How to Control Swelling in Fibromyalgia

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Osteoarthritis is the most common musculoskeletal disorder, followed by FM. More frequent than not, FM is misdiagnosed and misunderstood. Features of this condition/disorder include joint and muscle tingling, pain, fatigue, and many other symptoms. Usually, individuals who have FM also experience depression and social isolation. Many also experience both FM and swelling.

FM quite challenging to diagnose. The main reason for this is because the symptoms of FM are usually in line with the symptoms of other diseases, which leads to the individual being misdiagnosed. One of the most basic symptoms of FM is inflammation and swelling. Due to this FM swelling, it can sometimes be mixed up with arthritis. This is because of the fact that both arthritis and fibromyalgia affect the joints.

Comparing Arthritis and Fibromyalgia

Though FM does show many of the same symptoms of arthritis and the two conditions are often confused, there are some differences.

Individuals who have FM usually experience more of a sensation that their joints are swelling rather than the joints really swelling. Furthermore, an individual who has FM may actually experience what is known as a “creepy crawly” feeling on their bodies, which is quite uncomfortable for them. Though it is nearly the same as with arthritis, the “swelling” of the joints that is part of FM is not actually swelling at all, but a feeling of swelling.

Arthritis is in fact damage and swelling within the joints. Individuals who are affected by arthritis can also be affected by FM. The swelling that is produced by the FM in this case is typically in the hands and feet.

This can be used to realize if the individual is suffering from arthritis or fibromyalgia. The swelling of the feet and hands in those suffering from FM actually look a lot like edema, while the swelling in those suffering from arthritis is primarily located in the joints.

There is no particular cause of FM. But, there are quite a few risk factors that contribute to the occurrence of arthritis in individuals.

Genetic variations could possibly contribute to arthritis, though researchers do not entirely understand the role played by genetics in this illness. Because of the fact that as individuals age, the cartilage turns into much more brittle and loses its ability to repair itself.

Joint damage depends on the extent of weight that the joints must support, so body weight can cause an individual to develop arthritis. These aspects and others can all contribute to arthritis, but do not necessarily have anything to do with an individual developing FM.

Understanding Swelling and Fibromyalgia

Most of the times, medical specialists will diagnose arthritis, when in fact the inflammation and swelling is actually due to FM. Still, as talked about earlier, there is a huge difference amongst the two: arthritis affects the joints, whereas the inflammation and swelling because of FM does not. As the swelling in individuals with FM is not in the joints, it can in fact look more like edema. Mostly, those who are experiencing this kind of swelling also complain that the skin in such swollen parts turns red however this does not happen all the time.

However the FM swelling can take place just about anywhere on the body, it is usually found in the hands and feet. Mostly, those who report swelling in their feet usually report that the swelling spreads up toward their lower legs. Some people even report that their swelling is just on some of their toes.

Swelling linked to FM can appear and disappear without even a warning. It can last for some hours, days, or even weeks at a time. Sometimes, people will even report that their feet swell so huge that they can’t wear their shoes. If you’re experiencing this level of swelling, you have to know that there are some stuffs that you can do to neutralize this.

As stated earlier, most of the people believe that swelling and inflammation linked to FM is directly related to the level of stress in one’s life. Therefore, if you have FM and you are suffering from swelling because of your illness, you’ll want to do what you can to decrease or even completely avoid stress in your private life. Moreover, getting lots of rest may prove to help prevent or decrease swelling.

Though FM and swelling is quite common for those who are suffering from the condition, it is not the same swelling and inflammation that is existing with arthritis. Moreover, though there surely is not a particular cure or cause that can be pointed to, researchers do have faith that some simple changes in lifestyle can help to control it. By simply making certain to get lots of relaxation and rest, and removing as much stress as possible from your life, you can make sure that the inflammation and swelling does not keep happening.

How to Control Fibromyalgia Swelling

The most essential things to remember is that the swelling in people with FM will never be found in the zones that are painful. The extent of FM and swelling is in fact directly linked to the amount of stress that the affected individual is enduring at present.

If the patient is in least emotional stress, the swelling on their body will be quite hard to notice. If the patient is in a whole heap of emotional stress, then the swelling will be apparent. So, the extent of swelling on the patient’s body specifies their present emotional state. This exacerbates FM and swelling.

If you realize that as a FM patient, you are undergoing swelling, then do what you can to relax and calm down. The more stressed you get, the more you’ll begin to swell. The calmer you are, the more that swelling is going to head off.

Swelling is one of the most common indications that an individual with FM will undergo. Both inflammation and swelling are one of the first thing an individual will feel when there is a diagnosis of FM. This is what makes it so hard to diagnose, the swelling takes on the appearance of arthritis. The swelling can in fact take place at any time and almost anywhere on your body. It can last for a short period or a long long one.

Tips for Mild swelling

  • Rest and protect a sore area. Stop, change, or take a break from any activity that may be causing your pain or soreness.
  • Elevate the injured or sore area on pillows while applying ice and any time you are sitting or lying down. Try to keep the area at or above the level of your heart to help minimize swelling.
  • Avoid sitting or standing without moving for prolonged periods of time. Exercising the legs decreases the effect of gravity, so swelling goes down.
  • A low-sodium diet may help reduce swelling.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to help prevent swelling caused by dehydration.
  • Keep your skin cool in hot environments.

Swelling Prevention

The following tips may help prevent swelling.

  • Do not sit with your feet hanging down for long periods of time. Elevate your feet whenever possible. If you take a car trip, stop and walk around every 1 to 2 hours. If you are traveling in an airplane, be sure to get up and walk around every 1 to 2 hours.
  • Limit the amount of salt in your diet.
  • Exercise regularly. Warm up and stretch before exercising.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, and keep your skin cool in hot environments.
  • Avoid repetitive motions, or take frequent breaks often to rest a body area.
  • Take medicines as instructed. If swelling occurs often, discuss with your doctor whether taking your medicine at another time of day would decrease the swelling.
  • Do not smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products. They increase circulation problems.

If you have a chronic medical condition or are pregnant, follow your doctor’s instructions on how to prevent swelling and when to call to report your symptoms.

For support and Discussion join the group “Living with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Illness”

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