Pain is a personal experience. No matter how you try to communicate it, it usually takes someone who has gone through something similar, to fully understand a type of pain. The first way of managing pain is by knowing the cause.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterised by muscle pain and tenderness. These pains can develop in different parts of the body thus making this disorder a little bit difficult to diagnose. A lot of fibromyalgia sufferers have chalked up the cause of their pain to arthritis and so many other similar conditions, this is because there is limited knowledge on the causes of fibromyalgia.
The treatment of the disease is often limited to stress reduction exercises, sleep therapies, and pain-reducing medications. Others have adopted the use of acupuncture, meditation, and massage as a way of pain relief. This article will examine the role of CBD Oil in Fibromyalgia treatment.
How can it be diagnosed?
Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is a chronic muscular and musculoskeletal disorder generally characterised by widespread pain in areas of the body. Presently, Fibromyalgia is a syndrome because it is defined by a group of symptoms and a known cause and treatment protocol is yet to be known.
In 1990, a diagnostic criterion was deduced to effectively provide an accurate pronouncement of the syndrome. The proposed definition back then was “chronic widespread pain.” This method albeit helped in the diagnosis of many cases of fibromyalgia, also led to a lot of misclassification.
Fortunately, in 2016, a review was carried out to redefine the diagnosis criteria of the disorder.
This recent review tried to pinpoint specific symptoms for individual patient diagnosis. Although diagnosis should be carried out by a doctor, it is important to be informed rather than to ignore symptoms when they present. The following are the 2016 criteria;
- Pain occurring in at least 4 of 5 regions (multisite pain)
- Pain intensity persists for at least 3 months
- Irrespective of other diagnoses, if the diagnosis is concurrent with FMS, then it is valid
The above has covered most of the symptoms of FMS. Other additional symptoms include:
- Non-restorative sleep
- Bladder problems
- Muscle stiffness
- Depression and anxiety
- Cognitive difficulties such as lack of concentration.
Causes of Fibromyalgia
As said earlier, the cause of Fibromyalgia is yet unknown. But according to recent research, experts have gathered that genetic disposition coupled with sets of triggers or in some cases a particular trigger such as infections, trauma and stress may influence why people develop fibromyalgia.
Though Fibromyalgia has been around for centuries, there haven’t been many breakthroughs concerning the causes or regular treatment methods. However through research and statistical analysis, experts have found a selection of people more likely to develop Fibromyalgia.
Sex: Women are twice as likely to develop FMS than men
Age: People of all ages can have fibromyalgia, even children. But, people over 60 are more likely to have FMS.
Genetic Disposition: If a family member has the syndrome, you may be at a greater risk of developing it too.
Autoimmune diseases: Research shows that people with autoimmune diseases such as arthritis are more likely to develop fibromyalgia.
Types of Fibromyalgia Pain
One of the many dangers that come with Fibromyalgia, apart from the pervasive and excruciating pain, is the complexity involved in diagnosing the syndrome. Fibromyalgia pain may sometimes differ from person to person. The following are the common kinds of pain.
- Hyperalgesia - This is a medical term used to describe amplification in FMS whereby the brain takes normal pain signals and makes it more severe. These kinds of pain may explain the diagnosis of doctors back when FMS was discovered. It was called the “mysterious disease” and most of its symptoms were considered a psychological disorder.
- Widespread Muscle pain - This kind of pain is more similar to the symptoms of flu. It mainly consists of pain in the lower back, around the shoulders, neck, and chest wall. All these areas are referred to as tender points
- Joint pain - They are usually characterised by dull, persistent aches around the joints in the facial region and neck.
- Allodynia - This is a painful condition characterised by a hypersensitive reaction to touch or mild pressure.
- Headaches - A lot of individuals suffering from FMS have experienced headaches. Though headaches are a common malady, research shows that 35% of people suffering from tension headaches have FMS.
- Abdominal Pain - In 50% of FMS cases, there is usually a prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome. This digestive disorder is accompanied by severe abdominal pain, cramping, and bloating.
CBD Oil and Fibromyalgia: Does it work?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a well-acclaimed extract from the cannabis and hemp plants with non-psychoactive effects and very mild if any, side effects. CBD Oil is quite popular for its anti-inflammatory and pain reduction qualities and its ability to improve sleep.
Studies suggest that CBD can relieve chronic pain in people with conditions linked with fibromyalgia, migraines, and irritable bowel syndrome. But it is quite clear that CBD research for FMS is at its early stage.
Despite the limited research carried out, doctors have tried to look for better and safer pain treatment options for their patients suffering from FMS, and patients have reported that CBD Oil helps them with their Fibromyalgia. While anecdotal evidence isn’t exactly scientific proof, these testimonies have piqued the interest of doctors and researchers and presumably in the near future, more research will be done.
Knowing the cause of one’s pain is the first step to solving it. Fibromyalgia is a chronic syndrome with its symptoms inaccurately diagnosed for a long time. Although people have claimed to prefer alternative treatments of Fibromyalgia, it is far from a cure and more research needs to be done to provide more answers concerning this “mysterious disease.”