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Fibromyalgia's Pain and Impaired Sleep Combine for Greater Misery

By HERWriter
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Pain and impaired sleep create more misery in fibromyalgia Auremar/PhotoSpin

Pain and fatigue are two of the most debilitating symptoms that occur with fibromyalgia. The chronic pain makes getting decent sleep a real challenge. And the lack of sleep is often the precursor to greater levels of pain the next day.

According to The American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association, Inc. website, fibromyalgia pain is made worse due to the nervous system's malfunction in pain processing.

Sleep disorders associated with fibromyalgia include difficulties in falling asleep, then trouble staying asleep. No matter how much sleep is attained through the night though, generally it is unrefreshing. Not being able to stay asleep means they aren't getting restorative sleep.

Night time can be exhausting to the person with fibromyalgia. The sufferer can wake up feeling as exhausted as they did when they first went to bed.

It's obvious that lack of sleep can have an unpleasant effect on those who live with joint pain. The correlation may not be as direct as it first appears however.

Research published in The Journal of Pain indicated that it may not be the lack of sleep in and of itself that causes the problem so much as the effects of insufficient sleep. In other words, it may be the exhaustion and lack of activity resulting from impaired sleep that leaves the sufferer in greater pain.

Of course, for sufferers of fibromyalgia, this knowledge is not going to help them sleep at night. Tossing and turning, trying unsuccessfully to find relief by constantly changing position, is wearing and sleep can prove elusive to the point of being nonexistent.

People with fibromyalgia know all too well that often a night spent with eyes wide open will lead to more pain in the morning.

Fibromyalgia can be mistaken for arthritis due to its symptoms of pain and inability to find restful sleep. Fibromyalgia however does not result in inflammation and does not damage joints or muscles though it feels like it.

It's considered a rheumatic condition though, as arthritis is, because while physical damage does not occur, it can feel like it does. The condition does impair joints and muscles, causing pain on a chronic basis.

Add a Comment3 Comments

Sleep deprivation certainly is harmful to anyone let alone someone with fibromyalgia who gets so very little restorative healing sleep. I used to say I felt as if I had been hit by a truck. My entire body ached and I was exhausted. I tried all of your suggestions except for Botox. My doctor even referred me to a sleep lab that concluded that I wasn't sleeping because of the pain—surprise. Nothing helped! I took countless medications and tried numerous therapies and holistic approaches to no avail. The horrid symptoms just got worse until, desperate and scared to death I finally found Joy of Healing. The beautiful mind/body/spirit wellness work of Andrew and Tamara Overlee. Thanks to them I have been both pain and prescription free many years. Because of them I have my life back.

October 24, 2014 - 10:07am

No offense, but sleep impairment contributing to Fibro pain is not new news. At all. We all know that it contributes, how could we not?

Botox is definitely not something I'd try to relieve pain. Again, no offense. The number of medications I'm already on is alarming enough. All those chemicals doing who knows what (in the long term) to my body and my health. All for a few hours (when lucky) of pain relief.

If people really wanted to help those of us with chronic pain and fatigue from Fibromyalgia, they'd help bring awareness to this debilitating condition. They'd force doctors to share research and make it even more possible in finding out what causes it, and how to finally treat it. They'd help make it affordable for treatments that DO help. Like acupuncture, massage therapy and chiropractic to name a few. These easily found and readily available treatments would vastly improve my quality of life if I could but afford them.

Shannon at www.livingwithfibromyalgia.ca

April 26, 2013 - 12:32pm

Fibromyalgia is such a debilitating condition. I have seen quite a few cases in my office over the years. It takes such a toll on not only the person affected by it but their loved ones as well. New studies have shown Botox may give some relief. Might be something worth exploring.

April 24, 2013 - 5:08pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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