What's Fibromyalgia and How Can You Treat It?
Fibromyalgia is the second most common chronic condition that affects both your muscles and bones. Even though it’s extremely common, it’s often misdiagnosed or misunderstood. While there’s no cure for fibromyalgia, there are simple lifestyle changes you can integrate into your daily routine that may help.
Today we’re answering the question “what’s fibromyalgia and how can you treat it?” in order to find potentially ways to manage its widespread muscle and joint pain. Before you start any new methods for how to treat fibromyalgia, however, be sure to consult a healthcare professional to be sure it’s safe to do so.
Okay, what’s fibromyalgia? Good question! Even though it’s an extremely common health ailment affecting roughly 4 million adults in the United States, fibromyalgia is often misunderstood or misdiagnosed as osteoarthritis as they share many similar characteristics.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic, incurable health ailment that can cause pain all over the body, fatigue, sleep disorders, and mental distress. Since there are no lab or image tests available at this time to empirically diagnose someone with fibromyalgia, it was overlooked in previous decades. Today, however, medical professionals are becoming more aware of its symptoms and how to treat fibromyalgia to provide some potential relief.
While the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, there are some common factors associated with higher risk of developing this condition such as:
- Being a woman (women outnumber men with this condition by a ratio of 9:1)
- Mood disorders such as anxiety or depression
- Suffering from the effects of PTSD
- Leading a more sedentary lifestyle
- Possible genetic factors predisposing those with fibromyalgia in their family
Another possible cause of fibromyalgia often associated with elevated risk is arthritis or other age related diseases. Infections may also play a part in increasing your risk, as well.
Natural Remedies for Fibromyalgia
We can’t answer “what’s fibromyalgia?” without also examining how to treat it! While some healthcare professionals may recommend over-the-counter medications (OTC) to assist with your symptoms, others prefer natural remedies for fibromyalgia treatment.
It’s important to remember that this health condition isn’t curable, so learning how to treat fibromyalgia is focused on alleviating symptoms to improve your overall quality of life on a daily basis.
Some natural remedies for fibromyalgia include:
- Massage therapy
- Meditation for stress relief
- Low impact exercises like yoga or tai chi
- Adopting a healthy diet
- Practicing good sleep habits
Fibromyalgia Massage Benefits
Getting a massage can be immensely relaxing, but there’s more to it than just self-care and pampering. Massage therapy has been shown to be a potentially effective way for how to treat fibromyalgia. In studies, it was concluded that massage had immediate effects on improving pain, anxiety, and depression in patients with fibromyalgia.
Getting regular massages is a great way to routinely take care of both your mental and physical health if you’re suffering from fibromyalgia. For those unable to fit massage therapist appointments into their busy schedules or who don’t want the mounting costs of visits weighing on their wallets, zero gravity chairs with massage features may also be beneficial.
Using a zero gravity chair as a simple addition to your daily activities may help improve your mood, reduce stress, and allow you to sleep better. All of these benefits of massage work together to potentially improve symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Meditation for Fibromyalgia Relief
Next up in our list of potential natural remedies for fibromyalgia is meditation. Mindfulness meditation for fibromyalgia relief has been shown to be potentially beneficial as it helps increase our ability to process emotions and emotional reactions.
It’s important to remember that the point of mindfulness meditation is not to completely clear your mind of all thought. Instead, it’s to allow your thoughts to happen without judgment. This makes mindfulness meditation one of our favorite meditation techniques for stress management.
Meditating doesn’t require a large time commitment and can be done anywhere. Take a few minutes at some point each day to sit in quiet and focus on recentering your mind. If you’re at work, this could be during a short break. For those learning how to meditate at home, think about creating zen space in your living room where you can meditate in peace each day. Those learning how to treat fibromyalgia might even consider zero gravity meditation as a way to combine different natural remedies at once.
Exercises to Help Fibromyalgia
We learned when discussing the question “what’s fibromyalgia?” that one of the common factors associated with a higher risk of developing this condition is leading a more sedentary life. One of the easiest natural remedies for fibromyalgia that may work for you, then, is being more active.
Finding exercises to help fibromyalgia is simple. Low-impact full body workout exercises like yoga and tai chi are great ways to increase mobility and flexibility. Other exercises to use as natural remedies for fibromyalgia are aerobic exercises like biking or swimming. These are more gentle on your muscles than high-impact activities but increase your heart rate and breathing. Aerobic exercises build endurance while stretching and strengthening your muscles.
Following Fibromyalgia Diet Recommendations
One of the simplest lifestyle changes you can make when learning how to treat fibromyalgia is to follow fibromyalgia diet recommendations. Nutrition is a key element in your overall health and preventing fibromyalgia symptoms from getting worse.
A few tips for following fibromyalgia diet recommendations include:
- Drinking lots of water
- Eating less meat and more plants
- Reducing your sugar intake (including natural sugars)
- Eating vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
- Choosing low-fat dairy and lean meat options
While any diet change can seem daunting at first, in time they’ll become second nature. You may be surprised that after a while, you start actively wanting to eat the foods on your new diet to continue feeling the difference it makes!
Fibromyalgia and Sleep Habits
Some of the more common byproducts of fibromyalgia symptoms are sleep disorders and deprivation. It’s easy to see how sleeping could be difficult if you’re experiencing widespread pain. Practicing good sleeping habits in conjunction with other pain relief methods is the best way to help improve sleep quality and manage your condition.
For starters, try out some relaxation tips to destress before you go to sleep. This could be with a relaxing night time routine such as a hot bath, enjoying a warm beverage (decaffeinated, of course), or decompressing in a zero gravity chair to unwind before bed. You may also consider other stress relief methods like journaling.
Another way to try and increase sleep quality and improve fibromyalgia symptoms is to stretch before bed. This gentle stretching may help with pain relief, allowing you to sleep better through the night. Unfortunately, pain and sleep deprivation are mutually problematic as a lack of sleep can increase pain symptoms whereas pain cuts into your ability to sleep.
We hope that our guide has helped answer the common question, “what’s fibromyalgia and how can you treat it?” Finding natural remedies for fibromyalgia symptoms won’t cure this condition, but can help you get back to living your life to its fullest. As always, before you begin any kind of treatment, consult a healthcare professional to make sure it’s safe.
There are many other health benefits of zero gravity chairs that may improve your overall well being. Learn more by checking out these resources: