Question

Fibromyalgia Treatment

How can I treat swelling from fibromyalgia?

A Answers (1)

  • ACeleste Cooper, Rheumatology, answered

    Treatment of swelling depends upon the cause and there are three types of swelling that can occur with FM:

    1. Diffuse swelling, interstitial edema, which is idiopathic edema
    2. Localized swelling takes place around a lymph node from chronic infection, as seen in many chronic fatigue/ME patients. 
    3. Swelling from myofascial entrapment of lymph and blood vessels.

    Idiopathic edema is a form of swelling in FM that occurs because of an abnormal biochemical fluid retention in the spaces between tissues for which we do not know the cause. These spaces, called interstitial spaces, are part of the ground substance in the myofascia. It is difficult to treat, and attention should be on identifying the perpetuating factors. If you keep a daily log of what you eat, medications, therapies and symptoms, you will be better able to identify what perpetuates swelling for you.

    Lymph node swelling should be discussed with your doctor so he/she can help you identify an underlying chronic infection and treat it appropriately when possible.

    Swelling from myofascial entrapment by trigger points (TrPs) located in close proximity to lymph and blood vessels is best treated by myofascial trigger point therapies, including myofascial bodywork and trigger point injections.

    You may find the following tips and therapies helpful:

    • Movement - movement improves circulation of both blood and lymph fluid. Try to avoid static positioning for any prolonged period
    • Vodder Manual Lymphatic Massage/Drainage
    • Trigger Point Therapy
    • Trager Work
    • Spray and Stretch
    • Myofascial Release
    • Active Release Therapy
    • Alexander Technique
    • Massage Therapy

    All of these therapies are discussed thoroughly in the book.

    *Caution: Any therapy that manipulates body tissue, including exercise and movement, releases the byproducts, toxins, into your blood stream. Drink plenty of water to help move the toxins out.

    Be sure to clear any of these therapies with your physician.

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