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The standard treatments for this condition include antidepressants, painkillers, and anti-seizure drugs. This, however, is not a cure. The purpose of these medications is to reduce symptoms of fibromyalgia. In some cases even, these treatments do not provide the expected results.
The truth is, there is no single treatment for fibromyalgia. This is something that is done consistently, with a team approach of both medical personnel and experts and the person suffering from it.
There are numerous drugs used for fibromyalgia pain relief:
- Painkillers: over the counter drugs such as Tylenol to prescription medicines, even narcotics for severe pain.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs: Also known as NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal drugs. These drugs include ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen sodium and work on inhibiting prostaglandins. This is a substance that causes pain and inflammation. The purpose of these drugs is to relieve muscle aches and menstrual cramps.
- Antidepressants help elevate the serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the nervous system. These two elements can cause depression, pain, and fatigue when at low levels.
- These drugs can help relax the muscles and release the pain. Additionally, they can stabilize the brain waves that erratically interfere with sleep. Additionally, drugs such as valium may help relieve symptoms of restless legs syndrome.
Natural remedies for fibromyalgia
Aside from drugs and prescribe treatments, natural remedies are now more and more commonly used to release fibromyalgia pain. Let’s have a look at the top natural treatments recommended for this condition:
According to Dr. Weil, exercise is proven to be one of the best natural treatments when it comes to fibromyalgia. Sure, the pain in the muscles may worsen during the exercising period, but it dissipates within 30 minutes. The most effective exercises in this case are:
- Low-impact aerobics (swimming, walking or using cardiovascular machines)
2. Good sleeping habits
It is a known fact that good sleep can greatly influence the health of any individual, but this is also one of the best methods of reducing pain. Having regular sleeping habits can additionally help with improving both mood and energy levels.
3. Relaxation techniques
There are two main relaxation techniques that are recommended for fibromyalgia pain release:
Yoga can be seen both as a type of exercise and a way to relieve the stress. This activity involves a lot of stretching that improves circulation and decreases inflammation. The patients suffering from Fibromyalgia can benefit from both the meditative part as well as the physical part of this technique. Doctor Camilleri has stated: “Yoga is one of my favorite alternative fibromyalgia treatments to suggest to patients.”
Practicing yoga regularly has shown to ease fibromyalgia symptoms. A research conducted at the Oregon Health and Science University also confirmed that yoga exercises can reduce the pain from fibromyalgia.
Another study conducted in 2011 came up with the same results. Patients were asked to take 75-minute yoga class two times a week for approximately eight weeks and this resulted in them experiencing less pain. Additionally, their cortisol level was greatly decreased.
Dr. Daniel Lewis, an Australian rheumatologist thinks that meditation changes the way the brain processes pain signals. Also, he suggests that this technique may greatly change the way the brain functions.
4. Acupuncture and massage
Both these techniques are helpful in the process of relieving Fibromyalgia pain.
- Acupuncture is a Chinese treatment used from ancient times. This process includes very thin needles that are used to treat various conditions and ease the pain. This process is often recommended for people who suffer from this condition, but there are still many discussions that claim the opposite.
In 2006, fibromyalgia patients were included in research that split them into two groups, out of which the first one received acupuncture treatments. The group that used acupuncture as a method experienced increased anxiety levels and improved fatigue.
Additionally, a 2013 meta-analysis performed on 395 Fibromyalgia patients gave the same result. Patients were found to suffer from improved pain and stiffness in muscles.
Camilleri has claimed: “Acupuncture is not a slam-dunk fibromyalgia treatment, but very much worth trying,” . This treatment is known to increase blood flow to the inflamed areas and can often release fibromyalgia symptoms.
If you decide to opt for this treatment, you must be certain that you chose an experienced practitioner that will really help you relieve the pain.
- A massage is yet another effective method of treating fibromyalgia. A couple of scientists have confirmed it to be a good, effective pain-relieving therapy. However, the tissue of fibromyalgia patients is highly sensitive and some people suffering from this condition may find massages painful. Therefore, it is crucial that one finds an eloquent, experienced therapist that uses light pressure.
5. Tai Chi
Tai Chi is also an ancient Chinese natural treatment. This activity involves slow, gentle body movements that have proven to ease fibromyalgia symptoms in people. A research has shown that people practicing Tai Chi experienced pain release, slept better, and lowered depression levels. This method is longer lasting than others since its results can still be seen after as long as 24 weeks after the last activity.
Tai Chi is originally a Chinese martial art that combines breathing techniques, graceful movements, relaxation, and meditation. Herman Castro – Rueda, MD, a Mission Internal Medical Group rheumatologist located in Mission Viejo, Calif presented the results of a recently conducted study that compares standard fibromyalgia treatments to Tai Chi treatment. The results showed that people who practiced this technique showed significant improvement in both controls of symptoms and quality of life.
6. Proper nutrition and supplements
There are many nutrition and supplement tips for fibromyalgia treatment available:
- A healthy diet that is rich in whole grains and organic fruits and vegetables. These can greatly help your body fight the pain and improve the healing system.
- A diet that does not involve polyunsaturated vegetable oils, vegetable shortening, margarine and everything that may contain trans-fatty acids. Instead, use extra-virgin olive oil.
- Increased omega-3 fatty acids intake
- Regular consummation of turmeric and ginger. These provide you with anti-inflammatory effects.
- A daily dosage of 250 mg of magnesium and 600-700 mg of calcium. These can help relax muscles and release pain.
- 5-HTP intake (5-Hydroxytryptophan) helps with low levels of serotonin. The low levels of serotonin lead to bad mood and depression and this supplement presents a building block for increasing the serotonin levels. A study found that this supplement may also ease insomnia, fibromyalgia pain, morning stiffness, and anxiety.
According to three studies conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center, this supplement may greatly improve fibromyalgia symptoms that include fatigue, morning stiffness, pain, and anxiety. Scientists nowadays believe that 5-HTP is a natural way to fight depression and is presented as an alternative to anti-depressants. This is due to the fact that it raises serotonin levels and balances abnormal brain function.
- SAMe intake (S-Adenosyl –L –Methionine) is an amino acid derivative that boosts serotonin and dopamine levels. Dopamine is yet another brain chemical that if increased, can help improve both the mood and sleep in people suffering from fibromyalgia.
- Magnesium intake is recommended with people who suffer from fibromyalgia. This supplement is known to, in combination with other treatments, help patients experience less pain and gain more energy.
- Vitamin D is known to help everyone, but recent researches have shown that it provides good results to people with fibromyalgia. Why? Because Vitamin D is known to help with muscle pain and many studies have shown that even though it is not a miracle cure, it can greatly help fibromyalgia treatments when combined with other activities and supplements. It is best to be taken with food.
The recommended dosage for everyone is 200 to 400 international units daily, but for fibromyalgia treatment, it is recommended up to 5000 IU daily.
Additionally, vitamin D can be received from sun exposure, so try to adjust the dosage for winter and summer.
If you are considering supplements as a natural treatment for fibromyalgia, consult your doctor first. There are some supplements that can react badly with the medications you are currently taking or can be unsafe with some medical conditions. Pellegrino advices on regular doctor consultation when it comes to natural remedies that treat fibromyalgia. He says: ‘’It’s important for a person with fibromyalgia to work with a doctor who is knowledgeable about supplements.”
Having this condition is not an easy thing for anyone and the constant irritating pain can often increase your anxiety levels and make your life highly stressful. The truth is, there is no certain fibromyalgia cure so far and individuals react differently to the various methods of curing this condition. In order to treat fibromyalgia, you must take a look at all the options you have available and discuss them with your doctor. You should try and make a plan that is both good for your overall health and your fibromyalgia problems. Try out some of the most commonly recommended natural remedies for fibromyalgia treatment as an addition to the medication you are taking. With the proper combination of exercise, meditation, and nutrition, you may find the perfect solution for your muscle pain problems.