Fibromyalgia is a recurring and painful condition that occurs in the muscles, ligaments, tendons and the tender points in the body. The pain is often accompanied with feelings of fatigue and lethargy in the body.
Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia
People suffering with fibromyalgia often experience excruciating pain in the neck, the upper back including the shoulders, the upper chest, lower back, elbows, hips and the thighs. The pain is felt in these places even on application of slight pressure.
Some Other Symptoms And Conditions Associated With Fibromyalgia Are:
• Irritable Bowel Syndrome
• High Anxiety Levels
• Restless Leg Syndrome
• Headaches that lead to migraine
• TMJ Disorders
• Numbness or tingling in hands and feet
• Lack of concentration
• Severe abdominal pain during menstruation
• Jaw Pain
• Increased reaction to smell, noise, touch and powerful lights.
These symptoms of fibromyalgia can be triggered off or worsen due to stress, poor nutrition, lack of sleep and even with slight changes in the climate. The condition is considered a syndrome rather than a disease because people suffering from it have varying symptoms.
Treatment For Fibromyalgia
Medically, the condition is treated by prescribing medicines that are a combination of anti-inflammatory, anti-depression and muscle relaxers. Medicines like amitrriptyline (brand name Elavil) or cyclbenzaprine hydrochloride (brand name Flexeril) are mainly used during the treatment.
However, these medicines are anti-depressants and have side effects like weight gain, urinary retention and fatigue early in the morning. If a patient experiences any of these side effects his/her medications are changed. Due to the side effects it is better to use natural remedies for treating fibromyalgia rather than depending on doctor prescribed medicines.
Natural Treatment For Fibromyalgia
1. Eating a well-balanced diet goes a long way in treating the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. However, along with eating a nutritious diet it is also important to avoid certain foods that may act as catalysts to the condition. It is recommended that people suffering from fibromyalgia should avoid meat and its products, milk and its products, foods high in saturated fats content, processed foods, shellfish, foods made from white flour, caffeine including coffee and alcohol and sugar and its products.
These foods do not add any nutrition to the body and simply act as triggers to most of the symptoms of the condition. Initially you might feel the withdrawal symptoms after giving up these foods; however, you will soon begin to notice a marked improvement in your condition.
2. Your diet should consist mainly of fresh fruits and vegetables. Try eating the vegetables in their raw form to get the maximum benefit. Whole grains, cereals, skinless chicken and turkey, flax seeds and deep water fish are the foods that should comprise your daily diet. These foods not only provide the body with much needed nutrition but also help boost the immunity.
High level of immunity will help the body fight the fibromyalgia triggers better. Drinking plenty of water and herbal teas will help flush out the toxins from the body which can often trigger the condition. However, it is important to eat six small well-balanced meals instead of three large meals in a day; this keeps up a regular supply of proteins and carbohydrates to your body, both of which are important for keeping the muscles healthy and strong.
3. There are many herbs which can relieve the symptoms associated with the condition. We recommend:
• Astragalus, ginkgo and Echinacea for increasing blood circulation in the body. The herbs are also beneficial for higher mental alertness and for boosting the immune system. Teas made using burdock root, red clover and dandelion will also give added immunity to the body. Drink at least 3-5 cups of these herbal teas through the day.You could also drink infusion of these herbs if you can lay your hands on the fresh variety instead of the dried and powdered ones available in health food stores.
• Application of paste of cayenne powder and wintergreen oil is helpful for easing the muscular pain. Combine the two ingredients in one is to three ratios respectively to prepare the paste. Massage the paste over your aching tendons and muscles. The treatment should be done at least twice a day if you live in hot climatic conditions; four times a day if your area experiences harsh winters. Taking cayenne in capsule form will also help relieve the aching muscles. Flax seed oil is beneficial for treating the muscular pain as well.
• Get proper sleep by drinking tea made from skullcap or roots of Valeria. Prepare the skullcap tea by steeping two teaspoons of dried skullcap leaves in 250ml of hot water. Steep the leaves for not more than 20 minutes. Strain and drink the infusion by adding a teaspoon of honey.
Valerian tea is prepared by steeping 2 teaspoons of dried and diced root of Valeria in 250ml of boiling water. Steep the root for at least 8 hours. Both the herbs are available in health food stores and come in tincture form. Remember, not to drink more than two cups of the teas in a day as both the herbs can cause extreme drowsiness.
• To protect the muscles from any damage due to the condition of fibromyalgia one must take a capsule of grape seed extract daily.
4. Fibromyalgia is also treated by a combination of relevant exercises. Along with exercising it is also important to get adequate rest to treat the condition effectively. Some good exercises for reducing the occurrence of fibromyalgia are stationary biking, swimming, brisk walking and low impact aerobics. These exercises should be done 3-4 times a week for not less than 30 minutes and not more than 60 minutes. It is important to perform warm up and cool down exercises before and after exercising. This will help in prevention of injury to the muscles and bones.
Exercising will also help you sleep better at night; at least eight hours of sleep every night is important for treating the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. Sometimes massages, warm compresses and physical therapy also provide short-term relief from muscle ache.