If you’re feeling tired and achy all the time, it may not be normal fatigue from increased stress or physical activity. In fact, if you’re experiencing long-term fatigue and widespread pain for months at a time, you may have fibromyalgia.
The name fibromyalgia sounds scary, but it’s just a fancy term for a condition of long-term fatigue and pain. While there are no cures, fibromyalgia can be managed through natural remedies and behavioral changes.
We’ll help you control this with the six, proven natural treatments. Make this condition easier to live with starting now.
Do you have fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is characterized by a constant dull ache throughout your body and can be accompanied by fatigue, problems getting to sleep and a lack of concentration. You may have fibromyalgia if you…
- Constantly feel dull, achy pain throughout your body
- Wake up tired even after sleeping for many hours
- Have a hard time focusing on mental tasks (i.e. “fibro fog”)
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you should see a doctor to confirm your diagnosis. Sometimes fibromyalgia appears after physical or psychological trauma, including surgery, a car crash, giving birth or a death in the family. Other times, fibromyalgia appears gradually.
Much is still unknown about fibromyalgia, which can be frustrating to those who suffer from it. Experts think this condition happens because of mixed-up pain signals in your brain. In other words, chemicals related to pain increase and your pain receptors overreact to them.
Now that you understand the condition a little bit better, let’s look at self-help strategies to soothe the symptoms.
Top 6 natural ways to overcome the symptoms of fibromyalgia
As we mentioned, there’s no ultimate cure for fibromyalgia. However, there’s plenty you can do to mitigate the symptoms. If you feel like the pain is taking over your life, try out some of these strategies.
1. Join an online community for support
You’re not alone. 10 million in the U.S. suffer from fibromyalgia. Since the condition is linked to emotional distress, anxiety, and depression, it’s a good idea to build a support network to help you deal with this condition. It’s important to stay in touch with friends and family members. In addition, you can receive support from those suffering from the same condition using online tools. Nowadays, there are great online communities for those interested in connecting with others going through the same thing. For many, these new connections can be helpful and uplifting to their emotional health.
One of the best empowerment platforms out there is ReachOut, which brings together people to support, discuss and connect about their conditions and illnesses. Joining this community gives you the chance to share your story and get support from thousands of other people like you.
2. Jump in the pool
Aquatic exercise such as swimming or water aerobics has a double effect on those with fibromyalgia. First of all, exercise of any form can have a positive effect on fibromyalgia symptoms. Exercise can relieve muscle stiffness, but also tire out the body physically so that you can get to sleep more easily. Moreover, pool exercises have been shown to help sufferers because the warm water can have a soothing effect on pain by increasing blood flow throughout the body.
Consider swimming in a heated pool on a regular basis or taking a water aerobics class to have fun while getting both good exercise and pain relief.
3. Take a yoga or meditation class
According to recent studies, yoga or meditation can reduce fibromyalgia patients’ stiffness, anxiety, and depression. Yoga or meditation are especially useful for this condition because of its link of physical and emotional spheres, which can have a significant impact on your daily life. During a regular yoga class, for example, you will have the opportunity to stretch, use breathing exercises and master relaxation techniques. Experts believe this mind-body combination is well-suited for fibromyalgia symptoms. Yoga or meditation can relieve muscle stiffness and pain, while addressing emotional factors by keeping your body stress-free.
Try out a local yoga class and you’ll see the across-the-board benefits.
4. Master your sleep routine
A good night’s rest feels impossible to come by when you have fibromyalgia. But there are a few things you can change about your sleep routine to maximize sleep. Above all, you should try to create a regular sleep routine. Get up and go to bed at the same time. When it’s close to your bedtime, create “sleep-ready” habits. For example, you might want to take a bath every night, drink a non-caffeinated tea, cut off your screen time and listen to music before bed. Any or all of these habits will get you in a relaxing mood for restful a sleep.
Also, avoid these big no-nos at night: drinking coffee or alcohol, and smoking or eating a big meal. Master your routine and get the sleep you need to recover.
5. Fuel your body for success
A vegetable-rich diet can only help your body recover and stay charged. Not sticking to vitamin-boosting fruits and vegetables will just make your body have less energy and your muscles potentially more tense. Avoid fast food and anything that makes you bloat. Fuel your body for success with real food that will keep your body running smoothly.
Some experts also recommend dietary supplements for fibromyalgia symptoms, such as magnesium or melatonin. However, these suggestions are not yet confirmed by studies.
6. Sign up for massage therapy
If you’re having trouble relaxing or exercising because of pain, you may benefit from seeing your nearest chiropractor. Science now backs up a positive impact from massage therapy on fibromyalgia patients. The reason is that massage can reduce muscle tension, alleviate pain and improve circulation. Getting regular massage therapy sessions can have secondary benefits too, such as improved sleep and mood.
Take control of your fibromyalgia symptoms by following these natural remedies that will put you in a better position to alleviate pain and get better rest. These simple steps can go a long way to making your life more enjoyable with this condition.
For greater insight into interacting with those suffering from the issues mentioned in the article or if you would like to chat with others affected, try the app, Reachout.
Dr. Brent Wells is a graduate of the University of Nevada where he earned his bachelor of science degree before moving on to complete his doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College. He founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska in 1998. The goal for Dr. Wells is to treat his patients with care and compassion while providing them with a better quality of life through his professional treatment.