Fibromyalgia (FM) is a condition that causes musculoskeletal discomfort, weakness, and localized tenderness. This chronic illness affects three to six percent of the world’s population. If you have FM, you certainly shouldn't feel alone in your struggles.
There is no cure-all pill for fibromyalgia. But there are many ways to relieve symptoms. You have plenty of available options to help ease and manage FM symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Manage Fibromyalgia with Physical Activity
Physical exercise may not cure FM, but staying active can reduce daily pain and increase blood circulation.
Low-impact aerobic exercises — such as fast walking, biking, or swimming can be great choices for this. People with FM may usually be reluctant to exercise because they are worried if the exercise will make the pain worse. However, it depends on the pace and intensity. Make sure to discuss specific exercise routines with doctors and coaches first, and start slow.
Flexibility and strengthening exercises are easy to start with. They can reduce stiffness, improve your body mobility and build stronger muscles, thus reducing fatigue and pain.
Some other exercises include:
Yoga is a commonly recommended form of exercise for FM. Gentle poses, meditation, breathing exercises in Yoga can gently stretch your body and loosen up tight muscles and joints. Yoga can also deal with your emotional turmoil. It can help you relax, remain calm, and stay focused.
Tai chi is a traditional Chinese mind and body practice that combines meditation with deep breathing, relaxation, and gentle movements. You need to make sure the frequency and duration of Tai Chi are doable for your health condition.
Manage Fibromyalgia with Therapy:
Both physical and cognitive therapy can help manage FM.
Acupuncture and massages are great options to manage FM. Both of them can improve your strength, flexibility, stamina as well as blood circulation. Chronic pain can be eliminated through physical therapy, though the side effects cannot be neglected. Soreness, mild bleeding, and bruising can happen after treatment. To minimize the risks, always make sure your acupuncturist is licensed and experienced.
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)
Other than physical therapy, cognitive therapy focuses more on your cognitive conditions. CBT enables you to set practical goals, defining and handling any negative thoughts with your therapist. It will eventually mitigate body pain, stress, and anxiety.
Occupation therapy can help you to adjust stress from work and thus eliminate stress. Another CBT is counselling, which can strengthen your belief in your ability and teach you strategies when encountering anxious circumstances.
Manage Fibromyalgia With Proper Diet:
To have an FM-friendly diet, you need to “eat more and eat less.”
Food With High Vitamin D and Omega-3s
Fatty fish (tuna and salmon), egg, milk, and spinach contain high Vitamin D. People with FM usually have a low vitamin D level. Researchers found that Vitamin D can help build stronger muscles and create less fatigue.
Vegetables contain fibre, which can effectively enhance your metabolism as well as your blood circulation.
Eat too many carbs, which will cause your blood level to strike. You can replace them with whole wheat foods because your body can digest them slowly.
Drinking alcohol can trigger dangerous interactions when taking certain prescribed fibromyalgia medications, such as antidepressants and acetaminophen.
Manage Fibromyalgia with Prescribed Medications:
Pain relievers such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen Sodium, and Gabapentinoids have pain-relieving effects, especially nerve pain. However, they also have mild side effects such as mobility, dizziness, muscle fatigue, weight gain, and fever.
Medical marijuana contains compounds that offer relief from some of the FM symptoms. Ingredients in marijuana include THC and CBD. CBD stimulates the cannabinoid receptors in your brain. Thus, activating the reward system in your brain and helping decrease pain levels.
Manage Fibromyalgia with Good Sleep:
FM may cause sleep disorder. And that could lead to a lack of energy, anxiety, irritability, and difficulty with learning and remembering.
So how to improve your sleep? Other than sleeping on time, your sleep environment is also vital. First, you need to make sure your bedroom is quiet and cozy to help you relax.
Moreover, far-infrared (FIR) products, such as our SleepGift Weighted Blankets can also help you relax by removing inflammation, taking the pain that keeps you up at night, and settling your mind. FIR makes blood circulation more efficient and improves a better transmission of signals.
Living with Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia takes a considerable amount of time to treat and relieve. It could be a life-long condition for some people. The most efficient treatment is to have a healthy lifestyle and maintain a positive outlook.
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Written by: Chloe Yang and Donna Costa