DefenitionFibromyalgia is a chronic condition literally meaning “muscle and connective tissue pain”. It’s more a syndrome which includes other symptoms as fatigue (Generalised tiredness), sleep disturbance and joint stiffness. Fibromyalgia is frequently associated with psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety. Women are much more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men in their mid-30s to late-50s. Fibromyalgia is frequently co morbid with stress-related disorders such as chronic fatigue syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, irritable bowel syndrome and depression.
Causes:There is no clear defined cause of fibromyalgia. But the following can be hypothecated as the risk factors-
- Genetic factor – There is a high aggregation of fibromyalgia in families.
- Chronic sleep disturbance.
- Poor lifestyles as smoking and lack of physical activity.
- Stress is considered as an important precipitating factor for fibromyalgia.
- Infections. Some illnesses appear to trigger or aggravate fibromyalgia.
- Physical or emotional trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder has been linked to fibromyalgia.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Fibromyalgia:Fibromyalgia can be considered as a vāta vyādhi (diseases caused primarily by an imbalance of Vāta dosha), with Pitta and Kapha involvement. Vāta vyādhi’s are a group of 80 diseases of chronic and unpredictable nature, difficult to cure, involving primarily the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system. Primarily the pathogenesis originates in the gastrointestinal tract then branches out to the muscle tissues (mamsa dhatu). Rasa, Asthi and Majja Dhatus are also often involved along with Mamsa.
- Pain and Tenderness – The pain associated with fibromyalgia often is described as a constant dull ache, the pain must occur on both sides of the body. The pain is associated with tenderness commonly located in the neck, shoulders, back, and hips called tender trigger points, widespread in deep muscle. The tenderness is worse in the mornings and has been described as flu-like, burning, throbbing, aching, or stabbing nature.
- Fatigue – Feels tired always, wake up with tiredness, even having slept for long periods of time. Sleep is often disrupted by pain / restless legs syndrome/sleep apnea.
- Lack the ability to focus, pay attention and concentrate.
- Other problems – Many people with fibromyalgia may experience depression, headaches, and pain or cramping in the lower abdomen.
Line of treatment:
- Balancing the vata, correcting Agni (digestive system and cellular metabolism – Dhatwagni), strengthening the Dhatus.
Treatments:The treatment modalities include panchakarma, external therapies, internal medications, Activities, Advice of food and life style changes.
- Panchakarma – Virechana, Basti, Nasya
- Externally – Abhyanga, Udwarthana, Shiro Dhara, Kashaya Seka, SSPS, Chandana Avagha, Sthanika Basti
- Internally – Deepana – Carminative
- Pachana – Digestives
- Vatanulomana – Balancing vata
- Rasayana – Rejuvenators
- Specific Asanas, Panayamas, meditation
- Physiotherapy, Aqua yoga.
- Improving on the intake of water preferably warm water and foods which aid easy digestion.
- Include fresh ginger tea as it a good digestive – carminative.
- Timely regular wholesome meals in a conducible non-disturbing atmosphere.
- Lifestyle changes: specific to the individual’s constitution, nature of work and geographical conditions.