Adjusting to fibromyalgia is not easy. Besides the pain, fatigue, and stigma associated with this condition, there are many other symptoms and effects that make adjusting to fibromyalgia a significant life change. Here are five tips to help make the adjustment a little easier for you.
#1 Learn to Manage Your Stress
Once you have fibromyalgia under control, the symptoms should come and go. You will eventually learn your own triggers and avoid them more and more to increase the time between flare-ups. However, one trigger that almost all fibromyalgia patients have in common is stress.
Stress is unavoidable in the modern world. But you may be able to eliminate some forms of stress in your life. For example, use your time on people who are understanding of your condition rather than bearing guilt for those who just don’t get it. For some people, technology adds additional stress. You may want to purge from social media and other stressful forms of interaction.
On the other hand, you need to find suitable coping mechanisms for the stress that you do have. A few things to try include:
- Massage therapy
- Relaxing hobbies
- A hot bath
- Exercise (more on this in a moment)
- Meditating on positive things
- Taking an occasional vacation (or even a staycation if you find that more relaxing)
#2 Have a Regular Exercise Program
This may seem counterintuitive. You constantly experience pain. Overexertion makes it worse. Why would regular daily exercise help you to feel better? Researchers have shown that exercise has a number of positive effects for those dealing with chronic health conditions such as fibromyalgia. Here are just a few of the benefits.
- Decreases pain levels – Exercise releases hormones in the body that actually make you feel less pain. So it is all about finding the sweet spot where you release the hormones without wearing yourself entirely out.
- Improves blood flow – Some research has linked blood flow, specifically to certain parts of the brain, with various fibromyalgia symptoms. Therefore, do not make the mistake of underestimating the positive circulation benefits of exercise.
- Avoids stiff joints and weight gain – Carrying more weight and moving around less are two things that increase pain levels. Exercise helps keep your joints from growing rigid and daily activity can help you manage your weight, so your joints are not having to work harder to move in general.
The secret is to start gradually and work your way up to more activity. You may begin with simple stretching. By steadily increasing your daily activity, you can eventually have a regular exercise schedule without triggering a flare-up of symptoms.
#3 Make Good Food Choices
There is no such thing as a fibromyalgia diet that will remove all your symptoms. However, there are certain things in your diet that may be making your symptoms worse. For example, fast food and highly processed foods are not beneficial for anyone, but you especially need to eat a cleaner diet if you are dealing with a chronic health ailment. Avoid large amounts of refined sugar and stay away from artificial sweeteners.
Most processed and artificial foods are going to increase inflammation, and inflammation equals pain. While inflammation doesn’t cause the pain associated with fibromyalgia, you don’t want to add a second source of pain to your health issues.
#4 Find Your Own Personal Support Group
For some people, that means looking externally to find a fibromyalgia support group. Others can find what they need among understanding family members and friends. Either way, you need to have people you can speak openly with, be yourself around, and who will provide support without judgment. Knowing that you have a strong group to support you can also lessen your stress levels and reduce the frequency of flare-ups.
#5 Boost Central Nervous System Function
When it comes to adjusting to fibromyalgia successfully, giving your CNS a boost cannot be understated. Researches have linked fibromyalgia pain to the process of central sensitization, a circumstance under which the body increases the response to stimuli. This includes increased pain levels. While this is a natural process, it should only occur when the body is facing imminent danger, such as when you touch something that is burning your skin.
How can you get your central nervous system to function optimally? While there are many factors that can come into play regarding CNS function, an upper cervical misalignment can have a significant effect. Therefore, we would like to introduce you to upper cervical specific chiropractic as a means of adjusting to fibromyalgia.
Adjusting to Fibromyalgia with the Help of Upper Cervical Chiropractic
Upper cervical chiropractic can restore proper alignment to the C1 and C2 in a precise and gentle manner. This can affect the CNS in several ways. For example, it can help brainstem function if a misalignment was putting pressure on this key CNS component. It may also help with cerebral blood flow since the cervical spine facilitates this vital flow of blood.
If you are experiencing the effects of fibromyalgia, upper cervical chiropractic care may be able to help you mitigate your symptoms naturally and improve your quality of life. To learn more, we encourage you to find an upper cervical specific chiropractor in your area. An examination of your C1 and C2 vertebrae may be the first step on the path to making it easier to adjust to fibromyalgia.