Non-Drug Therapies for Chronic Pain

We all want to be able to live pain-free, to enjoy our lives. Sometimes you have to think outside the box.

Everyone experiences pain differently. Everyone reacts to drug therapies differently. There is no one size fits all when it comes to devising a pain management plan. Dealing with a complex condition like fibromyalgia, one must get creative in devising their strategy, and sometimes think outside the box. Here are some non-drug therapies for managing pain that you may not have thought to try or even heard about.

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Fibromyalgia Symptom Round-up

With over 200 symptoms or co-morbidities, fibromyalgia symptoms can vary from person to person.

With 18 trigger points across the body, one of the most defining symptoms of Fibromyalgia Syndrome is widespread pain. It is also characterized by extreme fatigue, sleeping issues, headaches, and a myriad of other symptoms. It can be difficult at times to ascertain whether you have yet another weird symptom of fibromyalgia, or you truly have something else wrong. And the symptoms vary from one person to the next.

Research suggests that “the brain of a fibromyalgia patient amplifies pain signals” and  that it “is a complex condition whose definition and measurement extend far beyond charting patient-reported pain levels on a numeric scale.” It’s no wonder there are over 200 symptoms and/or co-morbidities that have been attributed to this syndrome. Continue reading “Fibromyalgia Symptom Round-up”

Cloudy with a Chance of Fibro Fog

Fibro fog manifests itself in different ways, including forgetfulness, difficulty remembering names or where you place an object.

One of the definitions of fog is “something that obscures and confuses a situation or someone’s thought processes.” If you are familiar with the symptoms of fibromyalgia, you might have heard the term “fibro fog” describing those periods where you can’t think right, and sometimes suffer memory loss or have difficulty concentrating. It is a very real thing for us fibrowarriors. I have experienced this feeling more times than I care to admit, and to this day my memory is not as good as it used to be.  Continue reading “Cloudy with a Chance of Fibro Fog”

The Correlation between Caffeine and Pain

There’s nothing like smelling coffee first thing in the morning, and holding that cup of steaming, hot, luscious, black elixir.

I considered naming this post “For the Love of Coffee” or “To Coffee with Love.” To say I love coffee is an understatement. I love the smell of coffee. I love the taste of coffee. I love the act of brewing coffee: I own an automatic drip coffee maker, a french press, a cappuccino machine, a pour over coffee dripper, and a coffee grinder for grinding my own beans. I like coffee hot, iced, black, lattes, cappuccinos, espressos, and sometimes I make bulletproof coffee or even splurge with an Almond milk White Mocha or Vietnamese style coffee. Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts, and mocha almond fudge is one of my favorite ice cream flavors. So suffice it to say, I love coffee. Not to discriminate against tea. I am a fan of tea as well, and have a well stocked supply of flavors and teas with different therapeutic benefits, but coffee is my morning jam. ❤ So cutting back on how much I drink hasn’t been easy.Caffeine and pain

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Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

This year’s theme “Helping yourself…while helping others” reminds us that you feel better when you help others living with FMS.

May 12th each year has been designated as Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. This year’s theme “Helping yourself…while helping others” reminds us that you feel better when you help others living with FMS. Although I was diagnosed with it in 2000, I have just in the last few years started sharing my journey. I started my blog to share my strategies for life with fibromyalgia and to inspire others to seek healthy lifestyle changes and find joy in their lives, despite those challenges they might be facing. Continue reading “Fibromyalgia Awareness Day”

Six Tips for Relieving Pain Naturally

I have adopted many lifestyle changes over the years that I truly believe have lessened the impact fibromyalgia has on my life.

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a condition thought to affect up to 400 million people worldwide, or 5% of the population, according to the National Fibromyalgia Association. It is characterized by widespread pain and fatigue, with 18 key trigger points in the body. There are also a myriad of other symptoms, and I would venture to guess that none of us have the same symptoms, the same level of pain, or achieve pain relief from the same things. Fibromyalgia is still somewhat of a medical mystery with no silver bullets or miracle cures on the horizon.

For years I have considered myself a “high-functioning fibrowarrior” because despite my flares, I somehow manage to push on. I have my share of pain, flares, and exhaustion. Let’s just say there is much less jumping and much more creaking when I get out of bed in the morning. And yes, I spend time in bed curled up with a heating pad. My flares seem to last longer the older I get. But the flares are fewer and far between. Continue reading “Six Tips for Relieving Pain Naturally”

Is it Fibromyalgia or Something Else?

Chronic, widespread pain. Fatigue. Insomnia. Depression. Headaches. These are the common symptoms most people associate with Fibromyalgia Syndrome or FMS. But this syndrome is complex, its symptoms mimic other conditions, and it’s not easily diagnosed. There are well over 60 different symptoms that have been associated with this condition, some of which are comorbid or overlapping conditions. Muscle, skin, joint, cognitive, sensory, neurological, sleep-related, and the list goes on. For people like me, it can be difficult at times to determine if it’s just one of the myriad of things associated with FMS or if it’s something new. Sometimes it’s a guessing game: Is it Fibromyalgia or something else?

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