Fibromyalgia is a long-term disorder characterized by widespread pain in the body, accompanied by general fatigue. There may be sleep issues, memory issues (brain fog) and depression. A person having fibromyalgia tends to have pain in specific areas of the body (known as tender points) that are extremely sensitive and painful. Even the slightest pressure on the tender points can cause pain. This unexplained pain that goes on for more than three months at a stretch is diagnosed as fibromyalgia. Research shows that the condition of fibromyalgia causes an amplification or intensification of the pain sensations in the brain. Fibromyalgia can be effectively treated with homeopathic medicines. The top three medicines for fibromyalgia are Rhus Tox, Arnica Montana and Kali Phos.
Why Use Homeopathy for Fibromyalgia?
The traditional treatment for fibromyalgia involves the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), anti-seizure drugs, pain relievers as well as antidepressants. As evident, these methods are palliative (only treat the pain) and mask the symptoms instead of addressing the root of the problem. Long-term use of these can cause severe side-effects like intestinal bleeding, strokes, skin allergies, the formation of cysts, weight gain, blurred vision, and cognitive issues. Homeopathy medicines offer a natural treatment for fibromyalgia and help alleviate the symptoms and treat the problem for long-term relief. They have no side effects and are made of natural substances that are safe for use.
Top Homeopathic Medicines for Fibromyalgia
Rhus Tox, Arnica Montana, Kali Phos, Bryonia Alba, Magnesia Phos, Ruta Graveolens, Arsenic Album, Cimicifuga Racemosa, Gelsemium Sempervirens, Coffea Cruda, Ignatia Amara, Causticum and Acid Phos are the top remedies for fibromyalgia.
1. Rhus Tox – Effective Medicine for Fibromyalgia
Rhus Tox is a top listed medicine for treating fibromyalgia. It is indicated in cases where there is widespread pain in the body. The pain is present in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments and can be tearing, shooting, stitching in nature. It is seen to get worse with exertion and during the night. The sleep gets disturbed, and there is marked stiffness in the body. Back pain is very prominent, and it gets better with motion. Rhus Tox is also indicated for numbness and a prickling sensation in the limbs.
Key indications for using Rhus Tox for Fibromyalgia:
-Widespread pain in the body.
– Stiffness with body ache.
– Symptoms worsening from exertion.
2. Arnica Montana – For Bruising Pain
Arnica Montana is a natural medicine for fibromyalgia prepared from the Leopard’s Bane plant. It belongs to the family Composite. It is primarily used in cases of fibromyalgia where there are sore, bruised pains in the body. The body feels lame and sore as if beaten. It is sensitive to touch, and the person feels afraid to touch the painful parts. Fatigue, numbness, and tingling of limbs may be present. A history of injuries is usually present in people needing this medicine.
Key indications for using Arnica for Fibromyalgia:
– Sore, bruised pains.
– Fatigue with body aches.
– Numbness and tingling in limbs.
3. Kali Phos – For Fatigue and Sleep Issues
Kali Phos is a natural remedy for fibromyalgia used to treat marked fatigue and sleep issues in cases of fibromyalgia. There is an intense weakness, tiredness and whole system feels drained out. The affected person gets easily fatigued and has body aches. Exertion worsens the condition. Sleeplessness is another major issue that is treated well with this medicine. A prickling sensation in the hands and feet and fibromyalgia linked with stress are also indicative of this remedy.
Key indications for using Kali Phos for Fibromyalgia:
-Intense fatigue, weakness, and tiredness.
– Sleeplessness with body aches.
– Fibromyalgia linked with stress.
Other Important Medicines
4. Bryonia Alba – Where Pain Worsens from Motion
Bryonia Alba is a natural medicine prepared from the plant Wild Hops. The natural order of this plant is Cucurbitaceae. Bryonia Alba is a very beneficial medicine for fibromyalgia considered in cases where pains get worse from motion. Lying down and absolute rest offers relief in pains. The type of pain varies from sharp, stitching, bursting, sore to tearing in nature. Pressure causes pain on tender points founds on the lower back and knee. Stiffness also attends the pain.
5. Magnesia Phos – When Warmth Relieves Pain
Magnesia Phos is a well-indicated natural treatment for fibromyalgia where warmth relieves the pains. The pains in the body are mostly shifting in nature, changing from one place to other frequently. The character of the pain is mostly sharp and shooting. Light touch tends to worsen the pain, and there is a pain in the neck, lower back, and lower limbs. The pains also tend to radiate from the point of origin. Restlessness and extreme weakness are present, and cold tends to worsen the pains.
6. Ruta Graveolens – For Fibromyalgia with Restlessness
Ruta Graveolens is a remedy for fibromyalgia prepared from the fresh plant of Garden Rue of the family Rutaceae. Its use is indicated for pains in the body along with restlessness. Soreness of tendons and pains are of deep, sharp, drawing, tearing in nature are mainly present in the neck, shoulders, lower back, and knee.
7. Arsenic Album – For Marked Fatigue
Arsenic Album is a useful medicine for fibromyalgia with marked fatigue. The key indications for using this medicine include sudden weakness, excessive tiredness, exhaustion from slight exertion, burning pains in the body in areas like the back and limbs. Use of this medicine is also considered in cases of fibromyalgia when intense anxiety (particularly about health) and restlessness is present. All the complaints are seen to get worse during the night.
8. Cimicifuga Racemosa – For Pain in Neck and Lower Back
Cimicifuga Racemosa is indicated for fibromyalgia with marked pains in the muscles of the neck and the lower back. A feeling of stiffness and contraction in the neck is also present.
Dull, heavy aching in the lower back that is improved by rest, pains in muscles worsening from motion and excessive muscular soreness are other accompanying symptoms.
9. Gelsemium Sempervirens – For Aching Muscles
Gelsemium Sempervirens is prepared from the plant Yellow Jasmine. The natural order of this plant is Loganiaceae. Key indications for the use of this medicine include aching in muscles and tiredness, deep-seated pains that are worse in the back, hips, neck, and under the scapula. Exertions worsen the pain and headaches may also be present along with the above symptoms.
10. Coffea Cruda – For Sleep Issues
Coffea Cruda is a medicine used to treat sleep issues in fibromyalgia. The person needing this medicine has severe insomnia (sleeplessness). It is indicated in cases of restlessness and disturbed sleep. Hypersensitivity towards pain is another common feature.
11. Ignatia Amara – For Fibromyalgia with Depression
Ignatia Amara is a plant-based medicine prepared from the St.Ignatius bean of the Loganiaceae family. Ignatia is a natural medicine for fibromyalgia and depression. A history of some emotional shock like loss of a loved one, or any major grief or disappointment may be present in people needing this medicine. Symptoms of depression like sadness, weeping, desire to be alone are well marked along with mental and physical exhaustion.
12. Causticum – Natural Treatment for Fibromyalgia with Widespread Pains
Causticum is a medicine for treating fibromyalgia with widespread pains. Pain is prominent in the neck, lower back, buttocks, shoulders, shoulder blades, elbows, and knees. The pains are present constantly and can vary in intensity. There is tearing pain in the back of the neck along with stiffness. Pinching, cramping pain in the lumbar region and buttocks, pressure and pain over the shoulders which is worse on motion, pressing pain in the elbows, and marked pain in the hips during the night are present. There are tearing pains in the limbs that shift from one part to another.
13. Acid Phos – For Fibromyalgia with Brain Fog
Acid Phos is a natural medicine for fibromyalgia where a person suffers from extreme brain fog. The person needing this remedy finds it difficult to collect thoughts and may experience a random disassociation in thoughts along with mental weakness. The person may find it difficult to comprehend things or concentrate on a task. In most cases, a history of some grief or sorrow may be present. Issues of sleeplessness and extreme weakness may also be present with the above symptoms.
An Explanation of Fibromyalgia
No clear mechanism explains the cause of fibromyalgia. The most common theory suggests that people who have fibromyalgia are in fact, suffering from some problem with the pain reception. Such people develop an increased sensitivity towards pain. Their body’s tendency to feel pain is higher as compared to others. In other words, we can say that they have low threshold levels to tolerate any painful condition.
The most common factors responsible for this increased sensitivity to pain are serotonin, Substance P (a peptide) and nerve growth factors. In fibromyalgia, there is a low level of serotonin which plays a vital role in inhibiting pain signals. Further, there are high levels of Substance P and nerve growth factor present, which spread the pain signals. All these factors together lead to central sensitization of the brain, causing hypersensitivity to pain and chronic pain. So, the individual suffering with fibromyalgia will experience more pain to the same injury as compared to someone who does not have fibromyalgia.
Due to central sensitization, the patient tends to develop hypersensitivity to touch or to the things which generally do not cause pain. Their brain is in a constant state of high reactivity. That is why they also experience pains, even if touched gently. Because of central sensitization, the pain tends to get worse if the individual is going through some psychological or physical stress like anxiety, depression, injury/trauma or sleeplessness. This central sensitization can develop due to multiple factors in people with fibromyalgia, like after an injury/trauma or surgery, depression, insomnia, and some genetic factors.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Pain is the primary symptom of fibromyalgia. The pain associated with fibromyalgia often is widespread and is described as a constant deep, dull ache. However sometimes throbbing, sharp, shooting, burning pains can also be present. The pain is present in the muscles, tendons, ligaments and around the joints. Exercise tends to worsen the pain. Numbness and tingling sensations and stiffness upon lying in the same position for too long are other symptoms.
A person with fibromyalgia has tender points, which are about nine pairs of specific points in the body which when pressed cause intense pain.
As per the guidelines of American College of Rheumatology guidelines, a person is said to have fibromyalgia when at least 11 of these 18 tender points are painful when a certain amount of pressure is applied on them. The tender points located around the back of the neck, front of the neck, hips, elbows, lower back, upper back knees, chest, and shoulders.
Fatigue (tiredness) is another major complaint in people who have fibromyalgia. Even after sleeping for long hours people with fibromyalgia feel tired and drained out. Some people describe this fatigue similar to that experienced during the flu. The person feels too tired to do simple, everyday things.
Most people with fibromyalgia have sleep issues. They may have difficulty falling asleep or maintaining sleep. Some may experience poor sleep quality in the form of light or easily disturbed sleep. Sleep disturbances arise due to a pain that wakes the person frequently at night. Sleep disturbance may also be linked with other sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea that many people with fibromyalgia tend to have. Feeling unrefreshed and weak in the morning is also very common.
Fibro-fog and cognitive problems are other symptoms of fibromyalgia wherein a person has difficulty paying attention, focussing and concentrating on mental tasks. Remembering information, learning new things, and following conversations also becomes difficult.
Apart from the above, other symptoms and related conditions include headaches, depression, anxiety, tingling, prickling, numbness, burning sensation in hands, feet, arms, legs, pain in lower abdomen, painful periods in women, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Family History – A person with a family history of fibromyalgia is at risk to develop it.
Gender – Women are more at risk of developing fibromyalgia. According to NIAMS (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases), between 80 to 90 % diagnosed cases of fibromyalgia are women, and the female hormone estrogen has been linked to this.
Age – Fibromyalgia is usually diagnosed between the ages of 20 to 50 years.
Other Diseases – People with certain diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, ankylosing spondylitis, osteoarthritis, are at an increased risk to develop fibromyalgia.
Sleep Disorders – People with sleep disorders including sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome tend to develop fibromyalgia.
Infections – Infections caused by certain viruses tend to trigger or worsen fibromyalgia. These viruses include the Epstein-Barr virus, influenza virus, and viruses that cause hepatitis B and C. Apart from this, Lyme disease caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi is also linked with fibromyalgia.
Trauma – Physical or mental trauma can trigger fibromyalgia. Physical injury mainly in the cervical spine is linked with fibromyalgia. Emotional trauma like a divorce or the death of a family member/ loved one is another trigger factor noted in cases of fibromyalgia.
It is often difficult to diagnose fibromyalgia because of the lack of a specific investigation. Further, its symptoms (mainly pain) mimic many other conditions. A diagnosis for fibromyalgia is made when the patient experiences widespread pain in the tender points of the body for a minimum of three months for no specific reason.
Clinical Diagnosis for Fibromyalgia
There are no lab tests that can confirm a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Certain tests are done to rule out other conditions that have symptoms (mainly chronic pain) similar to fibromyalgia. These include a rheumatoid factor, anti-CCP ( anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide), ESR, CBC (complete blood count), and thyroid function test