Fibromyalgia is a real medical condition causing widespread pain throughout the body. The cause of it is unknown. However, it is believed fibromyalgia has to do with a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Environmental factors can include psychological stress, certain infections, or trauma. Pain from fibromyalgia seems to be connected to the central nervous system and a condition referred to as central sensitization syndrome. This has to do with the sufferer feeling more intense pain than is actually present in the body. There is no specific test that determines whether or not you have fibromyalgia. Diagnosis is done by ruling out other conditions. This can involve varied and costly tests. Fibromyalgia affects as many as 8 percent of the population, with women being affected twice as often as men.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia vary greatly. Here is a brief list of some of the most common symptoms:
- Widespread pain throughout the body
- Extreme exhaustion
- Heightened pain response to light touch, called allodynia
- Problems getting a good night’s sleep
- Tingling of the skin
- Muscle spasms
- Nerve pain
- Weakness in the limbs
- Issues with bowels
- Fibro fog -- problems with concentration, short-term memory loss, slow reaction time, inability to multi-task, cognitive issues, and short attention spans
- Anxiety and depression
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Interstitial cystitis
- Headaches and migraines
- Myoclonic twitches
- Tender spots throughout the body
To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and fibromyalgia download our complimentary e-book Simple and Extremely Effective Ways to End Fibromyalgia Symptoms without Drugs by clicking the image below.
Caring for Fibromyalgia at Home
Fibromyalgia can be very difficult to care for. It is a complicated condition that involves so many factors it is hard for doctors to know where to begin. Pain may be widespread but can also be specific to the neck, back, hips, shoulders, legs, and arms. Sometimes fibromyalgia is comorbid with other conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis or autoimmune diseases, making it difficult to discover what really helps. Here are some suggestions you can try at home to try to alleviate the pain of fibromyalgia.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep is vital when it comes to combatting the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Being well-rested helps to fight off the fatigue that naturally accompanies fibromyalgia. It is important to develop good sleeping habits to eliminate insomnia. Here are some ideas to help you rest better.
- Avoid daytime naps. If you must sleep during the day, limit your nap to 30 minutes or less. If you work at nighttime, then daytime naps should be a must to catch up on the rest you will lose.
- Keep your bedroom for sleeping only. Spend time on your phone, tablet, laptop, or watching TV in rooms other than the bedroom.
- Keep light and noise as low as possible. Even the light from an alarm clock has been proven to interfere with sleep. Blackout curtains can help keep any light from outside, such as street lamps, from entering the room. Some people also choose to wear earplugs at night to keep sounds from being disruptive.
- Get moving. While it may seem impossible to exercise if you are in pain all the time, it has been proven to be effective in fighting the pain of fibromyalgia. It also aids sleep at night. You do not have to do a lot. Doing a little of something you enjoy and being consistent with it is more important than doing nothing at all. It is a good idea to consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program. Good ideas are walking, swimming, and water aerobics.
- Be healthy. This is the go-to advice for any health condition and life in general. The reason? It works! We are not just talking about eating healthy and exercising. It goes as far as reducing or eliminating, if possible, alcohol, nicotine, and illegal drugs. You will experience less stress and feel better overall. You will find you even feel happier.
- Take control of the stress in your life. While this idea seems to be unattainable for some, there is always something you can do to cut back on some stressors in your life. It has been reported that stress aggravates the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Do something you enjoy on a regular basis. Turn off your phone or notifications for a brief time of quiet relaxation. Try journaling, spending time in the garden, or reading a good book. Whatever helps you relax is vital to include in your schedule, especially if you have fibromyalgia.
- Don’t overdo it. You may notice that you become fatigued much more easily than you used to. It is important to listen to your body and take time to rest. Pushing forward and trying to do what you used to can push you beyond your limits and make your symptoms much worse. Practice moderation and take a break when you need to.
Going a Step Further to Care for Fibromyalgia
While the above suggestions are good to put into place if you suffer from fibromyalgia, you may need to take things a step further to see real relief. Addressing the underlying cause of fibromyalgia is a good idea. It is often linked to a misalignment in the bones of the upper cervical spine, particularly the C1 and C2 vertebrae. If either of these bones is misaligned, they can put pressure on the brainstem, part of the central nervous system. If the brainstem malfunctions and sends signals to the brain, telling it there is pain in the body when there is no pain, fibromyalgia can be the end result. Correcting this misalignment can restore communication and bring relief to the symptoms associated with it.
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