It’s uncommon to hear about fibromyalgia in teens. That’s because fibromyalgia commonly afflicts older people. To date, only 1 to 7 percent of kids and teens have fibromyalgia or other similar health problems. If your child is part of that statistics, it might help to learn a few things about fibromyalgia. You can start with understanding its symptoms and triggers. Additionally, you might want to look into the remedies that can help curb its effect on your child.
We rounded up easy-to-follow tips below to help you plan your child’s fibromyalgia care approach. These can help your child overcome the symptoms or prevent flare-ups.
1. Know the key symptoms your child experiences
CDC defines fibromyalgia as a neurological disorder that causes chronic and recurring pain in different body parts. The latest numbers from the organization suggest that at least two percent of American adults have fibromyalgia. Most patients who have this disorder experience the following symptoms:
- Unrefreshing sleep
- Migraine attacks or chronic headaches
- Arm and leg stiffness
- Body pain
- Depression and anxiety
- Brain fog
- Tiredness or lethargy
2. Check the standard medical approach to managing FM
Conventional medicine offers several ways to manage fibromyalgia symptoms in teens. Examples include taking muscle relaxants, undergoing CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), and seeking a physical therapist. It would help to consult your child’s physician, rheumatologist, or neurologist to know which standard medical approaches might be worth considering.
3. Keep track of the flare-ups and triggers
While fibromyalgia is a lifelong condition, its symptoms can appear intermittently. Most of the time, you will notice increased intensity or frequency because of fibromyalgia flare-ups. The flare-ups often happen when a patient (such as your child) gets exposed to identified fibromyalgia triggers such as:
- Lack of quality sleep
- Overstimulation of the senses
- Increased stress
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Sudden weather changes
- Overexertion of the body
It’s a good idea to monitor these triggers and see which ones cause worse flare-ups. It would also help to note FM triggers specific to your child.
4. Introduce ways to enhance coping abilities
Widespread body pain can become a regular part of a child’s life after a fibromyalgia diagnosis. This means parents and guardians should consider finding better ways to help a child cope with pain and the rest of the fibromyalgia symptoms. Here are a few tips to overcome fibromyalgia in teens:
- Help your kids open up about their feelings
- Optimize distraction (like introducing a new hobby or doing a fun activity together)
- Take a trip down memory lane with your teenager and relive blissful moments
- Teach your kids breathing exercises that they do whenever they experience flare-ups
- Exercise or do other low-impact physical activities together (bird watching, walking around the neighborhood, biking, swimming, etc.)
- Use a hot or cold compress to soothe aching or stiff muscles
5. Help your kid sleep better
Another straightforward way to help teens cope with fibromyalgia symptoms is by improving sleep hygiene. Several studies have already established the strong connection between sleep and fibromyalgia. That’s why it might help to share a couple of sleep hygiene tips with your child, such as:
- Create a consistent bedtime schedule
- Put down the phone and tablet at least two hours before the scheduled bedtime
- Minimize time spent on daytime sleeping
- Encourage your kid to run a warm and relaxing bath before heading to bed
- Avoid intake of sugary and caffeinated drinks before bed
- Resolve sleeping problems (sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, etc.)
- Switch to a dim light setting in the bedroom to help the eyes relax faster
- Avoid distractions before bedtime (light from the TV screen, loud sounds, etc.)
- Schedule daytime exercises (like walking, stretching, and swimming)
- Keep the bedroom well ventilated by cleaning the windows and vents
- Invest in good quality beddings to help your child sleep better
- Check the thermostat setting and switch to a comfortable temperature
- Introduce mediation or yoga breathing exercises
6. Tap into Cervical Chiropractic to help combat fibromyalgia in teens
Besides the helpful tips we shared above, you might also find seeking an upper cervical doctor helpful in relieving your child’s FM symptoms. Many parents and guardians who have kids diagnosed with fibromyalgia come to upper cervical chiropractic clinics for a quick neck check-up. This is all thanks to the increasing number of studies that have proven the effectiveness of fixing cervical bone misalignments to relieve fibromyalgia.
Studies explain that misaligned neck bones (C1 and C2) can impede brainstem function and trigger over sensitization of the brain. When this happens, a patient develops widespread body pain. The continuous misfiring of pain signals to and from the brain and other body parts also leads to poor energy utilization, causing patients to experience lethargy or extreme tiredness.
If your child has tried every remedy for fibromyalgia but failed to see results, you might want to explore upper cervical chiropractic. It works well in helping patients from different groups and backgrounds and uses very gentle adjustments.
On top of that, upper cervical chiropractic doctors run comprehensive tests to obtain precise measurements needed for the adjustments. This minimizes errors and safety risks and ensures that you can help your child’s neck bones shift back into their original places.
Want to know more about how upper cervical care can resolve or manage fibromyalgia in teens? Feel free to visit the nearest upper cervical chiropractic doctor in your city.