5 Ways to Combat Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia (FM), a condition characterized by overwhelming and pervasive muscular fatigue and pain as well as sensitivity to certain light and other stimuli, is now thought to affect roughly five million U.S. adults, mostly women.
While there is currently no cure for fibromyalgia, there are some things that individuals with fibromyalgia can do to help reduce the severity of their symptoms:
- Exercise – Often, those with FM cannot begin to think about exercise because of the pain that they experience. However, exercise, including appropriate stretching before and afterwards, can provide some relief of muscular tension at trigger points. Anthony Komaroff of Harvard Medical School suggests beginning with stretching and strength exercises twice a week to build flexibility and muscle. He also recommends tai chi and yoga to possibly provide relief.
- Proper nutrition – Taking in key and staying hydrated is necessary for anyone seeking optimal health, but it is essential for those whose bodies are in a state of repair. Adequate fuel assists the body as it attempts to heal. A low carbohydrate diet to not feed inflammation may be beneficial.
- Sleep – For those with fibromyalgia, getting enough sleep is easier said than done. Yet, getting sleep when it’s possible is paramount. Begin by establishing good sleeping habits: eliminate caffeine, do not eat a big meal or overhydrate before bedtime, reduce noise and maintain a consistent time to get to bed.
- Heat and massage – Massaging and applying heat to muscles that are consistently tight can help provide some short-term relief of muscular aches.
- Participate in clinical trials – A large amount of research is currently being conducted to find new pharmacological treatments to help relieve symptoms of FM. Only drugs that pass specific criteria (including safety) are used in these trials. Participation in studies not only has the potential to help the individual with FM, but it provides valuable data, which ultimately leads to medical advances for all who suffer from this condition. Learn more about the Fibromyalgia clinical trials being conducted by the Institute for Advanced Medical Research in Alpharetta by calling 770-817-9200.