Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) sufferers experience pain in various regions of the body – often ongoing pain that can, and does, become debilitating. Research has begun to clarify the origin of fibromyalgia as being within the central nervous system (CNS). Something people with FMS often fail to realize is that as a disorder of the CNS, all pain comes from affected nerves in the joints, muscle, and tissues of their body. In order to relieve pain, the topical or oral pain medication must get to the origin and point of the fibro pain in order to (among other things) allow adequate blood flow and oxygen back into the affected area. When blood and oxygen reach the pain point, then the nerves stop sending pain signals to the spinal column and on to the brain. Unfortunately, whatever type of pain relief is effective does not constitute a cure. There is, to date, no cure for fibromyalgia.
Topical Pain Relievers
Pain relief is often most effective when it is a combination of oral and topical pain relievers. There are two types of topical medications; patches and preparations that are applied to the skin such as creams, ointments, and gels. Topical preparations are usually quite localized and are designed to reduce pain and inflammation below the surface of the skin. Some are available over-the-counter and others are only available by prescription. Science has developed some very effective ways for the body’s largest organ to deliver pain relief, carrying medications and other compounds through the skin layers into the blood.
In 1980 the first transdermal, through the skin therapeutic product, was developed and skin patches have been used since then to address any number of conditions and situations. From pain to birth control – the patch has been found to be a very effective way to get treatment into the body. However, the pain patches that have been used to treat fibromyalgia pain have also brought some serious concerns and side effects.
Dangers of the Patch
Before using any type of medication, whether OTC or otherwise, to treat pain of fibromyalgia, it is important to consult with a medical professional. Some of the pain patches used to address fibromyalgia pain use a very strong narcotic which goes directly into the bloodstream. If these types of patches are used incorrectly they can cause serious problems for the user. The drug, fentanyl, is the active ingredient in a couple of patches on the market, one of which has been pulled because it releases medications too fast and may cause side effects. If a person is using a patch, it is imperative they use it explicitly in line with the directions from the doctor and the manufacturer. Fentanyl is a powerful narcotic can quickly become addictive – use with caution.
Snake Oil For Pain Relief?
When it comes to topical creams, there is a wide variety available, some are very effective, some less so. The use of snake venom has been shown to work very well in the relief of muscular pain. When one considers the toll snake venom has taken on human life, it is curious that it can be used for such good. However, it has a characteristic that has been discovered to be of great healing value.
There are certain snake venoms, such as cobra, that can penetrate through the skin and into the body very quickly, reaching deep into muscle tissue. Once the venom is there, it releases enzymes that change the metabolism of the cells. It is this action that makes the use of venom valuable, especially for sufferers of fibromyalgia. Snake venom has the natural properties to affect a rise in temperature deep inside of muscles very quickly. Refined, the venom used in ointments and creams reach the muscles, stimulate blood flow through the muscle tissues and help dissolve away lactic acid reserves – which contribute to muscle stiffness and pain. Sometimes muscle relief can be felt in minutes.
Snake venom is currently a primary component of a number of natural therapeutic creams that are aimed at and used by the sporting industry. The fact that they are so effective and work quickly has given hope to sufferers of FMS, enabling them to obtain relief from the frustrating pain that is the hallmark of FMS.
Fibromyalgia can be treated in a number of ways. Read further to learn more about FMS and how it can be treated.