Fibromyalgia, that very difficult to diagnosis syndrome, has many and varied symptoms associated with it, including muscle tenderness at specific points on the body, fatigue, sleep problems, and metabolic abnormalities. Since many of these symptoms also appear in other syndromes and diseases, it is often difficult to properly diagnose fibromyalgia, and sufferers may endure years of undiagnosed pain and discomfort as a result. Thankfully, due to a massive body of research and concrete evidence, fibromyalgia is being diagnosed and treated more successfully today than ever before.
The Sudden Pain of a Muscle Spasm
Part and parcel of fibromyalgia symptoms are muscle spasms, the painful cramping of muscles, which can occur at any given moment in time. As a general rule, they often occur in the back, buttocks and legs – although other parts of the body cannot be ruled out. There have been a number of theories put forward concerning the reasons for this phenomenon and its association with fibromyalgia. One theory suggests that due to a reduced blood flow, the muscles are deprived oxygen which causes cramping, while another offers the opinion that they may be due to a reflex reaction. Yet another looks at the connection of the genetic link to tears in the muscle tissue, something to which fibromyalgia sufferers show a susceptibility.
Headaches, Nausea and a Real Pain in the Neck
When the muscles of the neck go into a spasm they, in turn, often cause a headache on one side of the head. The nerves affected by such a spasm affect the nerves associated with the stomach, and ultimately cause a feeling of nausea. These headaches are not normally migraines since they involve one side of the head rather than both sides. As those who have fibromyalgia know, one of the most common aspects of the disorder is headache, accompanied by pains in the neck, shoulders and upper back.
Prevention and Treatment
There are several ways to treat spasms and their associated pain which, when used as preventative treatments, can help to reduce their occurrence. Gentle stretching exercises, which you can do at home, help to keep the muscles supple and increase blood flow which encourages healing. If you need help creating a program, your doctor or physiotherapist can give you guidance and instruction.
Muscle pain can be relieved with regular massage and hot compressions. Keeping the muscles warm is another good idea, especially since cold can be a source for cramping and can cause muscle spasms. Dressing in layers affords the warmth when necessary, as well as the ability to remove layers if it is too warm.
Replenishing MSM, A Natural Aid
Methyl Sulfonyl Methane – MSM – has been shown to be a very effective aid in reducing muscle spasms. MSM naturally occurs in most plants and is found within our bodies in high concentration in the skin, joints, nails and hair. As we age, the supplies and availability of this naturally occurring property diminish. MSM has important anti-inflammatory properties including an analgesic quality that reduces pain impulses. It also increases blood supply and reduces muscle spasms. MSM can be applied topically or taken long term as a supplement.