Dizziness, lack of balance and falls are common complaints in fibromyalgia. For some people, it is a minor discomfort that occasionally occurs. In others, they can be severely debilitating and cause regular injuries.
Falling and especially frequent falling is a serious problem. The last thing you need when you have a constant pain is to get hurt all the time. Frequent falling or balance problems can also cause fear of falling.
This fear, in turn, may be afraid to remain active, even within limits. According to a study in Clinical Rheumatology, 73 percent of people with fibromyalgia are afraid of physical activity and almost 75 percent have balance problems.
Fall is a less symptom and is a result of more dizziness and symptoms of lack of balance. In this case, falls and balance problems may also be related to changes in the way we walk.
So why does fibromyalgia involve these problems? And what can we do about it?
Fibromyalgia and dizziness
In fibromyalgia patients, dizziness is more common when you first wake up. When you stand up too quickly, it feels like a “head rush”, but it can happen every time you lie down or sit down. Sudden dizziness may initially cause it to swing, swing, or even fall or fade on its feet.
According to the 2017 study published in the European Journal of Pain, dizziness and fainting in this situation may be associated with a particular subgroup.
In addition to dizziness and fainting, this subgroup also has the highest levels of pain as well as overlapping symptoms and conditions such as cognitive dysfunction (ro fibro sis,), irritable bladder, vulvodynia and restless leg syndrome.
Research has shown that this symptom is due to autonomic nervous system dysfunction (SNA), called dysautonomy.
SNA is related to many critical functions in your body such as heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, body temperature, metabolism and digestion.
Dysautonomy-induced dizziness may be called orthostatic intolerance, neural mediated hypotension, or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). Basically, these things mean the heart and brain are not communicating properly with each other.
What you need to do is increase your blood pressure when you get out of the leaning or sitting position to fight the violence of the SNA and get enough blood in your brain. With Dysautonomia this would not be as it should be. Instead, blood pressure may actually drop while it stops, and the result is dizziness or dizziness. In POTS, the lower the blood pressure, the faster the heart rate.
Dizziness may be associated with heart palpitations, blurred vision, increased pulse rate, chest pain and a type of fainting called vasovagal syncope.
However, not everyone with dizziness associated with fibromyalgia faints. In a 2008 study, researchers say dizziness and palpitations are more common than fainting. They also say that POTS is one of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia that they observe during tilt table tests and measure their response to changes in position.
Balance and gait problems in fibromyalgia
In addition to the likelihood of a fall, research shows that fibromyalgia patients walk differently than healthy people. A 2009 study found that about 28 percent of people with this disease had an abnormal gait (the way they walk).
In the 2017 functional performance study, the researchers said that walking and balance were seriously damaged. Differences include:
Significantly shorter step length
The way the body swings while walking
Researchers observed that people who suffered more pain, stiffness, fatigue, anxiety and depression had worse walking and balance differences.
They advised physicians to evaluate the progress and position of fibromyalgia patients to find the best type of rehabilitation and fall prevention for them.
This study is part of a growing scientific literature showing the balance and gait problems that may lead to falls in this case. However, assessing and treating these symptoms may not be a high priority for your doctor. If you are worried, be sure to mention them on your next appointment.
Reduces risk of dizziness and falls in fibromyalgia
The more successful your fibromyalgia disease, the less problems these symptoms cause. However, if you need to pay more attention or if you have not found effective treatments for fibromyalgia, you have several options.
POTS may recommend medications that may help your doctor for dizziness, orthostatic hypotension, or brain-mediated hypotension. These may include SSRI / SNRI, benzodiazepines, and beta blockers. Some of these drugs may also help alleviate other symptoms of fibromyalgia: SSRIs and SNRIs are generally prescribed for this disease. your doctor may also suggest lifestyle changes.
If you smoke, a study published in joint rheumatology journal Bone, Spine suggests that smoking cessation can help relieve fainting and other fibromyalgia symptoms.
When it comes to balance and gait, physical therapy is a common treatment. You can also ask your doctor if something like yoga, tai chi or qigong is safe for you.
It’s worth being careful until you find ways to cure these symptoms. Assistive devices such as walking sticks or walkers can help you stand. Seated exercise can be the safest option and is definitely a better option than being less active than you.