Fibromyalgia can cause more than just muscle fatigue and pain. It can seriously impact your mood and quality of life. If you’re struggling with insomnia, depression, or anxiety, then relaxation techniques may be able to help you find peace, alleviate pain, and get better sleep.
At CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center, our team of board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists works closely with patients suffering from fibromyalgia to find ways to lessen pain. In this blog, we explain different techniques you can use to help reduce fibromyalgia symptoms.
The importance of rest and relaxation
The exact cause of fibromyalgia is not understood well, and there are few treatments for the condition itself. Instead, doctors use painkillers, antidepressants, and sleep aids to alleviate symptoms. However, taking a holistic approach to your health can help mitigate pain with fewer risks and side effects.
Restful sleep and relaxation is more important than you may think, especially if you suffer from chronic pain. Pain causes stress and tension in the body, which only leads to more pain, and this feeds a vicious cycle. While a good night’s sleep won’t solve your symptoms, practicing relaxation techniques may help alleviate them.
Relaxation techniques for fibromyalgia
When you think of “relaxation techniques,” you probably conjure up images of a warm bath, an episode of your favorite show, or a nap in a hammock. While these are important forms of self-care and relaxation, they aren’t techniques. Techniques are active changes that can help you lead a less stressful, more restful lifestyle. Here are a few examples.
Try meditative breathing
Meditation won’t completely take away your pain, but meditative breathing may help you lower your heart rate and blood pressure. And this, in turn, may help you manage your pain levels and perception of pain.
Lay off the coffee
This might sound sacreligious if you’re a fan of expensive brews and cafes, but caffeine has been linked to increased anxiety, insomnia, and fibromyalgia pain. While you don’t need to cut coffee out of your life entirely, try to limit yourself to a cup or two per day.
Manage your anxiety
Stress and anxiety are inevitable parts of life, but how you handle stressors can seriously impact your pain levels. Try to limit stress where you can, and don’t be afraid to turn down requests and invitations. Furthermore, remind yourself to untense your body, unclench your jaw, and straighten your posture.
Practice good sleep hygiene
In the age of televisions, computers, and smartphones, sleep hygiene is at an all-time low. Try to limit screen time an hour or two before bed, and read a book instead.
While staying in bed is tempting when you’re struggling with chronic pain, try to get up and move to another area of the house during the day. This will make it easier to fall asleep once you’re in bed.
Finding additional solutions
Those are just a few relaxation techniques you can incorporate into your daily life, but it’s important to remember that home remedies can only do so much. If you struggle with fibromyalgia, it’s important to have a doctor on your side.
At CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center, our specialists work together with patients to find solutions that work for them, both holistically and medically.
To schedule a consultation, call the location closest to you or request an appointment online.
Our Maryland offices are located in Hyattsville, Gaithersburg, Lanham, Dundalk, Oxon Hill, Rosedale, and Olney, and we have two offices in Baltimore.