I find there are a few reasons our bodies hurt, for me I’ve put them in to 3 categories:-
- Psychological; for instance when I get stressed or I am under pressure, say from work, my brain then relays this into physical pain into my weak spots – my spine.
- Not using pacing; doing too many activities and not resting enough, again my brain warns me by creating physical pain, mostly into my weak spots, my spine or all over aches and pains in my muscles or skin pain by touch, allodynia.
- An injury, say from twisting my body or falling over. I find that with fibro I hurt a lot by just simple acts I performed before I had fibro which might never have caused any lasting pain.
It’s important to understand which of these we feel during a flare up. For example when I developed fibromyalgia and I didn’t know I had it and I was sure I had another serious problem with my back. The pain was actually my heightened sensitivity to pain and the fact I was trying to undertake lots of activities such as before I had back surgery. But when I learnt I had developed fibro I realised that my back did not need further investigation and that I had to learn to pace myself and I understood that my brain was increasing the pain signals through my nervous system instead of in a non fibro sufferer reducing the pain signals.
An example would be falling and hurting your ankle with a sprain that Fibromyalgia could increase the pain and symptoms such as touch and to feel more like a break. It took my sprained ankle 2 years to heal instead of a normal 3-9 months, even for a bad sprain!
Plus when you understand how pacing works, you can begin to understand your limits and reduce activities to a level that flare ups are rare and manageable. Keeping logs and diaries are a great way to help you learn about your condition, body and reduce the boom or bust scenarios. Please read here for more information.
Now I’m not an expert, I came home yesterday in tears as I pushed myself too hard this week at work. I called my new manager and asked to come and see me this week as I needed to talk through my new role, his and my expectations and make it clear I will not risk my health for work. He agreed and seemed generally caring, which is a start.
I have tried to deal with fibromyalgia by popping pain pills but this treatment does not work. Eventually our brains get used to them and then you have to keep moving onto stronger medications. I weaned off 5 tablets and now find that I deal with fibro much better by just taking them during flare ups, as they seem to actually work and the rest of the time I use a holistic approach, I’ll give you a brief run down of done of the things I use:-
- Regular massage
- Magnesium flakes in my bath
- Mindfulness and meditation
- Pacing, spreading out activities with regular rest
- I use a hydraulic desk and spinal chair at work so I can work standing and sitting
- Heat, I have hot water bottles everywhere
- I take a varied amount of natural minerals and vitamins
- I use positive affirmations all the time, by saying out loud positive things such as I love mornings, I am going to have a great day today
- I use essential oils in a device click here
I am not sure where you are on your journey with fibromyalgia, but if you understand why you get flare ups and increased pain you can learn to reduce or remove these episodes.