Post-Partum Pain Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

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It is not unusual for women to report feeling pain or experience an intensification of pain during the postpartum period. This pain can be extreme and unbearable, and can strictly compromise a new mom’s functional capability.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a quite poorly understood chronic pain condition accounting for extensive individual, social, place of work, and healthcare system expenses, along with significant patient and caregiver burden. Although FM affects all ages, racial, and ethnic groups, it devastatingly affects women when paralleled to men. The 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey led by Statistics Canada showed that there were 389,782 people diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in Canada, most of them women.  Patients with FM are often secluded by a lack of understanding of their condition and the treatment choices available for their condition, which consequently escalate the burden of this disease.

Though the source of this chronic, widespread pain condition is unidentified, research has started to discover a range of possible triggers for this condition that may include: a genetic component, gene mutations involved in pain transmission, and a history of physical trauma.

How to make a diagnosis?

The nature of Fibromyalgia as a diagnosis of exclusion proposes that there may be frequent undiscovered contributing elements or alternative root causes in relation to precise diagnosis and management. In 2010, the American College of Rheumatology changed the diagnostic standards for Fibromyalgia to include:

  • A necessary history of widespread pain lasting longer than three months
  • Pain above and below the waist
  • Pain on both sides of the body
  • Score of five or nine on the Symptom Severity Scale, the addition of the severity of three symptoms (fatigue, wake up unrefreshed, cognitive symptoms) plus degree of somatic symptoms.
  • Patient does not have a disorder that would otherwise explain the pain
  • Score of greater than or three to six according to the Widespread Pain Index
  • 11+ of 18 definite tender points present is not diagnostic in and of itself for the diagnosis of FM

Signs and Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is normally characterized by the existence of widespread musculoskeletal pain, non-restorative sleep, tiredness, and psychological distress with particular regions of localized tenderness in the absence of other pathologies. Other symptoms may include:

  • Morning stiffness
  • Central Nervous System: reduced concentration, and short-term memory, brain fog, slowed processing
  • Headache
  • Autonomic Nervous System: dizziness, digestive dysfunction, bladder disturbances, cardiac arrhythmias
  • Neuroendocrine: heat and cold intolerances, abnormal craving, weight changes, stress intolerance
  • Nervousness and depression
  • Immune: sore throat, flu-like symptoms, malaise, exacerbation of allergies, or development of new allergies

Naturopathic Care for the Management of Fibromyalgia

Naturopathic Medicine is a chief care health profession that aims to address the root source of illness, while encouraging health and healing using modern medical science along with natural therapies.  It supports the body’s own healing with an integrated method to disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention that comprises the subsequent therapies: Asian medicine and acupuncture, botanical medicine, physical medicine (for instance massage and hydrotherapy), clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, and lifestyle counselling.

Lifestyle Counselling:

Creating a strong basis for health and healing, while also eliminating any possible difficulties to cure is vital.  This can be completed by working to improve sleep and stress management, and by highlighting pacing as a means to evade crashing.  Guaranteeing that a suitable support system comprised of family, friends, medical, occupational, and spiritual supports are intact, will also aid to inspire a maintainable journey to health.

Clinical Nutrition:

The swelling and pain associated with FM is very existent. As the majority of pain receptors are found in our gastrointestinal tract, make certain optimal gut health is essential.  This may mean finding possible food sensitivities and allergies, or healing the gut, through dietary adjustments and suitable nutritional supplementation.  Guaranteeing suitable energy and nutrients to promote healing is also essential.

Botanical Medicine:

Using a diversity of plant substances well-known to have medicinal properties, botanical medicine may be effective in handling pain and reducing inflammation, while also supporting energy and sleep. These substances work softly and efficiently with least side effects.

Asian Medicine & Acupuncture:

This earliest medical system works to harmonize imbalances in the body and the stream of energy, Qi. The mixture of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help support the immune system, increase circulation, while also encouraging the healing response.  Numerous people find acupuncture effective for pain management.

Physical Medicine

Massage and hydrotherapy are two methods of physical medicine that have been found to be effective in providing symptomatic relief for those living with Fibromyalgia. Reducing inflammation and increasing circulation can attain natural pain management.


Homeopathic Medicine works on the principle of ‘like cures like’, working in a delicate manner to support the body in healing. It is usually used to complement additional therapies in the treatment of FM.

Fibromyalgia is a difficult and challenging medical condition, a personalized approach to treatment is a compulsion.  Patient support and welfare should be the topmost priority, while boosting patient contribution and empowerment throughout the process. It is essential to look for a health care provider that is experienced in this area, and who will support your individual aims for treatment in assisting you to attain a improved quality of life.


  1. Bested, Alison. Hope and Help for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. Naperville, IL: Cumberland House, 2006.
  2. National ME/FM Action Network. Accessed July 26, 2013 at
  3. Wolfe et al. The American College of Rheumatology Preliminary Diagnostic Criteria for Fibromyalgia and Measurement of Symptom Severity. Arthritis Care & Research. May 2010 62(5):600-610.
  4. by Kristi Prince from Maternal Goddness
  5. Featured Image via

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