Fibromyalgia is a widespread pain and fatigue disorder. Sufferers will often tire easily and ache all over, many sufferers also report getting little restful sleep. Aggravating factors can be stress, depression, hormonal changes, anxiety and changes in temperature.
These can contribute to what is known as a ‘flare up’ which is an acute episode of the condition. There is no cure for Fibromyalgia but treatment aims to manage symptoms and enhance the sufferers quality of life.
Some ways of self managing the condition holistically include:
- Hydrotherapy- most gp practises can refer you to a local hydrotherapy pool in the UK but even if there are no hydro pools near you, you can do your own hydrotherapy at home. What’s really important is using ‘moist’ heat daily, this can be a warm bath or shower. Using water therapy helps to allow the muscles relax which has the benefit of helping reduce the pain of Fibromyalgia
- Exercise- also this might be the last thing you feel like doing, exercise helps reduce stress and build muscle strength. Aqua aerobics is a good way to get the benefits of exercise in a gentle way as is yoga. Try slowly building up your exercise, such as walking for 10 minutes a day and avoid heavy, strenuous exercising.
- Reduce caffeine- caffeine is linked to increased anxiety and stress. This is the last thing the fibromyalgia sufferer needs! So dump that late and try ‘no caf’ alternatives, herbal or Rooibus teas. Cutting out caffeine can include cutting out cola and energy drinks and chocolate (sorry). You may well experience caffeine withdrawal if you use caffeine often but it will be worth it in the long run.
- Get support- you can find out about local support groups online, which are a chance to connect with others who really know how you are feeling. Due to it’s debilitating nature Fibromyalgia can leave the sufferer isolated and housebound during a flare up. Thankfully there are many support groups online, it’s really important to connect to others and know you’re not alone.
- Learn ways of relaxing- this could be meditation, a hobby you enjoy, acupuncture, aromatherapy or anything which reduces stress and has a calming effect. Some relaxation therapies such as meditation are proven to help with the sleeping problems, anxiety and depression common to many Fibromyalgia sufferers.