Fibromyalgia in Children: Things Parents Can Do To Help
Hearing the diagnosis of fibromyalgia (FM) is very concerning. It can be scary for many people when a child in their life has fibromyalgia. That is a whole new ball game! Fortunately, a fibromyalgia chiropractor in Laval can help provide relief and help to anyone with the condition regardless of age.
Do you notice that your child is always complaining about pain all the time? At the same time, do the kids in your life experience sleep problems? It could be a red flag of the condition as people who suffer from FM feel chronic pain all the time while not being able to sleep well.
Fibromyalgia in children and teens is often overlooked because it is infrequent among them. A majority of people with FM are women over the age of 18. Children only make up around 7% of those with fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal pain syndrome. When children have FM, it is called juvenile primary fibromyalgia syndrome, or JPFS.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia in Children and Teens
The following are symptoms affecting children and teens with fibromyalgia.
- Five tender points (instead of 18 in adults)
- Long-term, widespread pain throughout the body
- Lack of restorative sleep
- Increased sensitivity to pain
- Morning stiffness
- Extreme exhaustion
- Inability to concentrate
- Problem remembering things
- Anxiety and depression
- Restless legs while sleeping
- Stomach aches
- Gastrointestinal or digestive problems
- Migraines and other headache types
Children who are prone to have fibromyalgia are those who have parents who suffer from it. In other words, there is a genetic component to this condition.
Kids who suffer from an irritable bowel movement, premenstrual syndrome, or sleep disorders are also at a higher risk of getting FM. Apart from the genetic link, there may be a link to other health conditions, which include immune, psychological, biochemical, and endocrine problems.
The Five Tender Points in Fibromyalgia
The five tender points mentioned above are the sore spots on the muscles. Children often feel sore in these areas, even when you only apply light pressure on them. Doctors locate these spots by pressing thumb on the 18 different areas that have inflammation. Kids suffering with fibromyalgia will feel soreness in at least 5. Children or teens will have to experience FM symptoms for at least three months before they can get fibromyalgia diagnosis.
With children, the ache or pain may begin in just one small area of the body but may spread to other parts of the body. The pain can be burning, tender, aching, tight, or stiff.
Traditional Fibromyalgia Care
Here are two traditional ways to care for FM that affects children and teens:
Due to the pain, they are experiencing, children with FM tend to be less active. They need to be more active. It is crucial to encourage your child to exercise as much as possible. A physical therapist can suggest the right set of exercises for your child and teach them how to begin gradually. The right exercises will not inflict further stress or pain on their small bodies.
The same medications used by adults with FM may be suggested for children. However, the safety and effectiveness of these medicines are not optimized for children’s delicate constitutions. Medicines for adults have not been well studied in children.
Tips to Help with the Children’s Routines
Here are some more suggestions for helping the children in your life accomplish their routines at school and home despite fibromyalgia:
Use a schedule that is workable and realistic.
It is essential to work with school officials and help them set up a practical and manageable plan for your child. Keeping gym classes at the proper time during the day and informing staff about your child’s limitations are all vital. Make sure they agree to the schedules and are willing to do their best to keep it.
Don’t emphasize the illness at home.
Don’t ask your child about his or her disease all the time. Instead, ask about updates in their school, hobbies, friendships, or their source of enjoyment. Keep the focus off of their current health condition. Let them enjoy life. If they are having a problem, trust that they will let you know.
Create a safe place for them at school.
Work with school officials to have a place of retreat always available for your child if he or she gets overwhelmed. It may be at the school library, nurse’s office, or some other area where they can de-stress. They may also need more breaks than the average child.
Teach stress-relieving strategies.
This technique will help manage the pain associated with fibromyalgia. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps children with fibromyalgia understand and anticipate what triggers their pain and how to deal with flare-ups. It’s beneficial to improve kids’ ability to function and conquer their possible depression. Other behavior-based approaches to treating fibromyalgia include muscle relaxation and stress-relieving techniques such as meditation or deep breathing.
Inspire hope and healing.
Always remind them that they are loved. Let them be empowered to be healthier and believe that they will conquer this challenge they are currently facing.
Turn to a Fibromyalgia Chiropractor in Laval
Upper cervical chiropractic care is an alternative form of care that can bring long-term benefits for people with fibromyalgia. The onset of fibromyalgia can be due to a misalignment in the bones of the upper cervical spine (C1 and C2). This kind of misalignment can result from tripping or falling, rough sporting injuries, or any other activities children often take part in that can injure their head or neck.
Here at Centre Kiro Spécifik in Laval, Quebec, our fibromyalgia chiropractor employs a gentle method to put back the misaligned C1 and C2 bones into their proper alignments. This allows the body and brain to communicate correctly once again and process pain signals normally. Thus, fibromyalgia symptoms often decrease or go away completely.
Schedule a consultation with us.
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