Living life with fibromyalgia can be a difficult path to walk, but it doesn’t have to be.
As more of the medical community begins to accept and understand fibromyalgia as a legitimate disease, more work and research is being done to treat it.
As a society, we are learning ways to treat fibromyalgia without relying on a variety of traditional medications. These alternative treatments improve the quality of life on many different levels, however, rather than just relieving pain.
Keep reading for our top 8 fibromyalgia treatments that are sure to relieve symptoms and created a happier, healthier you!
Mindfulness meditation has been shown to reduce pain of all kinds. It has also been shown to be a successful and effective fibromyalgia treatment.
First, we need to understand that pain is a reaction, or awareness, in our brain, and in our brain alone. Yes, pain is real, yet it is only really because of our perception of it.
The goal of mindfulness meditation is to change this perception of pain. We recognize that it’s there, but work to control how it affects us.
It sounds rather complicated and not entirely tangible, but large scale studies have shown how meditation can significantly reduce pain. In fact, some studies have actually shown meditation to be more effective in treating pain than medications!
As an added bonus, meditating can improve sleep, anxiety, depression, focus, performance, and so much more!
While exercise may not sound like the most appealing thing to people who suffer from chronic pain, we promise, it can be a potent fibromyalgia treatment.
First, we all know that exercising releases endorphins in our body. Endorphins are the feel-good hormones which will create an immediate mood boost after exercising!
Additionally, exercise makes your muscles, bones, and joints stronger, giving you better resistance to the pain that can sometimes be triggered with simple movements and daily activity.
Finally, along with being a natural fibromyalgia treatment, exercise can lead to better sleep, more energy, less anxiety, less depression, and weight loss!
A note of caution: while exercising, begin slowly and increase intensity gradually. Working out too hard and too fast can lead to triggering pain or abandoning exercise altogether.
Despite popular belief, exercise alone will not make you lose weight. You can do 1,000 sit-ups a day, but if you’re combining it with 5,000 calories of junk food, you’re never going to see that six pack!
However, losing weight can be a beneficial fibromyalgia treatment. With excess weight, comes excess stress on your joints and muscles, which can trigger pain in your body. Being overweight can also make you more fatigued.
On the other hand, a solid diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and little to no dairy can really improve your fibromyalgia symptoms and your health!
By consuming tons of fruits and veggies, you are ensuring a significant intake of vitamins and minerals. Additionally, by keeping your protein sources lean and avoiding dairy, you are naturally going to cut out extra calories and unnecessary fats.
It would also be a good idea to avoid sugary snacks and drinks, fried foods, and alcohol.
Cognitive behavioral therapy as a fibromyalgia treatment is somewhat similar to meditation. It’s all about training your brain and yourself to respond and behave differently.
However, while mindfulness meditation is an exercise, CBT is more of a way of living day to day.
CBT can have multiple approaches. First, it challenges you to be more aware of your daily behavioral choices. This can help you avoid decisions and behaviors likely to trigger a flare-up.
Secondly, CBT focuses on your mental approach to fibromyalgia pain. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for people who suffer from fibromyalgia to adopt an apathetic or hopeless attitude about their condition.
Sometimes, it’s due to their fibromyalgia not being taken seriously. Other times, it’s because nothing has worked in terms of managing their pain. Either way, the mentality of “this is hopeless” or “this is unbearable” will make it a reality.
CBT works to correct that attitude. It works similar to a placebo effect. Our brains are very powerful. If we believe we’ll get sick, we probably will.
Scientists and doctors alike are on the fence about the efficacy of acupuncture as a fibromyalgia treatment.
However, there are certainly those who swear by it.
Acupuncture works in one of two ways, depending on if you believe in Eastern Medicine theories where acupuncture originates or Western medicine theories that credit its validity but not its explanation.
Eastern medicine proclaims acupuncture to activate and unblock chi (energy) in the body, encouraging its proper flow. Western medicine, however, believes it simply affects blood flow and neurotransmitters.
Either way, it seems to work for most people.
Like exercise, massage therapy can seem anti-intuitive to those with tenderness or trigger points in their bodies.
However, massage therapy can be done in a way to reduce muscle tightness and tension, without causing pain. Myofascial massage, for example, has helped thousands of people with fibromyalgia.
Occupational therapy as a fibromyalgia treatment is much like CBT. This therapy is all about changes behaviors and the way you perform work duties.
This can help you adjust your work station to reduce physical and mental stress, as well as teaching you how to move correctly when necessary to avoid triggering episodes of pain.
While the political debate about medical marijuana and CBD oil is still going strong, the medical and scientific debate seems to be collectively supportive of its usage.
Medical marijuana and CBD oil have been shown to have a plethora of positive effects on everything from pain reduction to anxiety and depression relief.
Therefore, as a suppressant to many of fibromyalgia’s symptoms, both medical marijuana and CBD oil are reasonable fibromyalgia treatments.
At The Cohen Medical Centers, we can help you with everything from fibromyalgia treatments to bone density scans and everything in between.
We love our patients and have their best intentions at heart. Just take a look at our patients’ testimonials!
Come and see us!