Perhaps you live a sedentary lifestyle. If you sit at a desk all day, gravity starts to work against you. Walking allows blood to pump and circulate through the body. When you sit or lay for too long, it becomes harder for that blood to flow freely to the feet. That can create pooling of the blood around your ankles, which may cause discomfort.

Of course, there are other culprits related to poor circulation. A circulation booster machine will not only help to get your blood moving again but can assist with any underlying health conditions, such as recovery from toenail fungus.

A lack of substantial blood flow can be dangerous if ignored for too long. You won’t only feel discomfort, but those health conditions may become more serious.

 

Do You Need a Foot Circulation Booster Machine?

 

If you’re not sure if you have poor circulation, there are several symptoms to be aware of. Some of the most common symptoms include:

 

  • Any type of pain in the feet or legs after activity. If you feel as though the muscles in your feet and legs cramp easily, especially after using them, it could be a sign they aren’t getting enough blood flow.

 

  • Numbness in the feet or legs.

 

  • Feet are constantly cold.

 

  • Changes in skin color, or a shiny appearance to the legs or feet.

 

  • Slow hair growth and toenail growth on the legs or feet.

 

  • A weakened pulse rate in the legs.

 

Your doctor will be able to make a diagnosis, so you can begin treating your feet for poor circulation. Sometimes, symptoms will be obvious enough where your doctor can make a decision based on what they see. On other occasions, they may use a stethoscope to check the pulse in your legs.

 

How Do Foot Circulation Booster Machines Work?

 

Foot vibration machines work by allowing electrical impulses to stimulate the nerve endings of your feet. Some also use infrared technology. This helps to add soothing heat to the treatment, as well.

Not only does it stimulate blood flow in your feet, but affects all the muscles in your legs. It allows your leg muscles to contract and relax, again and again, stimulating activity, and increasing blood flow. That kind of circulation can work all the way up your legs, for relief.

In most cases, all you have to do is sit somewhere comfortable and set your feet on top of the machine to increase foot circulation. Putting your bare feet on the designated area, turning it on, and increasing intensity levels can help you to achieve the stimulation your feet need.

Each machine is different, but most suggest using them between 20-30 minutes each day safely. Consider them to be therapy sessions. You only have to sit and relax. During that time you can watch television, read a book, etc.

It provides the medical benefits of physiotherapy into the comfort of your home. With regular use, the idea is to eliminate the negative symptoms of bad circulation in feet and get rid of the pain.

 

Benefits of Foot Circulation Booster Machines

 

Some of the benefits of using a circulation booster include:

 

  • Reducing aches and pains with increased blood flow.

 

  • Minimize numbness and tingling in the legs and feet.

 

  • Reducing the frequency of onset symptoms.

 

These units are designed to combat against the negative symptoms that can come up when you have poor circulation. Whatever discomfort or tiredness your feet may be feeling because of improper blood flow, a circulation booster will attempt to counteract.

 

Comparing Foot Circulation Booster Machines

 

Revitive Circulation Booster

 

 

The Revitive Circulation Booster is one of the company’s most advanced products. Revitive is a trusted brand name in circulation-boosting products. So, their advancements can help to improve problems you may experience with a lack of blood flow.

 

Features:

  • 99 different intensity levels
  • 15 stimulation waveforms
  • Isorocker system for ankle joint movement

 

Pros:

  • Remote control
  • Widepulse waveforms
  • Easy to use
  • Includes tens pads and replacements
  • Powerful

 

Cons:

  • Tens pads wear out quickly and need replacing
  • Relatively Expensive

 

 

Important Details:

 

Wide Pulse Technology – The Wide Pulse Technology is a patent-pending feature specifically made for Revitive. It helps to increase circulation throughout the legs by up to 53%. Not only can that help your legs to feel more energized, but it can alleviate aches and pains.

 

Choice of 15 WaveformsThere are 15 additional waveforms to choose from. This helps your muscles from getting used to the same repetitive motion. If you only use one consistent motion in waves, the muscles in your legs will eventually become just as complacent.

Think of it in the same way you would if you exercised, in the same way, every day. Eventually, your body hits a plateau. When different patterns are brought into play, the muscles are contracted more effectively. This helps to ensure maximum circulation is achieved during each use.

 

Isorocker System – The powerful Isorocker system works double duty for your feet and ankles. The electrical pulses in the machine itself cause the calf muscles to slightly tense up. Then, they relax again. This allows for gentle rocking back and forth on the device. It can help to strengthen your ankles and provide an additional boost in blood flow. So, not only is it circulating the blood in your feet, it’s working other areas of the legs, too.

By providing the latest technology in foot circulation care, this unit offers an unprecedented amount of intensity levels. That means that anyone can use this machine. No matter the intensity level you need, you’ll find comfort. It can sometimes be difficult to find a unit with this much power.

 

 

So, if you struggle with deep aches and pains, or have an underlying medical condition that really bothers your feet, you can finally find an intensity level that works for you. If you find you need less power, you can use the machine as a relaxing massager.

With so many options, you’re bound to find a level that works for you. This is true thanks to the powerful waveforms that work through the unit. Plus, it’s easy to use – just set your feet on the tens pads, and use the remote control to set it to your standards.

Revitive is one of the top names in circulation boosters for a reason. This latest unit from the brand doesn’t disappoint.

 

 

 

Sunpentown Infrared Blood Circulation Massager

 

The  Supentown Advanced Foot Energizer is wonderful for customizing your circulation needs. Because it can be used on different parts of the body, it’ll work to strengthen your immune system, and even boost your metabolism. When used on the feet, it focuses on designated pressure points. By increasing blood flow against those pressure points, you’ll notice a difference throughout your legs.

 

Some reviews suggest this product alone helped them sleep, after just one use. If you struggle with something like restless leg syndrome, this machine can accelerate circulation and help to open up blood vessels.

It’s not often that you find a vibrating massager that is so versatile. With this circulation booster, not only can you help your feet, but other health conditions as well.

 

Features:

 

  • 12 vibrating intensities
  • 8 infrared treatments

 

Pros:

 

  • A timer up to 15 minutes
  • Separate heat and vibration functions
  • Ability to use elsewhere on the body
  • Remote control

 

Cons:

 

  • Plastic – may not be super durable
  • Noisy

 

 

 

 

 

Advanced Foot Energizer Electrical Foot Stimulator

 

For intense pain or health conditions that really affect circulation, the power of this electrical foot stimulator can be a huge help. The Advanced Foot Energizer is an FDA-approved medical device.

 

 

Not only can it stimulate circulation throughout your legs, but it can help to alleviate pain and aching. It works by simulating natural muscle performance – contracting and releasing. This allows blood to flow freely through your muscles. It can also help to energize your feet and legs.

 

Features:

 

  • 25 programmed massage modes
  • Up to 99 intensity levels

 

Pros:

 

  • Additional TENS pads for use elsewhere on the body
  • Easy to read LED screen
  • Remote control and console control
  • Uses electrical stimulation, so it produces no sound
  • Easy to use

 

Cons:

 

  • Timer automatically shuts off after 25 minutes

 

 

The Advanced Foot Energizer contains extra TENS pads, and enough cables to reach almost anywhere on the body. It also includes a small tube of Spectra gel. The gel helps for a more comfortable connection for the EMS and TENS pads.

You can either be in total control of your program or use a pre-programmed session. With 99 different intensity levels, even the deepest aches and pains are relieved. Plus, the system has 25 different program modes, designed to help boost circulation and get rid of the pain in your feet and legs.

 

 

 

Tips For Choosing a Foot Circulation Boosting Machine

 

When looking for the best machine for proper foot circulation, there are certain criteria to keep in mind. The rating system used here will focus on five criteria. The more you know about each machine as they fall under these categories, the easier it will be to make an informed decision.

 

Ease of Use – When looking for the best machine for proper foot circulation, there are certain criteria to keep in mind. The rating system used here will focus on five criteria. The more you know about each machine as they fall under these categories, the easier it will be to make an informed decision

 

Accessories – Accessories can be anything extra that might be included with the unit, or whatever is included when you first open the box. While some extra accessories are nice, they aren’t always necessary.

The most valuable accessories may be things like extra TENS pads. These are the pads that will go onto the machine itself. After several uses, they’ll likely need to be replaced. If a machine comes with several extra pads on hand, that can save you from having to re-order right away.

Other extra accessories aren’t always necessary. Keep in mind that these units are designed to be circulators for the feet, not necessarily foot massagers for relaxation. Don’t be fooled by the price that goes up just because of a few accessories that may not benefit you.

 

Value – Some people purchase an inexpensive machine as a starter unit. If they work well, you might  subsequently invest in a more expensive machine. Remember that value is based on what’s included in the product for the price. This includes things like the amount of power, extra features, design, and durability, etc.

If you’ve never used a foot circulation machine before, it’s up to you how much you’d like to invest. More expensive doesn’t always mean better. However, the circulation machine is typically used to replace things like physiotherapy. So, even the most expensive units are a solid investment, when you could be paying thousands of dollars for the doctor. Take into account the amount of power each unit will give you, and how customizable each can be.

 

Power – When you’re working with a foot vibration machine, power is key. Some people require quite a bit of power for the electrical impulses to have any effect. If the machine doesn’t have a sufficient amount of power, it may not provide the kind of results necessary to get rid of negative symptoms of poor circulation.

Additionally, you should be able to adjust the power according to your needs. Machines that have a wider range of intensity levels are typically better. They put you in control of how much power is needed for each session.

 

Design – When you’re working with a foot vibration machine, power is key. Some people require quite a bit of power for the electrical impulses to have any effect. If the machine doesn’t have a sufficient amount of power, it may not provide the kind of results necessary to get rid of negative symptoms of poor circulation.

Additionally, you should be able to adjust the power according to your needs. Machines that have a wider range of intensity levels are typically better. They put you in control of how much power is needed for each session.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

If you have a medical issue that is causing poor circulation, or vice-versa, any one of these machines can help. What’s most important is that you choose a unit that suits your own needs. If you don’t have serious circulation problems, a less expensive model should do the trick.

However, if you’re trying to avoid endless hours of physiotherapy, and want to experience it in the comfort of your own home, an advanced unit can really add to your quality of life. The best foot circulation booster machines offer power and customization.

Look for settings you can control easily, and enough power to give you the boost of blood flow your body needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Have You Heard of Weighted Blanket Therapy?

Have You Heard of Weighted Blanket Therapy?

 

 

 

 

The drug-free therapeutic blanket known as weighted blankets have become the at-home treatment for insomnia, anxiety, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attention-deficit hyperactive disorders (ADHD), Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), Asperger’s and sensory disorders.

 

Many seniors, adults, teenagers and children face psychiatric issues that cause insomnia and severe anxiety. Patients with autism and other psychiatric disorders also face extreme anxiousness and the inability to induce calmness within themselves without the use of sedatives or drugs.

 

The combination of behavioral aberrations, and the lack of sleep among these people, have been known to lead to loss of productivity in their daily lives, irrational emotional behavior and out – of – character actions. It isn’t just the problem of not being able to keep their emotions under control, but the issue of lashing out aggressively due to psychological dysfunctions.

 

The root causes of such behavioral issues are anxiety and insomnia, which is usually treated with pharmacological (drugs) and psychological (therapy) methods. However, now with a breakthrough in the study of sleep medicine and psychiatric disorders, we know that the trick to soothing consternation and inducing sleep is much simpler than once thought.

 

The drug-free therapeutic blanket known as weighted blankets have become the at-home treatment for insomnia, anxiety, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attention-deficit hyperactive disorders (ADHD), Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), Asperger’s and sensory disorders.

 

Weighted blankets use deep pressure touch simulation (DPTS) to relax the body and make the patient feel safe, guarded and secure, which calms their unease and helps their body go to sleep. The sensory compression methodology facilitates a positive change with the comfort the blanket brings to its user. The weight of the blanket stimulates the receptors on your body which then activates the neurotransmitters in your brain to bring a sense of happiness to the person.

 

 

The Poly plastic (Polypropylene) pellets that have been used to fill the compartments of the blanket provide the weightage of the blanket. A quality weighted blanket is quilted, made of either cotton or fleece and weighs about 10% of the user’s body. Using the proper blanket according to the size and the weight of the user will give the optimum calming results.

 

This blanket has shown to be very effective in calming hyperactive children during bedtime, anxious patients in therapy and even adults undergoing chemotherapy. It has also proven to be efficacious in calming people down during anxiety inducing situations.

 

 

Studies Prove the Benefits of Weighted Blankets

 

– A 2008 study showed that weighted blankets are beneficial for anxiety. The study used a 30 lb. blankets on adults. In total, 63% reported a decrease in anxiety, and 78% found it calming.

– A 2015 study used 30 pound blanket on adults during an inpatient mental health hospitalization. 60% of them reported significant decrease in anxiety after use.

– Research on DPTS started as early as the 1950s. One article from 1992 found great benefits of this therapy for patients with autism. It reduces self-harming behaviors in autistic children, as well as produced better sleep. It also relaxes the muscles.

One adult autistic patient has stated, “I need heavy blankets on me to sleep well, or else my muscles won’t calm down.” 

– Weighted blanket were also found to be very calming for babies.

 

 

Therapeutic Benefits of Weighted Blankets

 

 

 

 

1. Weighted Blankets Promote Sleep

 

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that causes habitual sleeplessness. The lack of sleep leads to the over exhaustion of the human body and hampers the psychological well-being of the person. When a person is not able to function well, both physically and mentally, their social well being is affected and they begin to lose productivity in their lives. This leads to depression and other behavioral problems.

An easy solution to this problem is the weighted blanket. The pressure of the weighted blanket reaches deep within the body of the user to provide a comfortable environment for a person to fall asleep in. The sense of being swaddled and the physical connection that the user feels with the blanket makes them feel warm and safe. This helps their mind be at ease and they can be able to relax their body. The state of tranquility will help clear their mind and ensure a good night’s sleep.

According to the ‘Positive effects of a weighted blanket on insomnia’ by the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders 2015 of the SciMed Central, the weighted blankets had improved the sleep quality of people with severe insomnia.

 

 

2. Weighted Blankets Imitate a Warm Hug

 

Research shows that hugs can actually make a person feel at ease. Hugging a person releases the hormone Oxytocin into the blood stream. This chemical reduces your blood pressure, calms your heart rate and provides and overall feeling of relaxation.

Although the blanket does not provide a human connection, your body may perceive the warmth and security the imitation that a hug provides. Both the hug and the blanket use a gentle yet firm pressure that goes deep within the person’s body tissues. This gives the user a sense of repose and allows your body to relax.

 

 

3. Weighted Blankets Provide a Sense of Security

 

Being covered by a weighted and warm blanket will ensure the feeling of calmness in the user. The ‘blanket therapy’ stimulates the receptors present throughout our body, which lessens a person’s discomfort. Once the user feels more comfortable in the blanket, they begin to feel secure as their body begins to relax. The body can only relax when your mind is soothed and your heart rate is calmed. This change in the body will ensure that both your body and mind believes that you are secure and safe.

 

 

4. Weighted Blankets Increase the Production of Serotonin

 

Serotonin is a chemical messenger, also known as a neurotransmitter that your brain and intestines produce for the smooth functioning of your nervous system, which includes the brain and the nerves. This hormone is secreted to promote happiness and the mood of the people. Known as the ‘happy hormone’, this chemical does not only affect a person’s mood but it affects their behavior. The lack of serotonin in the body leads to depression, insomnia and anxiety. That is why the sensory stimulating weighted blankets increase the production of serotonin in the body. The hormone relaxes your body and makes you feel calmer. That sense of calmness leads to pacifying one’s anxiety, which results to inducing sleep in the user.

 

 

5. Weighted Blankets Increase the Production of Melatonin

 

Melatonin, also known as the ‘sleep hormone’ is a chemical that affects a person’s sleep. The hormone is produced with the production of serotonin, as well as the pineal gland in the brain. This chemical is known to ease insomnia and induce sleep, which is possible through the therapeutic benefits of the weighted blankets that provide a gentle yet firm pressure on your body by stimulating your receptors.

 

 

 

6. Weighted Blankets Calm Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder

 

Autism spectrum disorder includes Asperger’s, Autism, Rhett Syndrome and other unspecified Pervasive Development Disorders. Such disorders include behavioral problems that do not necessarily bode well with the norms of society. The patients suffering from such disorders feel aggression and irritation due to the inability to express or convey their thoughts clearly. Such slow cognitive development makes the patient unable to process information quickly and the change in their surroundings.

 

Patients with such disorders are not able to communicate properly, so they use erratic speech, repetitive actions and turbulent behaviors. During a frustrated outburst, the patient’s heart rate increases, their breath becomes shallow and their blood pressure rises – which further increases their irritability.

 

When the patient is going through such tempestuous emotions and tantrums, it is best to drape the weighted blanket around them or have them lay down with the blanket covering them. This will make them feel more relaxed and comfortable. Once they are no longer acting in a hysterical manner, they will be able to think with a clearer mind and a calmer body. Although communicating with their caretakers might still be difficult, there will at least be an opportunity for the patient to gather more patience and attempt to convey their thoughts in a more serene manner.

 

 

7. Weighted Blankets Help Overcome the Oversensitivity to Touch

 

Some psychiatric disorders make people oversensitive to touch. Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders usually face such discomfort with the touch of other people but this can be overcome by introducing the weight of the blanket regularly to the affected patient.

 

The pressure of the blanket provides a similar feeling of human touch at a larger scale without actual connection – which can be a stepping stone in helping patients overcome their fear of touch.

 

During the 1990s, a squeeze machine was used to help patients overcome their oversensitivity to touch. Today, with the inception of the ‘therapy blankets’, patients can use the more accessible and less controversial mechanism to help people become more at ease with touch.

 

 

8. Weighted Blankets Pacify Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD drives a person to think repetitively about a certain incident or an object. Such thoughts constantly play across a person’s mind and lead them to neglect their duties and their personal lives. The patient becomes anxious about a particular event and conducts a certain action over and over again. Their thoughts are occupied and their bodies refuse to break out of an obsessive reverie.

A very effective way to ease an OCD patient’s anxiety, and to treat the inability to calm them down from a mind consuming thought is to use a weighted blanket. This blanket allows the patient to feel safe and secure without worrying about the numerous issues that may be present in their lives. The blanket provides a warm environment for the user by helping to relive stress and allow their mind to release the captivating thoughts.

 

 

9. Weighted Blankets Mimic a Massage

 

Draping the weighted blanket over the user’s body distributes pressure evenly throughout their body. This has similar effects of a deep tissue massage. The pressure of the blanket goes deep within your tissues while you use it to fall asleep. A massage is supposed to help our body and mind relax – which can be easily done at home by using a weighted blanket. The physical factor of a massage might provide it’s own intimate yet soothing aspect, but the weighted blanket is proven to give you similar results to an actual massage in the long run.

 

 

10. Weighted Blankets Improve Cognitive Function

 

Taking a look at the overall therapeutic benefits of weighted blankets, we can see that it relieves stress, reduces tension, induces sleep, calms your mind and relaxes your body. These components are very important if you want to live a healthy and happy life.

 

Raised blood pressure, anxiety and lack of sleep are truly killers of productivity and normal behavior. Sleeping with the weighted blanket promotes the users overall well-being by ensuring that they tackle their daily issues with a clear head and a well-rested body.

 

With a clear mind, a person’s cognitive functions are improved. They are able to perform efficiently and effectively without being burdened by psychological issues and behavioral changes.

 

 

 

Weighted blankets can potentially solve sleep issues, panic attacks, anxiety related disorders, lack of concentration and even aggressive behavioral problems that affect the smooth proceedings of one’s daily life.

Successful results of the weighted blanket  can be had without the high costs of therapy sessions, drugs and sedatives that are traditionally used to pacify more tremulous patients. I recommend giving this effective and inexpensive blanket a try.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Use a Weighted Blanket

 

The blanket can be used at night, during naps, or used casually quick calming effect. Studies have used it for as little as 10 minutes and up to 2 hours, but it can stay on as long as you would like. It is the most beneficial to have your whole body covered, but do do not place the blanket on top of the head or face as it can create a suffocating sensation.

 

 

Choosing Your Weighted Blanket’s Weight

 

Use the formula 10% of your weight plus one pound. For example, a 160 lb person should  choose a 16 or 18 lb weighted blanket.

 

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

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Your Fibromyalgia Questions Answered

 

Your Fibromyalgia Questions Answered

 

 

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What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a common and chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain, diffuse tenderness, and a number of other symptoms. The word “fibromyalgia” comes from the Latin term for fibrous tissue (fibro) and the Greek ones for muscle (myo) and pain (algia).

 

Although fibromyalgia is often considered an arthritis-related condition, it is not truly a form of arthritis (a disease of the joints) because it does not cause inflammation or damage to the joints, muscles, or other tissues.

 

Like arthritis, however, fibromyalgia can cause significant pain and fatigue, and it can interfere with a person’s ability to carry on daily activities. Also like arthritis, fibromyalgia is considered a rheumatic condition, a medical condition that impairs the joints and/or soft tissues and causes chronic pain.

 

In addition to pain and fatigue, people who have fibromyalgia may experience a variety of other symptoms including:

 

  • cognitive and memory problems (sometimes referred to as “fibro fog”)
  • sleep disturbances
  • morning stiffness
  • headaches
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • painful menstrual periods
  • numbness or tingling of the extremities
  • restless legs syndrome
  • temperature sensitivity
  • sensitivity to loud noises or bright lights.

 

 

A person may have two or more coexisting chronic pain conditions. Such conditions can include chronic fatigue syndrome, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease, interstitial cystitis, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and vulvodynia. It is not known whether these disorders share a common cause.

 

 

Who Gets Fibromyalgia?

 

Scientists estimate that fibromyalgia affects 5 million Americans age 18 or older.1 For unknown reasons, between 80 and 90 percent of those diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women; however, men and children also can be affected. Most people are diagnosed during middle age, although the symptoms often become present earlier in life.

 

People with certain rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (commonly called lupus), or ankylosing spondylitis (spinal arthritis) may be more likely to have fibromyalgia, too.

 

Several studies indicate that women who have a family member with fibromyalgia are more likely to have fibromyalgia themselves, but the exact reason for this—whether it is heredity, shared environmental factors, or both—is unknown. Researchers are trying to determine whether variations in certain genes cause some people to be more sensitive to stimuli, which lead to pain syndromes. 

 

 

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

 

The causes of fibromyalgia are unknown, but there are probably a number of factors involved. Many people associate the development of fibromyalgia with a physically or emotionally stressful or traumatic event, such as an automobile accident. Some connect it to repetitive injuries. Others link it to an illness. For others, fibromyalgia seems to occur spontaneously.

 

Many researchers are examining other causes, including problems with how the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) processes pain.

 

Some scientists speculate that a person’s genes may regulate the way his or her body processes painful stimuli. According to this theory, people with fibromyalgia may have a gene or genes that cause them to react strongly to stimuli that most people would not perceive as painful. There have already been several genes identified that occur more commonly in fibromyalgia patients, and NIAMS-supported researchers are currently looking at other possibilities.

 

 

How is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?

 

Research shows that people with fibromyalgia typically see many doctors before receiving the diagnosis. One reason for this may be that pain and fatigue, the main symptoms of fibromyalgia, overlap with those of many other conditions. Therefore, doctors often have to rule out other potential causes of these symptoms before making a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Another reason is that there are currently no diagnostic laboratory tests for fibromyalgia; standard laboratory tests fail to reveal a physiologic reason for pain. Because there is no generally accepted, objective test for fibromyalgia, some doctors unfortunately may conclude a patient’s pain is not real, or they may tell the patient there is little they can do.

 

A doctor familiar with fibromyalgia, however, can make a diagnosis based on criteria established by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR): a history of widespread pain lasting more than 3 months, and other general physical symptoms including fatigue, waking unrefreshed, and cognitive (memory or thought) problems. In making the diagnosis, doctors consider the number of areas throughout the body in which the patient has had pain in the past week.

 

See Alternative Fibromyalgia Treatment Track Records

 

 

How is Fibromyalgia Treated?

 

Fibromyalgia can be difficult to treat. Not all doctors are familiar with fibromyalgia and its treatment, so it is important to find a doctor who is. Many family physicians, general internists, or rheumatologists (doctors who specialize in arthritis and other conditions that affect the joints or soft tissues) can treat fibromyalgia.

 

Fibromyalgia treatment often requires a team approach, with your doctor, a physical therapist, possibly other health professionals, and most importantly, yourself, all playing an active role. It can be hard to assemble this team, and you may struggle to find the right professionals to treat you. When you do, however, the combined expertise of these various professionals can help you improve your quality of life.

 

You may find several members of the treatment team you need at a clinic. There are pain clinics that specialize in pain and rheumatology clinics that specialize in arthritis and other rheumatic diseases, including fibromyalgia.

 

Only three medications, duloxetine, milnacipran, and pregabalin are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Duloxetine was originally developed for and is still used to treat depression. Milnacipran is similar to a drug used to treat depression but is FDA approved only for fibromyalgia. Pregaballin is a medication developed to treat neuropathic pain (chronic pain caused by damage to the nervous system).

 

Doctors also treat fibromyalgia with a variety of other medications developed and approved for other purposes.

 

 

Analgesics

 

Analgesics are painkillers. They range from over-the-counter products to prescription medicines. For a subset of people with fibromyalgia, narcotic medications are prescribed for severe muscle pain. However, there is no solid evidence showing that for most people narcotics actually work to treat the chronic pain of fibromyalgia, and most doctors hesitate to prescribe them for long-term use because of the potential that the person taking them will become physically or psychologically dependent on them.

 

 

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)

 

As their name implies, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium, are used to treat inflammation.Although inflammation is not a symptom of fibromyalgia, NSAIDs also relieve pain. The drugs work by inhibiting substances in the body called prostaglandins, which play a role in pain and inflammation. These medications, some of which are available without a prescription, may help ease the muscle aches of fibromyalgia. They may also relieve menstrual cramps and the headaches often associated with fibromyalgia.

 

 

Complimentary and Alternative Treatments

 

Many people with fibromyalgia also report varying degrees of success with complementary and alternative therapies, including massage, movement therapies (such as Pilates and the Feldenkrais method), chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, and various herbs and dietary supplements for different fibromyalgia symptoms. (For more information on complementary and alternative therapies, contact the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 

 

Although some of these supplements are being studied for fibromyalgia, there is little, if any, scientific proof yet that they help. FDA does not regulate the sale of dietary supplements, so information about side effects, proper dosage, and the amount of a preparation’s active ingredients may not be well known. If you are using or would like to try a complementary or alternative therapy, you should first speak with your doctor, who may know more about the therapy’s effectiveness, as well as whether it is safe to try in combination with your medications.

 

See Alternative Fibromyalgia Treatment Track Records

 

 

Will Fibromyalgia Get Better With Time?

 

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, meaning it lasts a long time—possibly a lifetime. However, it may be comforting to know that fibromyalgia is not a progressive disease. It is never fatal, and it will not cause damage to the joints, muscles, or internal organs. In many people, the condition does improve over time.

 

 

What Can I Do to Try to Feel Better?

 

Besides taking medicine prescribed by your doctor, there are many things you can do to minimize the impact of fibromyalgia on your life.

These include:

 

  • Getting enough sleep. Getting enough sleep and the right kind of sleep can help ease the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia. Even so, many people with fibromyalgia have problems such as pain, restless legs syndrome, or brainwave irregularities that interfere with restful sleep. It is important to discuss any sleep problems with your doctor, who can prescribe or recommend treatment for them.

 

  • Exercising. Although pain and fatigue may make exercise and daily activities difficult, it is crucial to be as physically active as possible. Research has repeatedly shown that regular exercise is one of the most effective treatments for fibromyalgia. People who have too much pain or fatigue to do vigorous exercise should begin with walking or other gentle exercise and build their endurance and intensity slowly.

 

  • Making changes at work. Most people with fibromyalgia continue to work, but they may have to make big changes to do so. For example, some people cut down the number of hours they work, switch to a less demanding job, or adapt a current job. If you face obstacles at work, such as an uncomfortable desk chair that leaves your back aching or difficulty lifting heavy boxes or files, your employer may make adaptations that will enable you to keep your job. An occupational therapist can help you design a more comfortable workstation or find more efficient and less painful ways to lift.

 

  • Eating well. Although some people with fibromyalgia report feeling better when they eat or avoid certain foods, no specific diet has been proven to influence fibromyalgia. Of course, it is important to have a healthy, balanced diet. Not only will proper nutrition give you more energy and make you generally feel better, it will also help you avoid other health problems.

 

 

What Research is Being Conducted on Fibromyalgia?

 

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) sponsors research that will improve scientists’ understanding of the specific problems that cause or accompany fibromyalgia, in turn helping them develop better ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent this syndrome.

 

The research on fibromyalgia supported by the NIAMS covers a broad spectrum, ranging from basic laboratory research to studies of medications and interventions designed to encourage behaviors that reduce pain and change behaviors that worsen or perpetuate pain.

 

Following are descriptions of some of the promising research now being conducted:

 

Understanding pain. Research suggests that fibromyalgia is caused by a problem in how the body processes pain, or more precisely, a hypersensitivity to stimuli that normally are not painful. Therefore, several National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported researchers are focusing on ways the body processes pain to better understand why people with fibromyalgia have increased pain sensitivity.

 

These studies include:

 

  • The establishment of a tissue bank of brain and spinal cord tissue to study fibromyalgia and to determine the extent to which chronic pain in fibromyalgia patients is associated with the activation of cells in the nervous system and the production of chemical messengers, called cytokines, that regulate immune cell function.

 

  • The use of imaging methods to evaluate the status of central nervous system responses in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia compared with those diagnosed with another chronic pain disorder and pain-free controls.

 

  • An investigation to understand how the activation of immune cells from peripheral and central nervous system sources trigger a cascade of events leading to the activation of nerve cells, chronic pain, and the dysregulation of the effects of analgesic drugs against pain.

 

  • An intensive evaluation of twins in which one of the pair has chronic widespread pain and the other does not, along with twins in which neither of the pair has chronic pain, to help researchers assess physiological similarities and differences in those with and without chronic pain and whether those differences are caused by genetics or environment.

 

  • A study examining the use of cognitive behavioral therapy in pain patients, which researchers hope will advance their knowledge of the role of psychological factors in chronic pain as well as a new treatment option for fibromyalgia.

 

  • The Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) initiative. The PROMIS initiative is researching and developing new ways to measure patient-reported outcomes (PROs), such as pain, fatigue, physical functioning, emotional distress, and social role participation that have a major impact on quality of life across a variety of chronic diseases. The goal of this initiative is to improve the reporting and quantification of changes in PROs. The NIAMS supports an effort to develop PROMIS specifically for use in patients with fibromyalgia.

 

See Alternative Fibromyalgia Treatment Track Records

 

Improving Symptoms. A better understanding of fibromyalgia and the mechanisms involved in chronic pain are enabling researchers to find effective treatments for it. Some of the most promising lines of research in this area include the following:

 

  • Increasing exercise. Although fibromyalgia is often associated with fatigue that makes exercise difficult, regular exercise has been shown to be one of the most beneficial treatments for the condition. Researchers are trying to determine whether increasing lifestyle physical activity (that is, adding more exercise such as walking up stairs instead of taking the elevator) throughout the day produces similar benefits to exercise for fibromyalgia, improving symptoms such as pain, fatigue, and tenderness. Scientists are also examining the potential mechanisms by which lifestyle physical activity might influence symptoms. Other research supported by the NIAMS is examining the effectiveness of a simplified form of Tai Chi on pain and other measures such as sleep quality, fatigue, anxiety, and depression.

 

  • NIAMS-supported research is also examining ways to help people maintain helpful exercise programs. Because many people with fibromyalgia associate increased exercise with increased pain, doctors and therapists often have a difficult time getting patients to stick with their exercise program. The new research is examining patients’ fears that cause them to avoid exercise as well as behavioral therapies to reduce fears and help them maintain exercise.

 

  • Improving sleep. Researchers supported by the NIAMS are investigating ways to improve sleep for people with fibromyalgia whose sleep problems persist despite treatment with medications. One team has observed that fibromyalgia patients with persistent sleep problems share characteristics with people who have sleep-disordered breathing—a group of disorders, the most common of which is the obstructive sleep apnea, characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. These researchers are studying whether continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP, a therapy administered by a machine that increases air pressure in the throat to hold it open during sleep) might improve the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

 

Other groups of researchers are examining the link between sleep disturbance and chronic pain in fibromyalgia and are studying whether behavioral therapy for insomnia might improve fibromyalgia symptoms.

 

Recommended: Fibromyalgia – The Breakthrough Treatment & Prevention Program

Alternative Fibromyalgia Treatment Track Records

Alternative Fibromyalgia Treatment Track Records

 

 

 

 

It would be great if we could just give people a pill to fix their fibromyalgia,” says Mark J. Pellegrino, MD, of Ohio Pain and Rehabilitation Specialists and author of 13 books on fibromyalgia. “But there’s no magic pill. A balanced approach is important.”

 

For some people with fibromyalgia, that balanced approach includes trying complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in addition to medication, exercise, and physical therapy.

 

There hasn’t been a lot of formal research on the effectiveness of alternative treatments for fibromyalgia. But many people with fibromyalgia and some doctors believe some alternative treatments can help ease pain, fatigue, and other symptoms, especially when combined with conventional approaches.

 

 

 

Popular Alternative Treatments and Their Track Records


 

Commonly Used Dietary Supplements for Fibromyalgia

 

 

Natrol 5-HTP TR Time Release, 200mg, 30 Tablets

 

5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan). This is a building block for the brain chemical serotonin. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, so it’s believed that raising serotonin levels can lead to a better mood. One study found that 5-HTP supplements may also help ease anxiety, insomnia, fibromyalgia pain, and morning stiffness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Jarrow Formulas SAM-e, Promotes Joint Strength, Mood and Brain Function, 200 mg, 60 Enteric-Coated tabs

 

 

 

SAMe (S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine). This amino acid derivative may boost levels of serotonin and dopamine, another brain chemical. Limited research suggests SAMe may improve mood and sleep.

 

 

 

 

 Doctor's Best High Absorption Magnesium (200 Mg Elemental), 240-Count

 

 

 

Magnesium. Low levels of this element may be linked to fibromyalgia. However, research has not turned up solid evidence that taking magnesium supplements improves symptoms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Now Foods Melatonin

Melatonin. This hormone is often used in supplements to improve sleep. It may also ease fibromyalgia pain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nature's Bounty St. John's Wort, Double Strength, 300mg, 100 Capsules (Pack of 2)

 

 

 

 

St. John’s wort. Though this herb is sometimes used to treat certain fibromyalgia symptoms, there’s no solid evidence that it works. A few studies suggest it may help with mild depression. But it can also limit the effectiveness of some medications.

 

 

 


 

 

Pellegrino, who has fibromyalgia and is a physician speaker for pharmaceutical companies that make medications used to treat fibromyalgia, considers the “three pillars of treatment” to be medicine, physical therapy, and supplements.

He says that some supplements, along with other treatments and lifestyle changes, have helped his patients experience less pain, more energy, and better sleep.

The idea behind using supplements is to boost levels of certain substances in your body that may reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia. “If there’s a deficiency you can measure,” says Pellegrino, “it makes sense to replace that deficiency.”

 

 

Supplements and Fibromyalgia: Proceed With Caution

 

If you are considering supplements, talk with your doctor. Some supplements can have harmful interactions with prescription medications. Some are unsafe if you have certain medical conditions. Pellegrino also advises being wary of products that promise fibromyalgia relief or contain supplements not commonly used.

“When it comes to supplements, we’re learning more and more,”  “But unlike drugs, we don’t have rigorous research. It’s important for a person with fibromyalgia to work with a doctor who is knowledgeable about supplements.”

 

 

Acupuncture to Ease Fibromyalgia Pain

 

In traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture was thought to rebalance the flow of energy through one’s body. For modern Western practitioners, it’s a healing method that increases blood flow and production of the body’s natural painkillers.

In its most common form, acupuncture involves stimulating points on the body by inserting thin needles into the skin. When a slight electric current is run through the needles, it’s known as electroacupuncture. Both methods are used for fibromyalgia.

Some people believe acupuncture is an effective, if temporary, treatment for fibromyalgia symptoms. Others are not so sure.

In a 2006 Mayo Clinic study, acupuncture appeared to significantly reduce fatigue and anxiety among people with fibromyalgia. Other studies have suggested that acupuncture can temporarily ease fibromyalgia pain as well. Yet researchers who analyzed several clinical trials, including the Mayo Clinic study, concluded that overall, acupuncture is not effective in treating fibromyalgia.

 

 

 

Personal Recommendation: Nayoya Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set

Nayoya Back and Neck Pain Relief - Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set - Relieves Stress, Back, Neck, and Sciatic Pain - Comes with a Vinyl Carry Bag for Storage and Travel - As Seen in USA Today

 

On a personal note, in our house,we have used the Nayoya Acupressure mat for everything from my husband’s sciatica pain to my frozen shoulder. 

 

It takes some getting used to, but after about 15 minutes, there is an intense feeling of relaxation, and it does seem to help with pain.  Worth trying (especially if you don’t like acupuncture needles). There are over 2,000 consumer reviews for the Nayoya mat on Amazon.

 

Trying things yourself may be the only way to find out what works for you. It may take several acupuncture treatments for you to conclude whether its benefits, if any, are worth the money.

 

 

Alternative Fibromyalgia Treatments: Massage

 

Massage can reduce muscle tension and ease pain in the muscles and soft tissue. It can also improve circulation and range of motion and boost production of natural painkillers. Some studies suggest it can improve your mood. And it may help people with fibromyalgia sleep better, too.

Formal studies of the effects of massage on fibromyalgia symptoms are few and results are mixed. However, researchers at the University of Miami’s Touch Research Institute report that just 20 minutes of moderate-pressure massage can lessen the flow of chemicals associated with pain and stress while increasing production of serotonin.

The result: a better night’s sleep. That can help combat fatigue and the inability to concentrate known as “fibro fog.”

 

 

 

Osaki OS-4000A model OS-4000

Osaki OS4000B Model OS-4000 Zero Gravity Executive Fully Body Massage Chair

Again on a personal note, my husband and I regularly use a massage chair in our home.  My husband swears it helps him immensely when his sciatica pain flares up. 

I believe this would be a worthwhile investment for the management of any chronic pain condition, such as fibromyalgia. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fibromyalgia Treatments at Home

 

Don’t forget simple and inexpensive home remedies for pain. For example, heat — especially moist heat — can temporarily ease pain and stiffness by boosting blood flow to the places where you hurt.

Try applying a moist heating pad, taking a warm shower, or just warming your clothes in the dryer before you put them on. Cold packs can help you feel better too, by reducing the deep muscle pain of fibromyalgia.

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Your Fibromyalgia Questions Answered

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Studies Show Blackcurrant Seed Oil Helps Arthritis

Massage Chair FAQ’s

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Detailed Reviews

What Caregivers Need to Know About Sciatica Pain

Misconceptions About Sciatica Pain

The Fat Loss Diet I Recommend

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