Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.
Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event. Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression.
Presently there is no single therapy or intervention that can be considered a cure for FMS. Combinations of therapies appear to be most helpful. Chiropractic care, exercise, nutrition, relaxation and stress-reduction measures may help, especially when used together as a holistic approach to care..
Chiropractors use gentle pressure or stretching, multiple gentle movements of one area, or specific quick thrusts to help return bones (often in your spine) to a more normal position or to move as they should. These adjustments can help your body work better mechanically and help nerve signals travel more easily, thus reducing pain.
Chiropractors are trained as neuromusculoskeletal specialists, and one of the main focuses of chiropractic care is the positive effects it can have on a person’s nervous system. Since all information from the outside world is collected and analyzed by the nervous system, it’s logical to assume that if a person with FM is sensitive to a stimulus that others are not, there may be something wrong with this system.
Maintaining flexibility and an active lifestyle can greatly benefit patients suffering from fibromyalgia. Here are some simple tips to help ease symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Exercise. According to the National Institute of Arhritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, exercising regularly is one of the most effective ways to treat fibromyalgia. Walking is considered one of the best exercises for fibromyalgia sufferers as it safely increases oxygen levels in muscles and decreases pain and stiffness. Exercising in a pool is also a safe and effective way to receive the same benefits.
Stretch. Gentle stretching and relaxation exercises can greatly benefit fibromyalgia patients. Take care to move gently, never stretch to the point of pain, and hold stretches for one minute to receive the greatest benefit.
Strengthen. Strength training can reduce pain and improve overall fitness. Keep the intensity low and start off light. As little as one to three pounds can make an impact by reducing pain and tender points and reducing depression.
Nurish. Eat a well-balanced diet thats aimed at energy. Avoid sweets which provide only a quick energy boost followed by a crash. Instead combine proteins or fats with carbohydrates. Choose fresh, whole foods that are high in fiber. Good sources include: avocado, broccoli, beans, tofu, oatmeal, dark leafy greens and almonds.
Magnesium. Low magnesium is often associated with symptoms of fibromyalgia. Eat magnesium rich foods and relax in an Epsom salt bath a few times per week to increase magnesium levels.
Massage. Massage therapy can improve chronic pain and fibromyalgia symptoms. Deep relaxation reduces stress, pain, and muscle tension.
Essential Oils. Essential oils can have many benefits and can be diffused for aromatherapy or added to the bath. Lavender can serve many purposes for pain, inflammation, relaxation and headache relief. Peppermint is good for fighting fatigue, improving circulation and pain relief. For stress relief, try frankincense, ylang ylang, or bergamot.