Natural Ways to Ease Fibromyalgia Pain
Fibromyalgia is something you know all about. The weakness, the pain, and the chronic fatigue are getting to you. You’ve tried drugs, or you’ve been told that they’ll help. You’re skeptical. While there is no known cure for this illness, there are things you can do to try and ease the pain.
Vitamin D, called “the sunshine vitamin,” is known to be low in many people with fibromyalgia. According to doctor Laura J Martin, contributor for WebMD, not getting enough vitamin D in your system may be linked to chronic pain. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2009 showed that vitamin D levels are really low in the majority of people living in the U.S.
Some experts believe that, in some people, it may trigger some symptoms of fibromyalgia. To get the benefit of sun exposure, you will need to go outside when the UV index is high (i.e. greater than “3”), since UVB light is what is responsible for vitamin D production. The UVB light hits your skin, and your body starts converting cholesterol to the hormone we call “vitamin D.”
In most areas of the U.S., the UV index doesn’t stay high for very long. Your best bet is to get outside during the summer months between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM. Barring that, you might need to invest in a special UVB lamp which emits UVB light that mimics the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.
Acupuncture is a form of ancient Chinese medicine. Small needles are inserted at various pressure points on your body. These needles are not like the type of needles you’re probably used to seeing at your doctor’s office or in a hospital. They’re very thin – almost imperceptible when they’re inserted.
The acupuncturist inserts the needles at various depths to try to get the body’s immune system to respond to micro-trauma caused by the needle insertion. It’s an alternative therapy for pain, but many people swear by it, calling it a “miracle.”
Because needles are inserted at pressure points, you may feel a tingling, floating, feeling across your whole body. When the needles are removed, often times the pain temporarily subsides. While this is not a cure, it can make life more enjoyable.
A Swedish massage may be best for fibromyalgia according to some experts. If you can take the discomfort, a deep tissue massage may bring more long-lasting relief. However, deep tissue massage is known to be uncomfortable and even painful while it’s being done. Some people with fibromyalgia cannot stand the immediate pain of this type of massage and must opt for a more gentle solution – at least at first.
The “magic” of a deep tissue massage is that trauma is caused to the muscles during the massage. In the days that follow, you must rest, and allow your body to begin the healing process. For muscles that are weak, the massage will help to make them stronger – allowing you to do more activities in your daily life without becoming fatigued.
Another type of massage that may help is myofascial release. This type of massage is known to significantly improve symptoms of fibromyalsia. It involves a masseuse applying gentle pressure on various body parts to help release tension in those areas.
Change Your Diet
Diet can play a major role in fibromyalgia. In particular, food sensitivities and intolerance may be causing much of your pain and muscle weakness. IgE and nonIgE tests will tell you what you’re allergic to, and what foods you have sensitivities to. The LEAP MRT may also be valuable for you to determine which foods trigger delayed food reactions – reactions that might include pain associated with fibromyalsia.
Lewis Mann’s daughter suffers from fibromyalgia. He enjoys researching the topic and sharing his findings on health blogs. Visit the pain management fibromyalgia link for more ideas and information.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net