Fibromyalgia Flares: Do You Experience Any Warning Signs?

While a person with fibromyalgia might experience certain symptoms on a regular basis, when symptoms worsen or happen more frequently for a period of time, it is called a flare.

“A flare is the worsening or exacerbation of symptoms that already exist,” says Daniel Clauw, MD, professor of anesthesiology, rheumatology and psychiatry at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “Patients use different timeframes for what they consider a flare, but it’s generally several days or weeks of worsening symptoms. Anything shorter is considered normal waxing and waning of symptoms that someone with fibromyalgia can expect.”

Symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

  • Widespread muscle pain
  • Fatigue that makes completing daily activities difficult
  • Stiffness, especially in the morning or after a long period of inactivity
  • Cognitive difficulties, also known as fibro fog, including problems with memory, concentration and organization
  • Emotional issues, such as anxiety, sadness or depression
  • Sleep problems, such as taking a long time to fall or sleep, frequent waking or waking up and still not feeling rested

While these are common symptoms among people with fibromyalgia, everyone experiences flares differently.

“People with fibromyalgia do not all experience flares the same way,” Dr. Clauw says. “A good way to explain it is that every person with fibromyalgia has their Achilles heel – their ‘thing’ that really gives them trouble. When their fibromyalgia worsens, that particular thing really gets bad.”

A person’s predominant symptoms during a flare can change over time.

“A person who is flaring might seem to have a worsening of pain in their hips or back,” Dr. Clauw says. “But 10 years ago, that same person could have experienced bad menstrual cramps or headaches as their Achilles heel. The nature of fibromyalgia is that it’s a pain amplification syndrome, and that pain can shift.”

Certainly, attempting to identify the triggers, as outlined above, and taking steps to prevent these triggers can help. Physicians will often suggest making a journal of symptoms and potential triggers to identify any relationships.

Moreover, use of the Hummingbird system has been shown in clinical studies to significantly improve fibromyalgia symptoms and may help to reduce fibromyalgia flare-ups as well. The Hummingbird is a non-invasive fibromyalgia treatment that gently activates the plantar surface of the foot (front part of the foot) with a comfortable, soothing vibration

  • 75% of Hummingbird users report symptom relief
  • Clinical study shows 38.8% reduction in symptoms
  • FDA registered “Class 1” medical device
  • Customizable vibration levels
  • Small, lightweight, easy-to-use

What’s a highly effective way to get your soleus muscles to contract and help achieve your proper blood flow? Simple science. Stimulating the nerve endings in the “plantar” part of your foot is vital.

The Hummingbird prompts those nerve endings in your plantar with micro-mechanical vibration at the optimal frequency & amplitude. This plantar stimulation causes your soleus muscles to contract, helping blood flow to the rest of your body.

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