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Fibromyalgia can be a painful condition, and it can be especially frustrating to manage flare-ups. When you have bad days, it can be especially tiring to carry out your daily tasks, but we know how important it is to manage your symptoms so you can live your life. Our pain management experts are here to help with these tips to help you manage your fibromyalgia pain and fatigue.
Food additives are found in nearly every processed or packaged food we eat, so it’s important to understand how additives can affect your health. Glutamate is one such additive, which is a flavor-enhancing amino acid. It’s also considered an excitotoxin. Monosodium glutamate excites nerve cells, but can damage or kill nerve cells in high doses. Aspartate, found in artificial sweetener aspartame, is another such excitotoxin.
A healthy diet can protect nerve cells from damage and help them to function more optimally. Vitamin C, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium all are excellent at reducing glutamate toxicity and protecting nerve cells. Magnesium is all crucial for nerve transmission and muscle control. Chose a variety of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, and include fish, like salmon, several times a week. Your doctor may also recommend a magnesium supplement, as well, since it can be difficult to get enough form your diet.
We know, it’s easier said than done. Stress is often a triggering factor of fibromyalgia in those who are already predisposed, so it’s important to reduce your stress levels whenever possible. Doing so can slow the onset of fibromyalgia and help alleviate symptoms to help you stay more comfortable.
Physical activity can help you reduce the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia, but rigorous or high-impact activities, such as running, tennis, skiing, or martial arts, can increase your symptoms. High-impact exercises can increase your risk of injuries and can leave you feeling sore and stiff. To avoid causing a flare-up, it’s best to start low and go slow. Try slow walking, moderate calisthenics, swimming, tai chi, yoga, and Pilates for exercises that can help reduce flare-ups.
Fibromyalgia can disrupt your sleep, which can make the fatigue even worse. A sleep specialist can help you find ways to get better, more restful sleep—even if your pain makes it difficult. You may have other issues interfering with your sleep, such as sleep apnea, which can prevent you from falling into a comfortable sleep. By evaluating you and treating any findings, a sleep specialist can make sleeping easier. You also may want to form a bedtime routine and a schedule to help your body naturally prepare for sleep, without sleep aids.
Localized fibromyalgia pain can benefit greatly from massage therapy, especially for pain in the neck, back, and shoulders. Techniques that stretch or manipulate connective tissue, including myofascial release, Shiatsu, and connective tissue massage, are the most effective methods. Look for a massage therapist for one who is experienced in treating fibromyalgia pain, or ask your pain management specialist about techniques you can try at home.
There are a variety of medications used to treat fibromyalgia, but there are three different medications that are approved by the FDA specifically for treating fibromyalgia. Duloxetine (Cymbalta) and milnacipran (Savella) work to raise your levels of serotonin and norepinephrine. These chemicals are neurotransmitters, which are vital for healthy nerve signaling and tend to be low in those with fibromyalgia. The third medication, pregabalin (Lyrica), is believed to lower glutamate levels in the brain, reducing the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
While it doesn’t offer relief for everyone, some patients can benefit greatly from acupuncture. Many pressure points used in acupressure tend to closely match common tender points that fibromyalgia patients report. It can be helpful to manage pain, but if it isn’t working after the first few sessions, it may not be for you. Discuss your treatment with your doctor before trying any new treatments, including acupuncture.
While nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) aren’t effective at treating fibromyalgia, they can help you treat other pain-causing conditions, such as arthritis or tendonitis. Eliminating other sources of pain can help make it easier to manage the pain caused by fibromyalgia. Before starting a new medication, be sure to speak with your doctor. Some medications can interact with NSAIDs and cause further complications.
At Pain Medicine Group, we are dedicated to helping patients manage their pain from injuries and medical conditions, including fibromyalgia. Our Orlando pain management doctors can help you understand your symptoms and develop a custom plan to treat your pain and make it easier to enjoy your life and participate in your daily activities. Call today to schedule an appointment and learn how we can help you.
Contact our office by calling (888) 832-3597.
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See how well you know fibromyalgia. Take the quiz today!
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