It's not easy living with fibromyalgia. Aside from the constant pain, fatigue, and mood swings, you also have to worry about flare-ups. A fibromyalgia flare-up can knock you off your feet for days or even weeks.
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Typical symptoms that are intensified:
Pain is one of the worst fibromyalgia symptoms. Most of the muscles in your body are aching and painful. Since the pain is widespread, it makes life more difficult and even debilitating.
Stiffness often happens upon waking. The entire body feels taut and inflexible.
Fibro fog, or brain fog, is used to describe the confusion and lack of mental clarity when a flare-up occurs. As a result, your focus and memory are adversely affected.
You have difficulty falling asleep, and you often wake up feeling fatigued when you do.
You feel anxious, depressed, and irritable.
You're exceptionally mentally and physically tired.
When you live with fibromyalgia, flare-ups seem to appear out of nowhere. The best way to manage fibromyalgia symptom flare-ups is to prevent them.
We can do this by removing any trigger foods from our diet, relieving stress, staying hydrated, and keeping active. Prevention is our first defense.
THINGS THAT CAN CONTRIBUTE TO FLARE-UPS:
Sleep is essential to healing. During sleep, the body rests and goes into a repair mood to attend to any damage done during the day.
Sleep is also the time for the mind to relax and replace overworked cells in the body. If you don’t sleep well, these processes are impaired and can leave you feeling exhausted.
What is very serious about this is that you aren’t just tired but also tired on a cellular level. This stress could result in a severe flare-up that makes rest nearly impossible.
If you’ve recently encountered feelings of loss and emotional upheaval, it can trigger a flare-up. Therefore, it’s imperative to find ways to channel grief and release stress.
Intense emotions can cause inflammation even without fibromyalgia, so it’s necessary to deal with stress effectively.
While there are many valuable foods among fruits and vegetables, vegetables from the nightshade family can cause inflammation. These can include various types of peppers like bell peppers and jalapenos.
Simple carbs like sugar can also be a source of inflammation, so cutting back on them would be a good idea for you if you want to avoid flare-ups.
Fibromyalgia flare-ups, often known as "fibro flares" or fibro flare-ups," can last days, weeks, or even months.
During this time, life can seem unbearable due to the intensity of symptoms and not knowing when the flare-up will subside. But don't worry; there are ways to recover from a flare-up quickly. Here are five of them.
5 WAYS TO RECOVER FAST FROM A FLARE-UP:
1. MASSAGE THERAPY
Find a qualified masseuse to give you a gentle massage. It will be relaxing and help enhance the production of certain pain blockers, including endorphins, serotonin, and norepinephrine. These hormones work to counteract pain signals conducted by the brain, explaining why massage offers such dramatic pain relief.
A massage can also help improve blood circulation to your muscles, which can help bring pain relief, faster muscle repair, increased flexibility, increased range of motion, reduced pain, reduced stiffness, and improved sleep.
2. GET MORE REST
Try to rest by sleeping more, working less, and spending more time just relaxing by doing self-care activities.
It's important to remember that when you live with fibromyalgia, you should be taking time every day to relieve stress to help avoid a flare.
If you haven't been doing this and dealing with flares, then it's a good time to start prioritizing self-care, learning to rest, and de-stress.
To prevent or reduce the intensity of your fibromyalgia flares, add regular rest periods into your day, regardless of how you feel. Scheduled rest is an essential preventive measure. Take time to lie down with your eyes closed in a quiet place.
In addition, taking regular rest can help lower the intensity of pain and fatigue and increase your level of control over fibromyalgia.
3. USE HEAT THERAPY
Heat therapy often works to help decrease fibromyalgia muscle pain. The heat helps relax your muscles and helps increase blood flow through your body. Heat therapy is beneficial if cold temperature triggers muscle or joint pain.
Here are several heat treatments for fibromyalgia flare-ups:
Take a morning hot bath or shower to get your blood flowing and muscles relaxed; this will help you feel less stiff and sore.
Add Epsom Salts to your bath to accelerate relief from muscle aches and pains. Try the highly-rated Epsoak Epsom Salt Bath Soak - it works like magic!
Apply a heating pad, heat pack, or another warm heat source while you rest to maintain warmth.
Applying hot compresses to the parts of your body that hurt the most.
An infrared sauna blanket is also an excellent way to cover larger body areas.
Remember: When using heat therapy, always monitor heat treatments and adjust the temperature depending on your body's reaction to maintain a comfortable heat level.
When you have a fibromyalgia flare-up, you probably spend time wondering what caused it, what it was that you did recently or ate that may have caused this latest increase in symptoms. New symptoms may also present themselves, and one has to wonder what the heck causes something else to start hurting so terribly.
Journaling for fibromyalgia helps you to stop playing a guessing game and learn how to avoid flares and why new symptoms appeared. Finally, you can take some control back from fibromyalgia.
A journal will help you know your fibromyalgia symptoms, track the frequency and intensity of your symptoms, and monitor patterns and triggers that may be causing the flare-ups.
In addition, it will give you the keys to knowing what you need to do or not do to prevent future incidences.
Record what you eat, how long you sleep, your stress levels, etc. It's a good idea to do this even when you don't have a flare-up.
You should also write down your daily activities and how you feel during and after the activities to monitor if a particular activity triggers a symptom flare-up.
In identifying triggers, you can gain back some control over your life through diet and lifestyle modifications, understanding your body's sensitivities, and in turn, reducing fibromyalgia flare-ups.
5. REDUCE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Exercise is fantastic for strengthening the body, keeping it supple, and aiding weight management. However, taking things down a notch during a flare may be wise. Do not push yourself beyond your point of comfort. If you wish to do some light exercise, engage in stretching, restorative yoga, or light walking.
The goal is to do what you can without unnecessary exertion. Pushing past your comfort zone is NOT recommended during a flare-up.
Mobility aids, such as knee braces, canes, or a walker, are helpful for walking and support if your fibromyalgia flare symptoms limit your mobility.
To conclude, besides the tips above, you can try other methods such as acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy, and meditation. There are many holistic treatments out there, but the success of these methods used for fibromyalgia is unknown.
Nevertheless, I encourage you not to dismiss them if you've not tried them. We are unique individuals, and while acupuncture may not affect one person, it may bring immense relief to another. But, of course, we'll only know if we try.
Lastly, always speak to your doctor about changes in your condition and any holistic treatments you plan to try.