Fibromyalgia is a common condition characterized by widespread pain throughout the body, affecting nearly 10 million people in the United States alone. However, this condition is talked about so little and not well understood, leaving those affected feeling alone in their struggles.
If you have fibromyalgia, then you understand that life is ten times harder at times. The complex chronic pain can affect daily life, with most patients dealing with extreme fatigue, all-over pain, and brain fog. Unfortunately, there is no cure to this condition, which means you have to learn how to live with fibromyalgia pain and make the necessary lifestyle changes to ease your symptoms.
Here are 4 tips to ease fibromyalgia pain:
Some people with fibromyalgia avoid movement because of the pain they are experiencing. However, exercise can offer significant benefits and symptom relief to those who have fibromyalgia. Research supports “aerobic and strength training to improve physical fitness and function, reduce fibromyalgia symptoms, and improve quality of life.”
Roughly 20 percent of people who live with fibromyalgia also suffer from an anxiety disorder or depression. Regular exercise, particularly aerobic exercises, including jogging, swimming, walking, gardening and dancing, have been proved to reduce anxiety and depression. These mood improvements are caused by “feel-good” chemicals called endorphins, which are released by the brain throughout the body.
Try various therapies
Fibromyalgia can affect people differently, so it’s possible that one person’s symptoms may be much worse than another person’s symptoms. Fortunately, several therapies exist that may help ease your symptoms.
From water therapy and light aerobics to heat/cold therapy and acupuncture, the options are endless. Depending on what works best for you, these therapies can help increase mobility, improve physical function and ease the pain.
Get enough rest
Sleep problems affect a large percentage of fibromyalgia patients, and this issue seems to be a vicious cycle. The more pain you have, the more difficulty you have falling asleep and staying asleep. However, the less sleep you get, the more of a sleep deficit you have, which ultimately worsens the pain.
According to The Rheumatologist, “lack of sleep also makes fatigue, cognitive and memory issues worse in those with fibromyalgia.” Here are a few ways you can improve your sleep:
- Create a sleep schedule, such as going to bed and getting up at the same time every day
- Begin rituals to help you relax at bedtime, such as reading or taking a bath before bed
- Reduce irregular or long daytime naps
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes
- Reduce blue light exposure in the evening
- Take a melatonin supplement
Aim for a well-rounded diet
What we eat affects how we feel, and for those with fibromyalgia, favoring some foods over others may help manage the symptoms. While the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, some research indicates that it may involve inflammation of the nerves. If this is the case, adopting an anti-inflammatory diet can help people with chronic pain.
Here are some anti-inflammatory diet choices:
- Whole grains
- Healthy oils, such as olive oil
- Lean proteins
- Dark green leafy vegetables
If medications, self-care strategies and lifestyle changes have not provided relief, schedule an appointment with one of the Center for Interventional Pain & Spine’s specialized providers! We offer trigger point injections, a gold standard for the treatment of myofascial pain syndrome (MPS). Schedule your appointment today!