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Fibromyalgia: the puzzling disease
Constant, violent pain in muscles, tendons, joints, arms or legs - this is normal for people with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia means fiber muscle pain. But the pain alone does not make the disease. Sleep disorders, increased physical fatigue, exhaustion and difficulty concentrating are just as possible symptoms as increased sensitivity to irritation or depression and lack of drive.
It is particularly difficult for those affected that the disease cannot be proven at all by laboratory or X-ray examinations. So it often takes years for them to have a name for their suffering. Often they also have to deal with the accusation that they would just imagine everything.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease that affects around three million people in Germany and Austria. "So far, what is behind the disease is unclear," explains Univ.-Doz. Dr. Bertram Hölzl, radon expert and scientific director of the Gasteiner Heilstollen. "However, there is evidence that pain processing in fibromyalgia patients is different from that in healthy people."
There is currently no prospect of healing. So the first goal is to alleviate symptoms. To achieve this, multimodal therapy has proven itself in the past. An individual treatment strategy can best be developed as part of a cure. Because the symptoms often differ completely from affected to affected and must be treated individually.
“During a spa stay, patients learn, for example, how to deal with the disease in everyday life through special patient training courses,” says Dr. Hölzl. The effects of various therapies can also be tried out. Relaxation exercises, physiotherapy, massages or heat treatments often achieve good results. The right physical activity can also be learned. It plays an important role in coping with the disease. Most people benefit from endurance training such as walking, swimming, cycling, as well as tai chi, yoga and qigong. In contrast, taking painkillers only helps 30 to 40 percent of patients.
In addition, there are mostly local, natural remedies at the spa. In Bad Gastein, for example, the alpine altitude and above all the radon thermal tunnel are part of it. Here, patients enter the tunnel several times and spend about an hour at the therapy stations, where the effects of radon, warmth and high humidity develop their therapeutic benefits. This is particularly described by patients with fibromyalgia symptoms as extremely muscle-relaxing and pain-relieving. According to studies, this radon heat therapy achieves significant pain relief that lasts for many months in 71 percent of fibromyalgia patients.
"Experience shows that radon heat therapy also has an extremely positive effect on medication requirements and the feeling of exhaustion," reports Dr. "After a two-week course, many of those affected no longer need any tablets at all and feel noticeably fitter." Cures with radon treatment series are recognized by health insurance companies; the extent of the cost coverage requires approval from the health insurance company. (pm)