Fibromyalgia is a type of chronic pain that can lead to long, unexpected flare-ups of severe pain that keep you immobilized. It is a very difficult condition to have because others can’t see how much pain you are in, while you are barely able to function in your daily life.
This article is going to explain more about flare-ups, and give you some tips on dealing with them.
What is a Fibromyalgia Flare-Up?
First of all, it helps to know exactly what a fibromyalgia flare-up. This is when you suddenly start experiencing pain and stiffness in your joints, which if you have had this chronic condition for a while, are already very experienced in what that is like.
The flare-up can occur at any time, even without warning, but are often caused by triggers. Different chronic pain disorders have different triggers, as well as being different depending on the individual. The best way to figure out your personal triggers is to keep note of the flare-ups in a journal, and write down what you were doing or eating shortly before it occurred.
Over time, you will be able to see a clear pattern and most likely figure out when the flare-ups tend to occur the most often.
Are You Sleeping Enough?
Sleep is essential to healing. During sleep the body shuts down and goes into a repair phase so that it can attend to whatever damage has been done during the day. This is also the time to rest the mind, and replace over-worked cells in the body. If you don’t sleep, these processes don’t take place and can leave you feeling fatigued. What is very serious about this, is that you aren’t just tired, but you are also tired on a cellular level. This stress could result in a serious flare-up that makes rest nearly impossible.
How Much Caffeine Do You Consume?
Even though having a coffee is seen as a normal part of most people’s routine, you could be leading yourself down the path in the opposite direction of where you want to be health-wise. Caffeine and other stimulants can exert stress on your system, causing you to experience inflammation. Instead of using stimulants, it would be preferable for you to get energy by eating vitamin rich fruits and vegetables. These foods give real energy and won’t give you an intense crash when your body has run out of the chemicals.
Do You Have a Lot of Stress?
If you’ve recently encountered some feeling of loss, and emotional upheaval, it can trigger a flare-up. It’s very important to find ways to channel grief, and release stress. Intense emotions can cause inflammation even without fibromyalgia, so it’s highly necessary to effectively deal with stress.
What You Can Do
If you want to start reducing flare-ups from your fibromyalgia, follow these simple tips:
Avoid Emotional Stress: Emotional stress can trigger a host of negative effects from Fibromyalgia. When you are stressed, muscles will be tightened and inflammation could surely follow. Keep yourself calm, and your body will be more suited to heal itself and reduce pain. Do what you need to in order to begin reducing your stress levels.
Avoid Caffeine: Caffeine is a substance that can ramp up the body’s natural stress response. It would be a good idea to avoid putting anything like that in your system, because stress will often immediately translate into pain.
Learn Effective Communication: It is very important to become very skilled at letting people know what your limitations are. This maintenance will go very far to help you to preserve relationships with close friends, relatives, spouses, and so forth. Don’t leave people in the dark because they won’t understand your limitations unless you tell them. Be open and honest about how you feel.
Don’t Allow Obligation to Take Precedent: Be okay with telling people no. Remember that you are your own person. If you allow others to control you, your stress will be off the charts. If you allow others to manage your time, it will become very easy for others around you to take more than you give yourself. Make sure you leave some time for you. If you don’t stand for yourself, others might not either.
Observe Relaxation Periods: One of the things that few people tend to do, is to allow themselves time to relax. Life can be very busy, but if you’re not running on 100%, then things in your life will begin to suffer. Remember that you can only do so much in a day. Be okay with putting off some things for tomorrow, but never put off your health for tomorrow. If you can take some time to allow yourself to heal, you can reduce stress, and in doing so, reduce some pain.
You can learn more about fibromyalgia by visiting the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA)’s website.
Please be sure to consult your doctor if you think you have fibromyalgia. Don’t give up! There is always support!!