About 10 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia and the uncomfortable symptoms it causes. Between 75 percent and 90 percent of those sufferers are women, but men and children can develop fibromyalgia as well. And because the condition often becomes worse with age, it’s estimated as many as 8 percent of adults 80 years of age and older meet the diagnosis criteria for fibromyalgia.
As one of the most common chronic pain disorders, fibromyalgia can cause widespread discomfort, interfering with many activities, including activities of daily living. Knowing how to handle your symptoms and even reduce them is the key to feeling better, both physically and emotionally. At Modern Concepts and Revive Chiropractic, we use a holistic “whole-patient” approach to fibromyalgia care, creating custom treatment plans based on each person’s unique needs and lifestyle.
Finding relief for painWhile there’s no cure for fibromyalgia, there are some things you can do to reduce your symptoms, often significantly — and without relying on strong pain medications. At our practice, we use a variety of therapeutic options, like exercise, stretching, trigger point injections, nutritional counseling, and regenerative medicine treatments to help patients find the "combination" that works best for them. But beyond the care we can provide in you office, there are some things you can do on your own to reduce your symptoms and also play a more proactive role in your care.
Get plenty of exerciseFibromyalgia pain can make it difficult to even think about starting an exercise program. But you don’t have to embark on a major physical fitness program to reap the benefits of being more active. In fact, the National Fibromyalgia Association says regular physical activity can be one of the best ways to reduce pain and feel better emotionally, as well. The keys to success: Start slowly and know your limits. Especially if you’ve been inactive for some time, it’s important to begin any exercise routine with just a little mild to moderate activity, then to “ramp up” on subsequent days as your body adjusts. If you find an exercise or activity to be very uncomfortable, scale back or find another activity that’s more comfortable for you.
Ideally, your exercise routine should include gentle stretching as well as aerobic activities like walking or swimming. Strength training is also important, but once again, the idea is not to become a bodybuilder, but to improve endurance, mobility, and overall comfort. Our team can work with you to design an exercise program that suits all your needs.
Get your ZsFibromyalgia and sleep problems feed into each other: Your symptoms can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep, and not getting enough sleep can make your symptoms worse. It’s a tough cycle to break. You can start by setting a sleep schedule and sticking to it, seven days a week. Keep your room cool and dark, and reserve your bedroom only for sleep (and maybe a little before-bed reading); keep the TV, computer, and other electronics out. Cut out the caffeine and alcohol for several hours before bed, and don’t have any heavy meals in the couple of hours before you turn in. Finally, try to create a soothing bedtime routine, like reading, listening to music, or even meditating for a bit before sleep.
Work in some stress managementStress is a big trigger for fibromyalgia symptoms, so learning to manage stress is an important part of reducing your pain. Joining a support group can help you connect with people who are going through the same things you’re experiencing, which means you can swap helpful tips, provide emotional support, and maybe even discover new tips that can help you feel better. There was a time when you had to live near a hospital or medical center to take part in a support group. And while in-person groups are still a great option, today there are online support groups as well. Seeing a therapist can also help, whether you’re part of a support group or not. Outside of therapy, you can also learn to practice meditation or try deep-breathing exercises to help you relax throughout the day.
Take the next step toward greater comfortFibromyalgia is a chronic condition that can last for the rest of your life. At Modern Concepts and Revive Chiropractic, we can help you manage your fibromyalgia symptoms so you can enjoy a better quality of life. To learn more about the treatment options we offer, book an appointment online today.