Understanding Fibromyalgia Headaches and Other Fibromyalgia Symptoms

According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, fibromyalgia is a condition that affects at least 10 million people in the United States. Although it’s most common in women, men and children can experience painful fibromyalgia symptoms too. Individuals experience fibromyalgia pain in many different parts of the body, including the head and neck regions.

Therefore, this article will explore the connection between fibromyalgia and headaches and how this type of fibromyalgia pain feels and is often triggered. With a better understanding of these types of fibromyalgia symptoms, sufferers can better manage and treat recurring and persistent headaches.

 

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Common Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Pain is the most common of the various fibromyalgia symptoms, but this pain is felt differently in different people. Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that often involves widespread pain that radiates through the muscles, joints, and tissues. This pain often occurs in the back, neck, shoulders, hips, arms, and legs. It is often described as throbbing, aching, and shooting sensations in these regions. In addition to fibromyalgia pain, other common symptoms of this condition are fatigue, memory and concentration problems, muscle cramps, numbness in the hands and feet, and headaches.

Why Fibromyalgia Pain Occurs

Doctors and researchers have yet to reach a definitive conclusion as to what causes fibromyalgia symptoms, but there are strong connections between this condition and how the brain processes and perceives pain. Certain things can trigger fibromyalgia pain to begin, such as a traumatic event, repetitive injuries, autoimmune disease, and disorders of the central nervous system. Genetics may play a role because fibromyalgia pain tends to run in families, while some illnesses and infections are known to trigger it as well.

How to Treat Fibromyalgia Headaches

According to the Migraine Treatment Centers of America, more than half of individuals with fibromyalgia have chronic and debilitating headaches too. Other statistics report that as many as 76 percent of fibromyalgia sufferers have chronic headaches too. This is likely due to the fact that both fibromyalgia and headaches are connected to how the brain processes pain and how the body’s nervous system reacts to stimuli. Therefore, even a very slight malfunction in the brain or nervous system can potentially trigger both conditions at or around the same time.

Fortunately, many of the treatments for headaches can help fibromyalgia sufferers and vice versa. Powerful pain relievers like Vanquish can help alleviate headache pain and other bodily aches and pains felt in the body as well. Fibromyalgia headaches may also be relieved by engaging in regular exercise to help relieve stress and allow more oxygen to flow through the blood vessels so that pain sensors aren’t triggered. Good exercises for fibromyalgia and headache sufferers include yoga, walking, and swimming.

For severe fibromyalgia headaches, doctors may suggest prescription medications or preventative medications, such as beta blockers or antidepressants. Natural preventative strategies, such as acupuncture, biofeedback, and seeing a chiropractor, may also help to manage pain felt in the head and throughout the rest of the body too. Pay attention to foods consumed and aim to avoid foods that trigger headaches as much as possible. Since stress is a major trigger for fibromyalgia symptoms and headaches, effectively managing stress through therapy, meditation, or simply scaling back one’s daily obligations can go a long way in helping fibromyalgia sufferers feel healthy and free of pain.

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Understanding Menstrual Pain and How to Get Relief

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Nearly every menstruating woman has experienced menstrual pain at some point in her life. For some women, this pain is very minor and manageable, but for others, it interferes with daily activities and could be the sign of a more serious condition of the reproductive system. In addition to pain and cramping, many women experience other symptoms in the days leading up to their periods as well. These symptoms are normal and natural, but they may warrant a trip to the doctor if they become severe or debilitating.

This article will discuss the topic of menstrual cramps, including what causes them, what they feel like, and how to find menstrual cramps relief that is effective.

 

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What Are Menstrual Cramps?

Menstrual cramps affect girls who get their very first period as well as women who get their very last period before menopause. Cramps of this type are medically referred to as dysmenorrhea and typically strike one to three days before a woman gets her monthly period.

Why Menstrual Pain Occurs

The cramping and pain that occurs in the abdominal area of a woman before her period is due to contractions in the uterus or womb. These contractions are necessary to help the uterus get rid of its lining during a menstrual period. When these contractions become greater, they can push up to nearby vessels and reduce the oxygen supply to the uterus. What causes the pain and cramping is when oxygen is momentarily cut off or reduced.

While this sensation is very common, menstrual cramps can also be caused by the medical conditions of uterine fibroids, endometriosis, or pelvic inflammatory disease. Women who have higher-than-normal levels of prostaglandins may experience menstrual pain that is more several.

Common Symptoms of Menstrual Pain

Menstrual pain most commonly occurs in the lower abdominal area, but it can also radiate to the lower back and legs. It often feels like a dull and constant aching pain, rather than a sudden or sharp-shooting pain. In addition to this pain, women may also feel nauseous, have headaches, experience dizziness, and notice changes in their bowel movements in the days leading up to a period.

Finding Menstrual Cramps Relief

Although Vanquish is best known as a headache medication, it is also effective in treating aches and pains, such as menstrual cramps. This is because Vanquish contains acetaminophen and aspirin to inhibit pain signaling to the brain, as well as a low dose of caffeine to help the painkilling medications enter the bloodstream quicker and more effectively. Birth control pills that contain hormones may also help to prevent menstrual cramps or make then less severe.

There are also many lifestyle changes that women can try to cope with menstrual pain and find menstrual cramps relief. Exercising regularly is a great way to reduce cramps, as well as reducing daily stress. Many women also find it useful to take a hot bath or place a heating pad on the abdomen to reduce pain. Dietary supplements that contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, B-vitamins, and magnesium may help to prevent future cramping as well. Meanwhile, alternative medicine therapies, such as acupuncture and acupressure, can assist in relieving menstrual pain when combined with over-the-counter medications and healthy lifestyle habits.

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Why the Body Experiences Aches and Pains During a Fever

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A fever takes a lot out of a person in a way that most headaches, colds, and cases of flu typically don’t on their own. Body aches and fever often go hand-in-hand because of the way that fevers affect the body. These symptoms are typically described as an aching feeling that affects various parts of the body and makes it very difficult to move around or have the energy to function at a normal level.

The paragraphs that follow provide a description of how fevers affect the body and why fevers are so often accompanied by body aches. Fever sufferers can better address their symptoms of body pain and fever with knowledge about the use of painkillers and other potential treatment strategies.

How Fevers Occur in the Body

In a healthy and well-functioning body, the white blood cells’ job is to get to repair muscle fibers that are damaged through normal use. But when a person’s body has the flu or fever, the white blood cells switch roles to fight the virus that is causing the sickness. Since the white blood cells don’t have any time left over to rebuild muscles as they normally would, the body is left feeling sore and achy.

Meanwhile, while the white blood cells are busy fighting off the infection, they give off cytokines, which is a natural chemical that causes inflammation. While some inflammation can be beneficial to fight illness, too much of it can negatively affect the muscles and joints by making them ache.

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How Painkillers Help with Fevers

Painkillers that contain acetaminophen or ibuprofen are often used to treat high fevers under the direction of a doctor. This is because painkillers are able to reduce fevers and make a person feel better in a relatively short amount of time.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen and aspirin, affect the substances in the body that cause pain sensations and control body temperature. Ibuprofen, for example, can help reduce levels of hormones that cause pain feelings and inflammation. Meanwhile, acetaminophen is believed to affect pain sensors in the brain as well.

Treatment for Body Pain and Fever

Doctors sometimes recommend not trying to lower one’s body temperature for low-grade fevers but simply letting the fever run its natural course instead. When the symptoms of a fever are short-lived and manageable, this approach can be beneficial to prevent the masking of symptoms or prolonging of the illness.

But when fevers become high or too uncomfortable to bear, there are other treatment strategies available as well. First, it is very important to get lots of rest during a fever to help the body regain energy and strength to fight it off.

In addition to medication, fever body aches can be soothed with taking a lukewarm (but not cold) shower or bath to help the body cool down. Drinking plenty of fluids, mostly water, and eating foods rich in antioxidants will also help restore the body back to natural health. Squash, bell peppers, berries, and tomatoes are all great food options to eat while experiencing body aches and fever.

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Understanding Postpartum Aches and Pains of New Mothers

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During pregnancy, women experience many new aches and pains while carrying their unborn babies…not to mention the actual pain of labor. But even after the baby is born, many new mothers continue to experience a variety of aches and pains in their bodies. It can be very frustrating and disheartening to learn that the headaches, stiffness, and body aches that existed during those formative nine months continue after giving birth. These pains can make the early days of being a new mom unpleasant and even excruciating.

Here is some information about the common aches and pains that new mothers often face after pregnancy and how concerned new mothers should be about this discomfort.

 

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The Severity of Postpartum Aches and Pains

Interestingly, some women experienced very severe aches and pains after giving birth, while others experience none at all. The most common pain that new moms experience is lower back pain, which is understandable considering the toll that pregnancy and labor take on the back. It can take a significant amount of time for the body to return to its pre-pregnancy strength and rebuilt overworked bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

Pain and stiffness of the hips, upper back, shoulders, neck, and headaches are often very common among new moms. Postpartum joint pain is also common due to bodily changes and the secretions of various hormones. The extra pounds put on during pregnancy, performing the repetitive movements of caring for a new baby, and sleep deprivation all contribute to this type of joint pain.

Considerations for New Moms

The early days of motherhood are often filled with stress, anxiety, and lots of worrying. But minor aches and pains are very normal among postpartum women and often no cause for serious concern. While these conditions may make daily tasks with a new baby more difficult, they are often not signs of a more serious medical condition.

However, postpartum body aches and pains typically subside within about four to six weeks of giving birth. This recovery period may be longer for women who had a C-section birth. If the pain becomes worse, doesn’t go away, or moves to different areas of the body, it may be time to seek medical attention. A trusted medical professional should be able to recommend safe exercises and medications to use to alleviate pain and enjoy the first few weeks with the new baby.

How to Relieve Post-Pregnancy Aches and Pains

It is important for postpartum women to discuss their aches and pains with a doctor to determine a safe treatment plan, especially during breastfeeding. New moms should pay extra close attention to their posture while holding, feeding, and carrying their babies because poor posture can make aches and pains worse. Gentle over-the-counter pain relievers, like Vanquish, can help alleviate symptoms of both headaches and body aches and pains.

Postpartum women should also stay hydrated and practice healthy ways to get active with their new babies, such as going for walks with a stroller around the neighborhood or taking mom-and-baby yoga classes. Hot baths or showers, heating pads, and massage are also great options for postpartum women who continue to feel body pains after giving birth.

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Hip Flexor Pain: Causes, Prevention Tips & Exercise Recommendations

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The hip flexors are important muscles in the body because they allow lifting of the knees and bending of the waist. They are some of the strongest muscles of the body, but simple habits, like sitting too much each day, can have a profound impact on how they function.

Ironically, athletes put excess strain on their hip flexors while playing sports. Hamstring injuries, groin pulls, and stress fractures can wear down these muscles with repeated use. But at the same time, sedentary individuals who work long hours at a desk are at a high risk of hip flexor pain as well.

Here is a discussion of pain in the hips due to prolonged sittings, as well as some ideas for prevention and exercises to try.

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The Risks of Prolonged Sitting

Sitting for extended periods each day for many years is one of the most common causes of hip flexor pain. The position of sitting forces the hips into a constant state of extension. Hip flexors that aren’t stretched and mobilized on a regular basis become weak and are more susceptible to injury when they are used.

If these muscles aren’t allowed to stretch and occasionally change positions, they will shrink and affect the position of the pelvis. A lack of flexibility in the hip flexors can limit one’s ability to fully extend and straighten the hip due to muscle shrinkage. All of this affects the position of the lower back and can result in lower back pain as well.

Treating Hip Flexor Pain

For individuals who work in an office, it is important to take breaks and move around throughout the day to maintain flexibility in the hip flexors and prevent hip flexor pain. Treatment for hip flexor pain ranges from applying ice to the hip muscles to stretching and taking anti-inflammatory medications. Over-the-counter pain relievers like Vanquish help to relieve many types of body aches, including hip flexor pain. However, pain in the hips can be very difficult to manage on a day-to-day basis, so it is recommended to pursue preventative strategies well in advance of any initial pain symptoms.

Exercises for Healthy Hip Flexors

There are many different exercises that one can do to prevent hip flexor pain and keep this important muscle working well for many years to come. One of the most basic stretches for the hip flexors involves standing up straight with the feet on the floor and shoulder-width apart. With straight (but not locked) knees, lift the knee off the ground as high as it is comfortable. Hold onto a chair for support, if necessary. It’s important to keep a straight back and tighten the hip muscles while doing this stretch, and to hold it for at least a couple seconds on each leg.

Another recommended exercise involves sitting in a chair with a straight posture and raising one knee to the chest. It is important to prevent the thigh from rolling in or out while doing this movement. After a brief pause, lower the knee to the ground and switch sides.

Yoga is also an excellent exercise to practice in order to maintain hip flexibility. Many people benefit from a daily yoga session first thing in the morning to warm up their muscles for the day. Two of the best yoga poses for the hip flexors are Warrior 1 and Reclining Hero.

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Underlying Causes of Musculoskeletal Pain: Symptoms, Types & Relief

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Musculoskeletal pain can be very excruciating because it affects the body’s bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. This type of pain can be felt acutely with severe symptoms or chronically with ongoing symptoms that come and go over time.

While many people learn to quietly endure these symptoms, they can become unmanageable and debilitating if left untreated. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of treatment options available for musculoskeletal pain sufferers depending on the source of the pain.

Here is some basic information about musculoskeletal pain, including who it affects, where it is felt, its causes, common symptoms, and how pain relievers can help.

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Causes of Musculoskeletal Pain

There are many different things that can cause musculoskeletal pain in the human body. One of the most common causes is an injury that affects the bones, muscles, joints, nerves, ligaments, or tendons. Certain jerking motions associated with injuries are often to blame for creating this kind of pain. This is because sudden trauma and impact can send shocks through the body that disrupt normal functioning. Therefore, automobile accidents and slip-and-fall accidents are common causes of musculoskeletal pain. A muscle sprain, bone fracture, or joint dislocation can also cause this type of pain in the body.

Another common cause of musculoskeletal pain is overuse of a certain part of the body, such as the lower back. Individuals who do heavy lifting as part of their work are especially prone to musculoskeletal pain because of overuse of the lower back muscles. If an individual is bedridden for a long period of time or practices poor posture on a daily basis, musculoskeletal pain may result as well.

Types of Musculoskeletal Pain

It can be very difficult to treat musculoskeletal pain until a diagnosis of its type is determined. For example, musculoskeletal pain caused by a ligament or tendon issue can worsen when the area of a sprain is mobilized. Musculoskeletal pain due to a particular muscle can be caused by an injury, loss of blood flow, an infection, or even an autoimmune reaction. A bone issue that results in musculoskeletal pain can be very painful and be caused by a fracture or tumor. Other medical issues, like fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel syndrome, can also cause musculoskeletal pain.

Symptoms of Musculoskeletal Pain

While musculoskeletal pain feels different to each individual person, there are certain symptoms that are common, regardless of what caused the pain to develop in the first place. The symptoms can be either very localized to one part of the body or widespread throughout the body. Muscle twitches, overall stiffness, fatigue, and poor sleep are also common symptoms.

How Vanquish Can Alleviate Musculoskeletal Pain

It is a common misconception that headache relief medications cannot address the symptoms of aches and pains in the body as well. Certain over-the-counter remedies, such as Vanquish, are specially formulated to target muscle aches, backaches, cramps, and other symptoms of musculoskeletal pain. This is because the balance of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine contained in this medication delivers quick relief to the source of the pain.

It is typically recommended for individuals over the age of 12 to take two caplets every six hours with a full glass of water to temporarily relieve musculoskeletal pain symptoms in the body. Other treatment options to discuss with a physician include physical or occupational therapy, heat and cold therapy, strengthening and conditioning exercises, therapeutic massage, and chiropractic care.

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How an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Can Help Reduce Aches and Pains

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Aches and pains in the body are caused by many different factors, but one of the most common causes is inflammation. Inflammation-related pain can be mild, severe, acute, shooting, or throbbing, and everyone experiences it in different ways.

Fortunately, there are ways to control inflammation in the body, thereby reducing overall feelings of pain. An individual’s diet has a lot to do with internal inflammation, and smart dietary choices can effectively reduce pain over time. Many nutrient-rich foods have the power to block pain signals and even soothe underlying health conditions as well.

This article discusses ways to offset everyday contributors to inflammation with an anti-inflammatory diet and which foods can help to reduce aches and pains.

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Everyday Contributors to Inflammation

Bodily inflammation is a natural immune response to toxins, and it occurs as the body attempts to rid itself of these toxins. Toxins can come from chemical cleaning products used the home, air pollution in the outdoors, and the foods consumed at meals. For example, red meat, milk, and simple carbohydrates with refined sugar all contribute to inflammation in the body. Being overweight, smoking cigarettes, and not exercising also play a role in how inflamed the body is on a daily basis.

How Inflammation Causes Aches and Pains

Inflammation in the body causes excess pressure on the joints, muscles, organs, and other body parts and creates an uncomfortable lack of space between them. Some forms of inflammation have obvious symptoms, like external redness and swelling. However, systemic inflammation is a type of low-level inflammation that often has no symptoms but is linked to serious diseases like osteoporosis and heart disease.

Understanding the Anti-Inflammatory Diet

The goal of the anti-inflammatory diet is to cut out the types of food that encourage internal swelling and replace them with lean, nutrient-dense foods that reduce this effect. Individuals who suffer from chronic inflammation can benefit by focusing their diets on vegetables and fruits instead of processed food, meat, and dairy.

Traditional vegan and Mediterranean diets are often considered to be anti-inflammatory because of the foods they focus on. Anti-inflammatory diets are also often high in fiber to promote good digestion and absorption of nutrients. Fast food, refined carbs, and processed foods associated with the common Western-style diet should be avoided as part of an anti-inflammatory strategy.

Foods that Help Reduce Inflammation

Many anti-inflammatory foods are common ones that families already shop for at the supermarket and have in their kitchens. These are some of the best foods to add to a shopping list to fight inflammation with food.

  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Fish (Salmon, herring, sardines)
  • Cherries
  • Ginger
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Yogurt
  • Edamame
  • Mint tea
  • Tumeric

It is important to add variety to meals that focus on non-inflammatory foods to get a healthy mix of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Anti-inflammatory diets should be accompanied by regular exercise, stress management, weight management, restful sleep, and perhaps even meditation and acupuncture. When healthy foods like these are paired with fast-acting, over-the-counter medications like Vanquish, individuals who have been held back by aches and pains can start living the lives they want.

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How Depression Manifests Itself in Aches and Pains

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Depression is a disorder that’s typically associated with the mind. However, it can also cause physical symptoms that are painful, frustrating, and even debilitating.

Experts say that as many as half of depression sufferers experience bodily pain as part of their symptoms. The mind and body are connected in complex ways, and when one is not well, chances are that the other suffers too.

This is a description of how depression can manifest itself in the form of aches and pains, as well as other physical symptoms that often accompany this debilitating condition.

How Mood Disorders May Cause Aches and Pains

Mood disorders, such as depression, can lead individuals to be more aware of the pain they feel and become preoccupied with aches that normally wouldn’t bother them. Meanwhile, suffering through physical injuries is stressful and frustrating, which can worsen existing feelings of depression.

Some studies show that depressed individuals experience increased activity in the pain centers of the brain, which can lead to muscle and joint pain, as well as headaches. This is a condition that manifests itself differently in each person because of some people depression more emotionally, cognitively, or physically.

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The good news is that aches and pains are some of the most common reasons that individuals seek out professional medical care, and an experienced physician may be able to pick up on underlying signs of depression in those office visits. It is important for depression to be diagnosed quickly and correctly so that an appropriate treatment can be started right away.

Other Physical Symptoms of Depression

However, body aches are certainly not the only symptoms that someone may experience while depressed. These are some of the other physical symptoms that often accompany this condition.

  • Fatigue
  • Energy loss
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Digestive problems
  • Chest pain
  • Musculoskeletal pain in the lower back
  • Joint pain

Treatments for Depression

Some medications may help treat the symptoms of aches and pains that depression causes, but they don’t treat the actual depression disorder. For example, over-the-counter medications like Vanquish may help to relieve symptoms of headaches and achiness, but they should not be considered treatments for depression.

Individuals suffering from depression should seek immediate professional help from a doctor, counselor, psychologist, or other trusted medical practitioner. It’s easy to focus on the many symptoms that depression causes, but the only true way to treat this condition is to get to the root of the problem with compassionate and experienced care.

Antidepressants are prescribed to improve both mental and physical conditions, but some types of these drugs may be more effective for body pain than others. One recommendation is to use serotonin and norepinephrine together as dual-action agents to reduce pain symptoms in depression sufferers. However, each individual responds differently to medication and therapy, so a customized approach should be pursued after initial evaluation and ongoing monitoring. Stress management techniques and activities that reduce anxiety, such as exercise, journaling, and meditation, can help support therapeutic approaches to restore mental and physical wellness over time.

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