Fibromyalgia, which means fiber-muscle pain, is a chronic disease that causes pain in the musculature and the connective tissue. Fibromyalgia is a relatively common disease that concerns women about 9 times more often than men.
Some symptoms are muscle and fiber pain as well as pressure pain at certain different pressure points distributed over the whole body. Psychical symptoms such as persisting fatigue, lacking concentration, exhaustion, and sleeping disorders are also frequent and can occur in very different severities.
Even if the pain does not worsen after reaching a certain level, treatment is important. The patient has to learn how to deal with the disease, because it also stresses their mind heavily as a result. Many patients feel intense pain that often impedes them to work, pursue hobbies, or follow up their social life. However, in many cases the social environment has no understanding for the disease and the patient thus can end up in isolation and depression.
The exact reason for fibromyalgia is not known, but it has already been discovered that fibromyalgia is an auto-immunologically induced disease belonging the group of rheumatic diseases. Unknown factors such as a disturbed pain perception can also play a role. There is currently no cure for fibromyalgia and in many cases the disease proceeds and remains resistant to treatment. The right therapy can though improve the symptoms.
Therapy of Fibromyalgia
The earlier the diagnosis is made and a therapy is started, the greater are the chances to improve the symptoms. But most of the patients will never be completely without symptoms, therefore it is important to convey to the patient how to handle the pain.
The treating physician can use a combination of drugs, sports therapy, and functional training, physical therapy, relaxation techniques, psychological measures, as well as nutritional therapy. This way drug abuse can be reduced and the patient remains independent.
Effective medicines against fibromyalgia are mainly antidepressants or strong analgesics, which are both highly addictive. This is why drug therapy can often be difficult.
In case of sports therapy first of all the cardiovascular system is targeted. By means of slowly increasing training intensity in many patients an improvement of their situation can be achieved. Furthermore, those muscles and joints which are particularly concerned are directly addressed to avoid degeneration.
Physical therapies are limited hot or hydroelectric baths. For relaxation reasons the patient is advised to meditate, to do yoga, and acquire further relaxation methods.
Treatment success may also occur due to special diets. But as soon as the diet is no longer followed the pain is normally coming back.
Stem Cell Therapy of Fibromyalgia
Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) or Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF) obtained from the patient’s own fat can be used for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Stem cells are said to be precursor cells of all completed body cells. Now we know that mesenchymal stem cells primarily act via modulation of the immune system and by stimulating regeneration of tissue and blood vessels by cytokines.
There is hope that by means of liposuction, extraction of mesenchymal stem cells, and injecting them into areas concerned an improvement of fibromyalgia can be achieved. Currently this is still “anecdotal evidence”, because larger studies on the treatment of fibromyalgia with stem cells do not yet exist. However, stem cells have already shown hopeful results in many autoimmune diseases, for example, in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.