Category Archives: Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia & Sleep: Solutions For A Better Night’s Rest

Each year on May 12th, the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association supports National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day to raise awareness and funds to help those living with chronic pain from fibromyalgia. 2%-10% of the American population suffers from this chronic condition that causes abdominal pain, fatigue, chronic headaches, joint and muscle pain and stiffness, and insomnia.

Sleep Problems

Sleep problems and fibromyalgia can be a vicious cycle. A majority of those suffering from fibromyalgia symptoms have issues with sleep. Whether it is lack of sleep, non-restorative sleep, restless leg syndrome, or difficulty staying asleep due to pain, not getting enough sleep intensifies pain symptoms.

Research has shown sleep and pain are linked. When we do not get adequate sleep, our pain tolerance can decrease making existing pain feel much worse. One study followed a group of healthy middle-aged women who were purposefully deprived of the deepest stage of sleep for three days. These women showed increased levels of fatigue and discomfort and a decrease in pain tolerance. This suggests sleep deprivation plays a key role in the development in fibromyalgia symptoms.

Solutions For Better Sleep

Improving sleep quality can have a lasting impact on fibromyalgia pain. Creating and maintaining good sleep hygiene can help you manage your symptoms. Try the solutions below for a better night’s rest. As always, consult your physician regarding any pain and sleep disturbances you may be experiencing.

  • Make sleep a priority. Too often do we put sleep on the back burner when other parts of life become hectic. It is even more important for those with fibromyalgia to maintain a consistent sleep schedule and to be sure they get enough sleep each night.
  • Think cool, dark, and quiet in the bedroom. Heat can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep and chronic pain has also been known to increase in the presence sound.
  • Maintain a regular exercise routine. Low-impact exercise activities such as yoga, swimming, or walking have been shown to help reduce pain symptoms.
  • Get fitted for a pillow. By using a pillow that fits your body type and sleep style, your head and spine will be properly aligned for maximum comfort and pressure relief.
  • Invest in a quality mattress. Your mattress is the foundation on which quality sleep is built. Tempur-Pedic mattresses adapt to the shape of your body, relieving pressure points and preventing you from tossing and turning throughout the night.
  • Gentle massage or other relaxation techniques can help loosen stiff muscles while easing your mind of stress or worries that may keep you awake. Find full body relief and relaxation with our massage chairs or use our handheld massagers for targeting relief where you need it most.

Visit a local Relax The Back store to speak with a trained associate who can help you find product solutions to reduce pain and provide relief wherever you are. From your home, to your office, to your daily commute, there are solutions to your pain needs. Try numerous products and begin feeling a difference before you even leave the store. Relief is a visit away.

Starting May 15th through June 11th, save up to $600 on Tempur-Pedic Mattress Sets, up to $400 on mattresses and $200 on adjustable bases.

What Is Fibromyalgia and How To Cope

There are nearly 5 million people in the United States who suffer from fibromyalgia symptoms. While fibromyalgia is considered a common arthritis-related symptom, it is not a form of arthritis because it does not cause muscles, joints, and other tissues to become inflamed or damaged.

Fibromyalgia does cause significant pain, similar to arthritis, chronic headaches, insomnia, fatigue, abdominal pain, stiffness, and joint and muscle pain. Fibromyalgia sufferers not only experience physical pain, they also experience mental and emotional pain due to this condition.

While men and children can be affected with fibromyalgia, researchers have found that 80 to 90 percent of those diagnosed are women. Whether this is a result of shared environmental factors, hereditary genes, or both, there are no clear answers as to why this occurs.

While researchers are still searching for a cure for fibromyalgia, there are ways to resolve symptoms and cope with the daily challenges of living with this condition.

  • Make sleep a priority: Create an optimal sleep environment. Think cool, dark, and quiet. Quality pillows, like the ContourSleep Cervical Pillow, provide support for your head, neck, and spine while easing fibromyalgia pain. Invest in a pressure-relieving mattress, such as our TempurPedic Mattresses, which relieve pressure points and improve sleep.
  • Heat therapy: Heat helps to relax tense muscles, reduce pain, and allows you to move around more easily. Try soaking in a bath or using heat therapy products to ease tension, stiffness, and pain. Our MediBeads Moist Heat Pads provide fast, therapeutic relief for up to 30 minutes. Combine heat therapy with our Kneading Back Massage Cushion for deep tissue relief wherever you are.
  • Exercise regularly: Pain, fatigue, and stiffness can often cause a person suffering from fibromyalgia to put off exercising. However, engaging in regular exercises is a major factor in easing these symptoms. Exercise improves endurance, keeps you physically fit, and reduces pain. Conditioning and aerobic exercises, such as biking, walking, or swimming, improve your mood and provide feelings of control and well-being.

Read more about fibromyalgia in the helpful infographic below from Cleveland Clinic.

What is Fibromyalgia and How To Cope

Tips for Living with Fibromyalgia

Tips for Living with FibromyalgiaNearly 5 million people in the US alone suffer from fibromyalgia symptoms. Fibromyalgia is a common arthritis-related symptom that causes fatigue, abdominal pain, chronic headaches, insomnia, dry eyes, stiffness, and joint and muscle pain. Not only do sufferers of fibromyalgia experience physical pain, emotional and mental pain is also a result of this condition.

These tips can help you cope with the daily challenges of living with fibromyalgia:

  • Exercise Regularly: Many suffering from fibro become physically unfit due to pain, ongoing fatigue, and stiffness. However, according to the Arthritis Foundation, engaging in regular exercise is an important component in easing symptoms. Aerobic and conditioning exercises, such as swimming, biking, or walking, provide feelings of well-being and control. Exercise improves endurance, reduces pain, and keeps you fit.
  • Make Sleep a Priority: Ensure your bedroom is set up for optimal sleep conditions. Think cool, dark, and quiet. Invest in pillows, such as the ContourSleep Cervical Pillow, which provide support for your head, neck, and spine while easing fibro pain.. Pressure relieving mattresses, like TempurPedic, reduce pressure on tender points and improve restorative sleep.
  • Heat Therapy: Heat helps you to move more easily, relax tense muscles, and reduce pain. MediBeads Moist Heat Pads provide fast, therapeutic relief for up to 30 minutes. Soaking in a warm bath will also help relieve pain, increase levels of endorphins and decrease levels of stress hormones. Studies show a warm bath before bedtime aids in a more restful sleep. Combining heat therapy with a Kneading Back Massage Cushion provides similar benefits as a warm bath.
  • Find Family and Peer Support: If family members suffer from fibromyalgia, look to them for support and advice through this syndrome. Local support groups can provide this same type of guidance; half educational, half support system. Meeting others with the same condition can provide an emotional boost, as well as encouragement and pain relief tips. Don’t see a local group in your area? Start your own!
  • Minimize stress: Many people see their fibro symptoms flare when they are feeling nervous, panicked, or anxious. These stresses can play a big role in triggering these flare-ups. Consider adding meditation to your daily routine to help keep stress levels down. Learn to slow down and say “no” to engagements that may cause more stress than happiness.

 

Fibromyalgia

presented-by-spine-universeFibromyalgia, a chronic pain disorder, primarily affects women.  It is characterized by tender points located over the neck, elbows, chest, back, hips, buttocks, and knees.  There are a total of 18 tender points and a patient may be diagnosed with fibromyalgia if 11 tender points are detected.  Each tender point is small and may easily be highly sensitive even to slight finger pressure.

Researchers and doctors do not completely understand fibromyalgia including the cause(s) and best way to diagnose the disorder.  Many patients with fibromyalgia also suffer with depression.  Besides tender points, anxiety and depression, patients may experience widespread pain, fatigue, and sleep difficulties.

Talk with your doctor
Much time may elapse between when you begin to experience symptoms and when your doctor can make a diagnosis of fibromylagia.  Your doctor collects and compares information gathered while talking with you about your medical history and past and existing symptoms.  A physical and neurological examination looks for limitations of movement, balance difficulties, and what exacerbates and relieves pain.  During the exam he tests your reflexes, muscle strength, sensations, or other signs of neurologic loss.  Your doctor may order imaging studies such as plain x-ray, CT, or MRI.  Special lab testing may be needed.

Treatment

A combination of medications, physical therapy, exercise, stress management, emotional therapy, and acupuncture may be recommended to help treat and manage symptoms.

  • Medications may include anti-depressants, sleep promoting drugs, muscle relaxants, non-narcotic analgesics, and narcotic drugs.  More recently, anti-seizure medication has shown to be effective in the treatment off fibromyalgia.
  • Physical therapy helps improve flexibility, build strength, and endurance.  Therapeutic exercises and those that become part of a home exercise program, can help improve pain and mood.
  • Passive physical therapies include heat, deep tissue massage, and ultrasound.
  • Stress management is important to relieve fatigue, frustration, and pain.
  • Emotional therapy develops positive thinking, feelings of well-being, and builds coping skills.  Group support can help patients share their problems and solutions.
  • Acupuncture is a whole body holistic approach.  It helps to release endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers.

Your treatment may include information to help you correct any problems with your posture and body mechanics.  Correct posture at rest and during activity can you help prevent injury.

Tips for Living with Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a common arthritis-related illness. Fatigue, insomnia, abdominal pain, stiffness, chronic headaches, dry eyes, muscle and joint pain are symptoms of this disease, which affects 12 million people in the US alone. Besides physical pain, there is a mental and emotional component as well. Many fibromyalgia sufferers experience social isolation, loneliness, and depression as a result of their condition.

Below are some ways to cope if you have fibromyalgia.

Get better sleep. Make sure your bedroom is free from distractions. TV, pets, tick-tocking clocks – all of these can throw off your sleep pattern. For reducing fibromyalgia-related insomnia, create a sleep environment that is calm, quiet, and at a slightly cooler temperature. Your bedding is hugely important for getting better sleep as well. A pressure-relieving mattress that reduces pressure points can be particularly beneficial. Tempur-Pedic specializes in these kind of mattresses, which conform to your unique contours in a way that traditional mattresses do not.

Exercise. Because of the pain and fatigue symptoms, it’s not uncommon for people with fibromyalgia to become unfit through lack of exercise. Aerobic exercise, however, is a good way to reduce pain and stay fit. Strenuous exercise, the kind that improves endurance and stamina, helps release endorphins into the blood stream, which provide feelings of well being. Endorphins also have an analgesic effect on tired, achy muscles. With regular exercise, you can curtail fibromyalgia symptoms noticeably.

Learn to say “no.” This may sound like an odd tip for fibromyalgia. However, learning to say no can help prevent you from feeling tired and overburdened. Life presents us with seemingly limitless demands on our time and energy, so it’s important to prioritize. Take time for the things you value, but trying to do everything can leave you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Keep in mind, too, that constant tiredness makes it harder to heal. To stay on top of fibromyalgia, learn to say no every now and then. Your body will thank you.

Heat therapy. Heat relaxes muscles and encourages blood flow, both essential for speedy healing. Good circulation also helps remove built up waste left by muscle spasms, a frequent fibromyalgia symptom. Perhaps the most welcome effect of heat therapy is pain reduction. Whether using a heating pad or a moist, warm cloth, heat therapy can relieve chronic aches and pains.

Meet others with fibromyalgia. Oftentimes, people with fibromyalgia feel alienated or depressed because of the severity of their symptoms. It can be difficult to talk about, so we recommend finding a fibromyalgia support group. Talking with others going through the same thing can provide a emotional boost. A support group can also be a great resource for pain-relief tips and encouragement. Many health care providers also endorse support group participation as a way to reduce stress and improve coping skills.