Tuesday, April 12, 2005

It's NOT All in Your Head

How do you treat a condition that many doctors still believe is "all in your head"? In a previous alert, I touched on a few of the natural therapies used to address the chronic pain disorder called fibromyalgia. But a quick look at a thread about fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis on a Fibromyalgia online forum reveals a variety of treatments for relieving this enigmatic condition. A reader named Carolejean starts things off: "I have severe pains in joints and muscles 24/7. It's so painful to even WALK and I must use a cane at times when I can stand it at all. Anyone out there that can give me some ideas as to what I should try to curb these pains?" Carolejean's pleas are followed with a detailed posting from a reader who goes by Stillafreemind: "The path I am on has been a long one...but it has paid off. "I am taking magnesium, vit E, vit C, garlic, Juice Plus (it got rid of my foot pain) calcium, B complex, flaxseed oil and enzymes. I just started rebounding...that's working on the little trampoline. I have gotten some sore muscles from that...but its the kind that everyone gets when doing something new with their muscles. The fibro pain is almost non-existent at the moment. I also rub olive oil on sore spots...I eat alot of olive oil on my food now too. It has really helped." In addition, Stillafreemind offers this observation: "Ya gotta get sleep." And a reader named Chironancy agrees: "I think that a lack of sleep is one of the core causes of fibromyalgia. It is a vicious cycle! Lack of sleep leads to more fatigue and stiffness which can make it more difficult to get to sleep. I have tried various things to address this sleep problem - haven't found THE answer yet, but magnesium at night does help. "I have also had the carpel tunnel problems mentioned by others. For that I use Vitamin B-6, which my doctor recommended. Whenever I feel it coming on, I take 100-300 mgs. "I also have a rebounder, which is my favorite form of aerobic exercise, being much easier on the joints. Normal daily activities, such as walking the dogs, gardening, house projects, etc., generally provide enough exercise to keep me loose. "I know how frustrating this condition can be and how unhelpful the medical establishment is in addressing it. Please - don't resort to steroids! At least try the suggested supplements in this message and others on this site before going on steroids." A reader who calls herself Ihughes777 says that a special therapeutic bed, "has helped so much with the sleep deprivation...I cannot even describe its benefits." And Ihughes777 has found another source of relief: "For my 60th birthday my family was kind enough to get together and give me 24 one-hour massages with a very good massage therapist. The effects have been cumulative and amazing." Many other fibromyalgia treatments are discussed in this thread, but Stillafreemind will have the last word here with this excellent advice: "Stay away from sugar. I fell off the wagon and had a half a pop yesterday and my muscles are like boards today! I am going light on the carbs too."

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