Whether you are dealing with a chronic condition such as fibromyalgia or are experiencing neck and back pain, there are a number of ways to find natural relief. We’re going to look at 5 natural remedies for the pain of fibromyalgia, so you can get the relief you need without the side effects of medications.
#1. Get More Sleep
This can be tricky for a fibromyalgia patient since many experience sleep disturbances as a symptom of the condition. However, sleep is vital to the way the body processes pain. It also makes sense to take breaks throughout the day rather than completely wearing yourself out. Otherwise, overexertion can cause symptoms to flare-up and get worse.
How can you get better sleep despite having a chronic pain condition? Here are a few suggestions:
- Stick to a schedule – Researchers have found that we sleep better when we go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Try to set a schedule that allows for 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Don’t let yourself sleep in on the weekends.
- Create the right environment – Restful sleep requires dark and quiet conditions. Try to avoid having chargers that create a bright blue glow coming from the corner of the bedroom. Shut the TV. If you need white noise to sleep, there are plenty of devices and apps that can help, but you may also be able to use something like a fan to create the right sound to block out noises and help you sleep.
- Put the phone away – Using your phone in bed can keep you up. In particular, the blue light created by electronic screens seems to affect the natural sleep cycle of the body and may affect when your body releases melatonin (the hormone that signals to your body that it is time to sleep).
#2. Stay Physically Active
This can also be difficult when dealing with chronic pain. First of all, the pain keeps you from wanting to do things. Second, overexertion adds to the pain, which can affect a person’s motivation for exercise. The solution for many patients has been a graded exercise program. Start with something simple like stretching and gradually work your way up to low impact cardio such as going for walks or swimming.
The exercise will help reduce pain in two ways:
- Keeps joints mobile – When you are using your joints to exercise, you don’t end up with the stiffness that results from a sedentary lifestyle.
- Helps maintain weight – Chronic pain and weight gain often go together. However, the weight gain increases the strain on joints and can make the pain worse. Exercise can therefore also reduce pain by helping you maintain a healthy weight.
#3. Proper Nutrition
Since fibromyalgia pain doesn’t come from inflammation, you may wonder how diet can help. After all, just skipping foods that cause inflammation won’t be a help in itself, right? Well you don’t want to add inflammation to other pain issues, so that is one reason to avoid things like processed foods and foods that are high in sugar or artificial sweeteners. There is also the fact that added weight can increase pain, so cutting out things like fast food, soda, and other items that add empty calories can help to supplement your daily exercise routine. Finally, since fibromyalgia pain comes from the central nervous system, you want to avoid foods that slow down the way the body functions.
#4. Resolving Emotional Trauma
Emotional trauma often causes a flare-up of symptoms. This means having healthy ways to cope with stress, anxiety, and even childhood trauma that may still be with you. A few ways that patients have been able to cope include:
- Healthy recreation – Taking up a hobby or a form of relaxation that creates a positive mental atmosphere can help.
- Talk it out – Whether you have a trusted confidant or a paid professional listening to you, it can help to talk out current stresses and past traumas.
- Positive thoughts – We often have the ill-conceived notion that meditation has to mean clearing the mind completely. One problem with that approach is that the negative thoughts are often the first to creep back in. Instead, try using medication periods to focus on the positive things in your life. Make a list beforehand and be patient with yourself. It may take a lot of 2 and 3-minute sessions to work your way up to half-hour sessions of positive, focused thinking, especially if you are dealing with fibro fog which can make it tough to focus.
#5. Correcting Physical Trauma
Many see the onset of fibromyalgia symptoms following a trauma such as an accident or injury. One reason is that such an injury can cause a misalignment of the C1 (atlas) vertebra. This vertebra protects the brainstem, helps to facilitate blood flow to the brain, and can block cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage if out of position.
Upper cervical chiropractic can help to correct these injuries. Once this blockage is removed, the central nervous system can go back to functioning normally, CSF drainage can occur as it should, and the brain can have a complete flow of blood again. For some, this has provided great relief from pain and other symptoms of fibromyalgia. Some patients in case studies have even become fibromyalgia-free.
If you suffer from fibromyalgia, especially if you have a history of head or neck trauma, contact an upper cervical practitioner in your area today to learn more.