Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition, but it also has a whole host of other symptoms that can make it even more debilitating. For example, patients may struggle with cognitive symptoms, depression and anxiety, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, and more. Medications are hit and miss in their usefulness, and they may also cause a number of unwanted side effects that only add to the problem. With that in mind, we’ve compiled these tips for seeking natural fibromyalgia relief.
#1 Eat a Healthy Diet
When you are already in pain all the time, you don’t need to add inflammation. That makes an anti-inflammatory diet a good idea. Avoid things like processed or fast foods which are riddled with everything that can cause inflammation. While refined sugar is bad for inflammation, artificial sweeteners are even worse, so don’t swap one bad thing for another.
Also, there are some healthy foods that reduce inflammation like ginger and turmeric. Bay leaves are also good for reducing pain. You can rub the oil directly on sore joints or soak the dry leaves to make a tea. Just remember that straight bay leaf oil is concentrated enough to be toxic. Also, always consult a physician before changing your diet or adding supplements to ensure your changes won’t affect any medications or other health conditions.
#2 Be as Active as Possible
This can be tough when you are tired and in pain, but activity is a must. Sedentary joints just get stiffer and stiffer, and if you start to put on weight due to lack of activity, those pounds are going to wear on the joints even more. So how can you stay fit when your health restricts your activity? Here are a few tips:
- Graded exercise – This is a form of exercise that starts very simple, perhaps with just stretching, and gradually works toward more activity like light cardio or weights.
- Swimming – Swimming is often good for patients in pain because your body doesn’t have to support itself. There is also no impact like with running.
- Walking – If you don’t have access to a pool, walking is another way to get some light exercise and a little air at the same time.
Exercise also releases hormones in the body that make you feel good, so as long as you don’t overexert yourself, this is a great way to reduce pain. Just be sure to check with a doctor when changing your exercise routine.
#3 Improve Your Sleep
Sleep is tough to come by for many fibromyalgia patients, but it is necessary for controlling pain. When you lack sleep, the central nervous system (CNS) actually experiences pain more sharply, so your pain levels can increase and create a cycle that makes it even tougher to sleep. Here are a few tips to help:
- Don’t use your phone in bed – The light from mobile devices can convince your brain it is still daytime. That means the hormones that put you to sleep won’t be released at the right time.
- Control your environment – From the temperature of the room to the levels of light and sound, you need to create the right conditions for you. Most people sleep best with no light or sounds. You may need a sleep mask to block any lights from chargers or an outside streetlamp. You may also want to try a white noise machine if complete silence doesn’t work for you.
- Have a set schedule – The body learns what time to go to sleep and wake up if you train it. Go to bed at the same time every night and try to wake up at the same time every morning, even on weekends.
- Only use the bed for sleep – If you stay in bed on days you don’t feel well, your body will be used to staying awake in bed for hours. Move to the couch for days you need to stay in so that your body knows the bed means you are serious about sleep.
#4 Control Stress Levels
Stress hormones can have negative effects on the body both when they spike and when they suddenly drop off after the stressful situation is over. The key is to control stress since you can’t avoid it altogether. From going on a day trip when you have a good day to taking up a hobby you can perform at home, there are plenty of positive ways to cope with stress. Don’t underestimate the positive effects of talking out your feelings, whether it be with a loved one or a professional.
#5 Upper Cervical Chiropractic for Fibromyalgia
You want your CNS to be in tip-top shape when you are dealing with chronic pain. That means your atlas (C1) needs to be properly aligned. Upper cervical chiropractors specialize in gentle and safe adjustments of the atlas. This may improve blood flow to the brain, brainstem function, and prevent cerebrospinal fluid from pooling and increasing intracranial pressure. In short, an atlas misalignment can be at the source of many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, and a number of patients have been helped in case studies.
If you are suffering from fibromyalgia, correcting an upper cervical misalignment may be just the boost your body needs to fight back. Schedule an appointment with an upper cervical practitioner today to learn if your atlas could be at the heart of the issue. A no-obligation consultation may be your first step toward getting greater control back of your health and your life.