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.
Neck pain is never a pleasant experience. Tense, sore muscles make it difficult to do even the simplest everyday tasks. A stiff neck can also make it harder to get a restful night’s sleep. There are a number of different reasons you may be experiencing this pain. Thankfully, there are also numerous ways to treat non-severe neck pain.
Here are a few common reasons you may have a stiff neck.
Causes of a stiff neck
- Injury: Any accident that causes your head and neck to jerk around forcibly could lead to stiffness due to injured muscles and ligaments in your neck. A fall, car collision, or getting hit while playing sports are possible instances where this type of injury would occur.
- Pinched nerve: A pinched nerve can be caused by accidents where you herniate a disk or by arthritis. In these cases, neck stiffness can radiate into your arms and your legs.
- Stress: Every one’s body handles stress differently. While some may feel back pain, grind their teeth, or get tension headaches, others may carry their stress in the upper back and neck. Stress can cause muscle to become tense. If you are feeling stiffness in your neck, consider your stress levels as a potential cause.
- Fibromyalgia: This common arthritis-related symptom causes joint and muscle pain, fatigue, and stiffness. If you suffer from fibromyalgia, try these tips to help cope.
- Muscle Spasm: Repetitive activity or any movements that puts your neck in an awkward position for a prolonged amount of time can cause neck muscles to spasm. For example, having your computer screen placed too high causing you to look up to do work could cause neck stiffness.
At- Home treatment for neck pain
- Ice and heat therapy: Within the first 48 -72 hours, use cold therapy tools, such as the PROTOCOLD Therapy Pads, to reduce inflammation. After this time period, soothing heat will keep inflammation down, improve blood circulation, and release tension in your neck muscles. Try our Far Infrared Heat Wrap to find relief.
- Ergonomics: Proper workstation setup is key to having a productive, pain-free day. Everything from your monitor placement, to where you put your mouse, to the height of your chair will affect comfort levels as well as how much strain is placed on your muscles and joints. Here are a few tips to setting up an ergonomic workstation.
- Exercise: Simple stretches can help relieve tension and reduce stiffness in your neck.
- Pillows: Use a supportive pillow that is fitted to your body type to avoid strain and discomfort throughout the night. The proper pillow aligns your head and spine for maximum comfort and pressure relief.
- Massage: Gentle massage helps to increase blood flow to neck muscles to release tension and provide comfort. Our Epulse Neck and Shoulder Massager’s body-hugging design provides targeted relief.
We recommend consulting a physician if your pain is extreme or you find your symptoms worsening. It is always important to speak with a doctor before starting any new routines or health regimens.
As the temperatures begin to drop, you may notice aches and pains starting to flare up or feel worse than usual. Some studies and polls have shown that pain worsens during cold or damp weather. When it’s cold, your muscles become tense, your nerve endings are more sensitive, and there can be a change in joint fluid thickness. All of these can lead to flare-ups or aggravated pain.
Fortunately, there are a number of different ways to combat the cold. While we cannot control the temperatures from dropping, we can implement a few of the following tips to help keep our body healthy and avoid pain during the colder months of the year.
- Maintain A Workout Routine: Whether at home or in a community gym, staying active will help prevent pain by keep muscles strong and flexible. Core exercises are great as they work the muscles that support your spine and keep back pain at bay.
- Stretch Often: In addition to maintaining a regular workout routine, stretching throughout the day helps you stay limber while avoiding tense muscles. Try simple stretches when you wake up in the morning and right before you go to bed at night. Decompress and stretch with a Lumbar Extender or Core Stretch
- Dress The Part: Wear proper footwear outside when there is water or snow on the ground to avoid falls. Also, be sure to wear layers and dress warm.
- Move Around: From watching TV to staying warm near a fire, we tend to spend more time sitting during the colder months. Move around during commercial breaks or do some stretching after finishing a warm cup of tea. Moving throughout the day, even just around the house, can help you avoid pain.
- Eat Healthy: While easier said than done, eating in moderation will help keep extra holiday weight away. When our bodies gain weight, stress is put on our joints and muscles, which can lead to back and knee pain.
- Stay Hydrated: We don’t often think about water as often when it’s colder out but it is just as important, if not more important, to drink plenty of water during this time of year. Keeping our joints and muscles lubricated is key to avoiding and preventing pain.
- Try Heat Therapy: If you are experiencing pain and discomfort, heat therapy is a great way to relieve aches and tension. Our Far Infrared Deluxe Pad provides long lasting relief from your neck down to your toes.
- Pace Yourself: From racking leaves to shoveling snow, cold weather chores can take a toll on our bodies. Take breaks often and pay attention to form to avoid straining muscles in your back, neck, or knees.
While pain is a common complaint during this time of year, these tips to avoid pain during the fall and winter months. Visit your local Relax The Back location to speak with a trained expert who can help you prepare for these colder months with products that will provide lasting relief. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for more pain relief tips.