Fibromyalgia is a chronic, long-term condition that causes pain throughout the body. In addition to fibromyalgia, it can also cause other symptoms, including extreme tiredness, headaches, muscle aches and stiffness, mood swings, anxiety, brain fog (such as difficulty concentrating on tasks and remembering things), and difficulty sleeping. A lot of research is being done about the exact cause(s) of fibromyalgia pain, but so far, it’s still not fully understood.
However, researchers believe it is related to an imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain and the way the brain and central nervous system process pain messages. Fibromyalgia can occur as a result of physical or emotional trauma, such as an accident, injury, death, relationship breakup, surgical procedure, or difficult childbirth.
The disease is difficult to diagnose, and as of now, there is no definitive test for this condition. Therefore, it is also difficult to know how many people are infected, but it is estimated that about 1 in 20 people. It is more common in women and tends to develop between the ages of 30 and 50.
Currently, there is no cure for fibromyalgia, although some people find taking pain relievers and antidepressants helpful, along with talking therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). However, there are lifestyle modifications that can help you manage symptoms, so here are the top ten suggestions for treating fibromyalgia…
1. Manage Your Energy Levels
Since there is no definitive test or treatment for fibromyalgia, having this condition can be annoying, especially if those around you are suspicious of your condition. Constant pain, especially in tender points associated with fibromyalgia (the back of the head, above the shoulders, upper chest, outside the elbows, hips, and knees), along with lack of sleep, fatigue, and a bad mood can be exhausting.
So number one on our list of fibromyalgia treatments is the importance of knowing that your symptoms are real. Find your GP and specialist doctors and believe that you will find a treatment plan that works for you. It is essential that you take time for yourself and practice self-care.
This could be a time to stop every night to rest and do something relaxing that you enjoy, such as reading or watching your favorite shows. Or it could mean spending time with people who understand, lift your spirits, and bring peace and positivity into your life. Taking breaks is also important, so it may be helpful to talk to your manager or human resources department about ways you can incorporate breaks into your workday. Flexible work and working days from home can be beneficial.
Do what you have to do every day to be kind to yourself.
2. Take Regular, Moderate Exercise
When you feel physical pain and fatigue, the last thing you might want to do is exercise. But studies consistently show that regular exercise benefits people with fibromyalgia. But it’s important not to overdo it and find the right balance instead. Light aerobic exercise has been shown to improve the quality of life for people with fibromyalgia.
A study of more than 400 women with the condition found that “light physical exercise” was associated with less physical pain and fatigue and an overall improvement in symptoms. Light exercise includes gentle walking and swimming.
You can start slowly, over a short period of time or distance, and build your flexibility over time. Pool exercise classes are believed to be the most beneficial because the water supports the body, making each movement work more forcefully for the muscles. Intense cardio exercises, such as running or a HIIT class, can be too strenuous for a person with fibromyalgia, but resistance exercises can be beneficial.
Resistance exercises, or strength training, can include bodyweight resistance exercises such as squats and lunges, as well as adding light, manageable weights. Studies show that such exercises can lead to “reduced pain, fatigue, number of weaknesses, depression, and anxiety, while increasing functional capacity and quality of life.”
3. Take Steps to Achieve Enough Good Quality Sleep
Fibromyalgia is a condition known to disrupt sleep patterns, resulting in poor sleep quality and disturbed sleep. Chronic lack of sleep leads to fatigue, irritability, poor concentration and mood swings, which can also be caused by this condition.
The pain associated with fibromyalgia can also mean you can’t sleep, and not getting enough sleep can exacerbate your pain response — a vicious cycle. In addition, fibromyalgia can also lower your pain threshold, which means you feel more intense pain. Therefore, it is very important that you do everything in your power to get enough quality, restful sleep. Achieving “good sleep habits” can mean improving the quality of your sleep.
This means having a relaxing and relaxing nighttime routine that signals to your brain that it is time to go to bed and relax. The first step is to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps set your body clock into a routine when you feel tired and wake up. Also, be sure to avoid anything very exciting in the hour before bed. This includes avoiding caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, large meals, strenuous exercise, or watching stimulant television. It also means avoiding using your smartphone, tablet or laptop because of the blue light from screens that tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime.