Tag 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

National Physical Therapy Month: #ChoosePT

blog-pt-month

October is National Physical Therapy Month. Each year, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) recognize and celebrate physical therapists assistants and physical therapists who help improve people’s lives through movement. Physical therapists also help people who are suffering from osteoporosis, stroke, sprains, arthritis, and so much more.

This October’s campaign is focused on choosing physical therapy over opioid pain medication. #ChoosePT raises awareness of America’s opioid epidemic and the dangers of prescription opioids while providing information on safer alternatives for treating chronic pain conditions.

Since 1999, sales of prescription opioids have quadrupled even though the amount of pain that Americans report has not changed overall. In relation, as many as 1 in 4 people who receive prescription opioids long term, for non-cancer pain, struggle with addiction. These are just a few of the staggering statistics of opioid use in America.

In response to these recent studies the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidelines and recommendations for prescribing medication. It is understood that if properly dosed, prescription opioids are an appropriate treatment option in certain cases such as cancer treatment, palliative care, end-of-life care, and certain acute care situations.

For other pain management situations, Physical Therapy is recommended as a safe, non-opioid alternative. Move Forward PT provides a few reasons why patients should choose physical therapy over pain medication:

  • If the risks of opioid use outweigh the rewards: Potential side effects of opioids include, but are not limited to, depression, overdose, addiction, and withdrawal symptoms when stopping use. With these risks in mind, the CDC guideline states, “opioids should not be considered first-line or routine therapy for chronic pain”.
  • If patients want to do more than mask pain: Physical therapists treat pain through movement, helping patients improve or maintain their mobility and quality of life. Physical therapy offers benefits that will help patients live a pain-free and active life for many years while opioids offer a short-term solution to reduce the feeling of pain.
  • If pain is related to low back pain, hip or knee osteoarthritis, or fibromyalgia: The CDC explains there is “high-quality evidence” that supports exercise as an effective treatment plan for these types of conditions.
  • If pain lasts 90 days: If you are suffering from pain symptoms for 90 days or more, it is considered “chronic”. This leads to an increased risk for continued opioid use. The CDC guidelines recommend and prefer non-opioid therapies, such as physical therapy, for chronic pain.

If you’re suffering from pain and discomfort, consult your doctor and ask about all treatment options including non-opioid therapies. The APTA also makes it easy to find a physical therapist in your area.

Follow along all month on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for more physical therapy tips and information.

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.