Fibromyalgia, dizziness, poor balance and waterfalls are common complaints. For some people, they are a small annoyance that appears on the occasion. In other cases, they can be very debilitating and cause regular injuries.
Falling, and especially falling, is a serious problem. The last thing you need when you have constant pain is getting hurt all the time. Frequent falls or problems with balance can also lead to a fear of falling.
That fear can, in turn, scare him to stay active even within his limits. According to a study in clinical rheumatology, 73 percent of people with fibromyalgia are afraid of physical activity and almost 75 percent have problems with balance.
Falling is not so much a symptom but rather a result of the symptoms of dizziness and poor balance. In this situation 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, dizziness usually occurs when you get up for the first time. It is similar to the feeling of a “head race” from the moment you get up very quickly, it can only happen every time you go to bed or sit down. The sudden onset of dizziness may rock feet, wobble or even fall or faint.
Dizziness and fainting in this state can be linked to a certain subgroup according to a 2017 study published in the European Journal of Pain .
In addition to dizziness and fainting, this subgroup also had the highest levels of pain, as well as a number of symptoms and disorders, including overlapping cognitive dysfunction (“fibro-fog”), irritable bladder, vulvodynia, and restless legs syndrome.
Research suggests that this phenomenon is due to autonomic nervous system dysfunction (AZS), which is called dysautonomia.
The ANS is involved with many critical functions in your body, including heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, body temperature, metabolism and digestion.
Dizziness due to dysautonomia can be called orthostatic intolerance, neurally mediated hypotension, or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). In essence, these things mean that the heart and the brain do not communicate well with each other.
What should be done is that when you get up from a lying or sitting position, the ANS increases your blood pressure to fight against gravity and maintain a sufficient blood supply in your brain. With dysautonomia, this does not happen as it should. Conversely, blood pressure can be reduced when standing, and the result is dizziness or lightheadedness. In POTS, heart rate accelerates when blood pressure drops.
Dizziness may be associated with palpitations, blurred vision, increased heart rate, chest pain and a kind of fainting called vasovagal syncope.
However, not everyone faints with dizziness related to fibromyalgia. In a 2008 study, researchers said that dizziness and palpitations were more frequent than fainting. They also say that POTS was one of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia they observed during table tilt tests, which measure their response to changes in position.
Balance and gait problems in fibromyalgia
Adding the possibility of a fall, research suggests that people with fibromyalgia run differently than healthy people. A 2009 study found that about 28 percent of people with this disease have an abnormal gait (way of walking).
In a 2017 functional performance study, the researchers said that gait and balance were severely affected in this condition. Differences included:
- klender significant passegte
- trager time
- the way the body sways while walking
The researchers noted that gait and balance differences were worse in people who had more pain, stiffness, fatigue, anxiety and depression.
She recommended that doctors evaluate the march and posture of their patients with fibromyalgia to find the best type of rehabilitation and prevention of falls for them.
This study is part of a growing body of scientific literature to balance and execute problems in this condition that can lead to falls. However, evaluating and treating these symptoms may not be a priority for your doctor. If you are cared for, be sure to mention it at your next appointment.
Relieve dizziness and the risk of falls in fibromyalgia
The more successful you are in treating your fibromyalgia, the less symptoms you will present. However, if you need more attention or if you have not been able to find effective treatments for fibromyalgia, you have several options.
For POTS dizziness, orthostatic hypotension or neurally mediated hypotension, your doctor may recommend medications to help you. These may consist of SSRI / SNRI, benzodiazepines and beta-blockers. Some of these medications can help relieve other symptoms of fibromyalgia, as well as SSRIs and SNRIs for this disease. Your doctor can also change the lifestyle.
If you smoke, the research published in the rheumatology journal Joints, Bones, Spine suggests that quitting smoking may help relieve some fainting and other symptoms of fibromyalgia.
When it comes to balance and walking, physiotherapy is a very common treatment. You can also ask your doctor if something like yoga, tai chi or qigong is safe for you.
Until you find ways to improve these symptoms, it’s worth being careful. Tools like a cane or a walker can help you stand. Sitting exercises can be the safest option, and they are certainly a better option than less active than you may be.