Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder, characterized by widespread pain in the muscles, that currently has no known cause or cure. It mostly affects women, and is found to be a genetic disorder. It is likely that those who are suffering from fibromyalgia are also affected by tension headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and depression. It is difficult to diagnose fibromyalgia as there are no tests that can be done that clearly indicate that it is the cause. The signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia include fatigue, morning stiffness, headaches/migraines, itchy/burning skin, difficulties sleeping, digestive issues, muscle cramps, knots and weakness, balance problems, and all-over pain. It is believed that fibromyalgia amplifies a painful sensation by affecting the way that your brain processes pain signals.
Some pain management techniques used when dealing with fibromyalgia are closely related to exercise, sleep, and stress management. Exercise and sleep can help you to alleviate some of the stress you may be feeling, but meditation and deep breathing exercises are also recommended to help with stress relief.
Sleep is very important when working to manage the pain associated with fibromyalgia. You should stick to a sleep schedule and go to bed at the same time every night. This will condition your body to know that it is time to go to sleep, which helps decrease the sleep issues associated with this condition. You should also cut out caffeine later in the day, avoid alcohol before bed, and take a brief nap if you need to.
Exercise should be done in moderation, and it is important not to overdo it. You should work with your body, start slowly, and always ensure to stretch your muscles before and after exercise. Over time the post-workout soreness will lessen, and you will be able to participate in more physical activities.
Aquatic exercising is often recommended, and can provide many health benefits when dealing with the pain of fibromyalgia. It can benefit those with widespread pain as it is possible to perform aerobic exercises without the weight-bearing and joint compression that can be experienced out of water. Aquatic aerobics can also help to promote relaxation and reduce daytime fatigue, as well as reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Exercising in the water is beneficial for those with fibromyalgia because buoyancy reduces the effects of gravity making any movement take less effort. Water also provides resistance that can help you to strengthen your muscles and develop better balance. Water immersion is known to promote relaxation, and can lower your perception of pain.