Celebrities with Fibromyalgia: Facing an Invisible Illness
Photo Credit: Science Channel/David Johnson Photo Source: http://www.salon.com/2014/06/03/morgan_freeman_i_think_people_resisting_the_idea_of_climate_change_are_stupid/
Actress A. Langer had to abandon her favorite sport and join acting instead because she was in a lot of pain due to what was later determined to be fibromyalgia. Her mother had been diagnosed with the illness, but doctors never saw fibromyalgia as a medical possibility for the daughter; they simply thought the pain was all in her head.
At 71, actor Morgan Freeman was involved in a car accident that left his left hand paralyzed. This then triggered nerve damage. The Oscar-winning actor said it was fibromyalgia when he described the pain in his hand.
These are some of the celebrities who have suffered from fibromyalgia. They have had to endure overwhelming fatigue and widespread pain. Today, fibromyalgia treatment studies are being conducted around sleep, exercise, and behavioral therapy.
Fibromyalgia is considered to be a rheumatic medical condition since it can weaken or impair the soft tissues, which can include the tendons, joints, and the muscles. While fibromyalgia does not cause damage to the joints or the muscles, it for sure can create a significant disturbance in the body’s pain centers, leading to pain in the muscles, difficulty sleeping, tiredness or fatigue, stiffness in the muscles, and an inability to concentrate. Those who suffer from this medical condition can experience an intense pain in the muscles, a burning sensation, and even an excruciating stabbing sensation in the affected areas. Many a times, the pain occurs in the myofascial trigger points, which can lead to agony as well as a restriction in movement.
It is not only the common man who faces this medical condition. Well-known actress A. Langer had to stop playing her favorite sport and then switch to acting instead since she was suffering from so much pain. Her mother had been diagnosed earlier with fibromyalgia, but at the time, doctors did not think of this medical condition as a possible culprit for the daughter; they always thought the pain was in her head. Another actor, named Morgan Freeman, was involved in a car accident at 71 years of age. This accident left him paralyzed in his left hand, and it also triggered damage in the nerve. The actor had said that when he described the pain in his hand to his doctor, it was said to be fibromyalgia. These are just a few famous personalities who have to suffer from fibromyalgia and thus also undergo a lot of fatigue and pain throughout their entire body as a result. Currently, there are various studies searching for better treatment for fibromyalgia, and they are mostly involved with sleep, behavioral therapy, and exercises.
At present, there is no cure for fibromyalgia, but there are medications which are known to help bring about some measure of improvement in one’s symptoms. The main goal of treatment is to help the individual properly manage their symptoms of pain as well as improve their quality of life. This can better their day-to-day lives as well as allow them to properly carry out their routine work as normal individuals, without any kind of interference caused due to pain from fibromyalgia. The doctor could recommend taking over-the-counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. These medicines are known to help reduce the side effects as well as any kind of dependency on other medications. There are also anti-seizure medications, one of which is known as gabapentine, which are said to be helpful in providing improvement of symptoms. The FDA has also approved another anti-seizure medicine known as Lyrica for treating this condition. Antidepressants such as duloxetine or milnacipran are also helpful in treating any kind of mental changes, which can lead to anxiety attacks or depression.