Fibromyalgia syndrome is not a disease, rather it is a musculoskeletal condition that can involve a multitude of symptoms. It is commonly thought to be arthritis-related, but fibromyalgia does not cause joint damage or inflammation like arthritis. People with fibromyalgia often experience unexplained muscle pain or painful trigger points that include the back of the head, tops of shoulders, upper chest, knees, outer elbows, or hips.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
Experts believe that fibromyalgia isn’t caused by one thing in particular; rather, the syndrome is due to a combination of factors. Traumatic, stressful, or emotional events can be linked to the development of fibromyalgia. Additionally, people with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or spinal arthritis have a greater risk of developing fibromyalgia. Other factors, which are believed to contribute to the syndrome, are listed below.
- Repetitive Injuries
- Traumatic, Stressful, or Emotional Events (e.g. PTSD or a car accident)
- Genetics (a family history of Fibromyalgia can make you more prone to it)
- Infections or Illnesses (Lupus)
- CNS (central nervous system) problems
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
Get Your Yoga On
Yoga has been shown to relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia. Taking a 60-75 minute yoga class twice a week, for a total of eight weeks, can help decrease pain in people who have fibromyalgia. Since yoga is a calming exercise, it lowers cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Other stress-lowering workouts include tai chi, Pilates, and swimming.
Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Eat foods with anti-inflammatory properties because inflammation causes joint and muscle pain. Green tea, ginger, broccoli, red onion, and tomato, among other fruits and vegetables, can help naturally reduce inflammation. Additionally, you may want to eliminate meat, dairy, processed foods, junk food, salt, sugar, and gluten from you diet. Gluten can cause inflammation, weight gain, neurological problems, muscle pain, and fatigue. Try a gluten-free and raw foods diet to help reduce symptoms of fibromyalgia.
You Need Magnesium & Vitamin D
Eating foods that are high in vitamin D and magnesium can help reduce symptoms of fibromyalgia. Proper magnesium levels help reduce stress and vitamin D can ease muscle pain and stiffness. Avocados, bananas, kale, collards, cashews, pine nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, spinach, and almonds are great sources of magnesium. Mushrooms, freshly squeezed orange juice, and almond milk (free of thickeners and sweeteners) are great sources of vitamin D.
Acupuncture is an age-old alternative treatment for chronic pain. This ancient Chinese method helps ease pain by pricking the skin with needles at certain points of the body. It is best to continually receive acupuncture to help relieve pain, because a one-off treatment may only have short-term effects.
Chiropractic treatment is another alternative treatment that can help correct past injuries or damages from serious traumas. Chiropractic care helps realign the spine through adjustments. People with fibromyalgia have been known to have hyperactivity of the sympathetic nervous system, and cervical spinal adjustments have helped to decrease this hyperactivity.