If you are suffering from fibromyalgia syndrome, you may be just starting to learn your new limits and how to manage your time and energy. We’re going to provide you with 5 great tips for dealing with this chronic pain disorder effectively. The last of the four is a type of care that is bringing hope to many patients.
#1. Stress Management
Stress is a major trigger for a flare-up of symptoms. When under stress, pain may feel worse, it can tougher to get a good night’s rest, and accompanying conditions like migraines, depression, and anxiety may also get worse. While it is impossible to avoid all stress, a patient can improve the way that he or she deals with stressful situations when these arise. Here are a few suggestions:
- Take the needed time to rest – When you need to rest, do it. Pushing yourself to complete a task today may result in increased symptoms for the rest of the week. It’s better to divide the task and accomplish it over 2-3 days while getting sufficient rest so you can still function once the task is completed.
- Take up a relaxing hobby – If you once loved to play sports, you might need to find a hobby that is better suited to your condition. Whether it is reading, taking a hot bath, an art form, or a musical instrument, find an activity you can perform even when you are not feeling your best.
- Talk to someone – This doesn’t mean you have to see a psychiatrist (although there is nothing wrong with that option if you believe it will help). A trusted confidant is important when dealing with a chronic ailment. A family member or close friend may be willing to listen when you need to unload on someone. Or you may choose to find someone else who deals with chronic illness, perhaps a support group, so you can speak with people who can sympathize with your challenges.
- Meditation – More than just clearing your mind, true mediation should involve controlling your thoughts and directing them toward positive things. You may find this difficult at first, so try just a few minutes at a time. Be patient with yourself. You will eventually train your mind to focus on what you want it to focus on.
#2. Energy Management
This goes back to the limited energy that accompanies fibromyalgia syndrome. You may not be able to get to everything on your to-do list, but if you prioritize tasks by importance as well as how easy or difficult they are to accomplish, you can take on tasks that are within your energy level for the day and see that to-do list shrink. This can also help to relieve stress.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you have children, use your good days to train them how to care for chores around the house properly. This will allow your entire family to provide support when you need it, and it’s good training for the kids who will have to learn to take care of necessary things around the house eventually anyway.
This may sound counterintuitive, especially if your pain usually grows worse with physical activity. However, there are two important reasons to have a daily exercise routine if you have a chronic pain condition.
- Being sedentary can lead to joint stiffness. This will only serve to add to the pain.
- A sedentary lifestyle leads to weight gain. The added weight places more pressure on joints and ligaments and also increases pain.
It makes sense then to try and maintain a regular exercise schedule. But how can you do so without exhausting yourself?
What is recommended for fibromyalgia patients is graded exercise. This is an exercise program that starts light, perhaps just with some stretching, and gradually increases the amount of activity. This should help to increase your individual tolerance to physical activity which will be beneficial both for your pain levels as well as your energy levels.
#4. Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care
If you have tried chiropractic for your fibromyalgia and didn’t see results, it may be because the bones that needed to be aligned were the top two in your neck, the C1 and C2. These two bones are the sole focus of upper cervical chiropractic – a subspecialty in this field of care.
If you are concerned about your spine being popped and twisted when you are already in pain, please be assured that the adjustments in upper cervical chiropractic care are different. Low force corrections are administered either by hand or through an adjusting device depending on the exact type of chiropractic performed by the practitioner. These gentle adjustments are safe and long-lasting.
As adjustments hold longer, you can spread out your appointments. This makes upper cervical chiropractic a cost-effective alternative for patients with a chronic ailment. Keeping the C1 and C2 in their proper place allows the body the opportunity to heal itself. Does it really work for fibromyalgia patients?
A case study involving a 32-year-old woman has brought help to many. Over the course of half a year, she was evaluated 41 times by an upper cervical chiropractor and adjusted the 8 times a misalignment was noted. By the end of the six months, the patient reported that all of her symptoms had resolved.
Will you receive the same results? Contact a practitioner in your area today to schedule a consultation. An examination can help to determine if upper cervical chiropractic care is the right natural option for you.