When you have fibromyalgia, it may seem as if you just can’t get a break from the pain — which may include an aching back. As many as two-thirds of people with chronic low back pain also have fibromyalgia. Looking at the numbers from the other direction, up to 49 percent of people with fibromyalgia have lower back pain. In fact, back pain is so prevalent among people with fibromyalgia that it was once one of the symptoms doctors looked for in making a fibromyalgia diagnosis.
There’s no doubt that living with fibromyalgia is challenging enough on its own, let alone when you have back pain. But it may make you feel a little better to know there is an explanation for the intensity of the pain you’re going through.
For women with fibromyalgia pain, even common tasks like cleaning the house or putting on socks can worsen muscle aches. But daily activities like these are unavoidable. We’ve rounded up 10 tools to ease your aches and pains throughout the day.
“Both back pain and fibromyalgia belong to a group of disorders called central hypersensitivity syndromes,” says pain management specialist Ronald Staud, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
With its muscle aches and chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia can make the most effective activities painful and hard. At its worst, it may make chores you once took with no consideration suddenly appear daunting. Fortunately, we determined an array of tools to govern ache and reduce the burden on sore muscle mass. They variety from ache-lowering massagers and electronic stimulators to movement-saving gadgets designed to make normal tasks greater potential.
“They help conserve energy, so you can function without putting additional strain on your body,” says physical therapist Cathy Guenthner, clinical educator at the University of Cincinnati
Luckily, fibromyalgia sufferers aren’t forced to experience long-term chronic back pain. There are a number of effective back pain treatments that you can be use to relieve your pain. Here are some of the best for back pain relief.
Heat is an extremely good treatment for most muscle aches and pains, and it works specifically nicely for the top and lower lower back. Heat works to loosen up the muscular tissues and encourage circulation, permitting your body to heal itself. Famous heat treatments encompass:
- Heat Wraps: Heat wraps are made out of special, heat-retaining materials, and can be warmed in the microwave or in a tub of warm water. You then tie the wrap around the section of your back that hurts. Special wraps are available which are contoured to the lower back, upper back, and neck and shoulder regions. You can wear these all night long, for up to eight hours of relief.
- Heating Pad: Heating pads are inexpensive and easy to use. Simply place a heating pad on the back of your chair or in your bed, just before going to sleep. Heating pads help to target specific areas of pain.
- Warm Baths: Warm baths, spas, or hot tubs are also excellent for relieving fibromyalgia back pain. They help to encourage restful sleep, which gives your body the time it needs to heal itself.
Physical games that especially goal your again can assist to alleviate ache. That is because physical activities assist to strengthen your returned muscle groups, pulling your spine lower back into alignment. Be careful no longer to overdo it with these sporting activities, however. Persist with five repetitions of each:
- Curl Up: This exercise strengthens the abdominals and lower back. Lie flat on the floor with your legs bent at a 45° angle. Slowly curl your chest and shoulders towards your knees, keeping your arms outstretched. Stop when your hands can touch you knees.
- Upper Body Extension: This exercise strengthens the muscles in your upper back. Lie on your stomach with a pillow placed under your hips. Clasp your hands behind your lower back and slowly lift your upper chest off the ground.
- Arm-Leg Extension: This exercise helps to realign your spine, relieving pressure on your lower back. Get on all fours. Raise one arm in front of you and raise the opposite leg behind you. Repeat with the other arm and leg.
Back supports have long been utilized by those with top and lower back pain, and might work wonders for you, particularly in case you spend lengthy hours in the front of the computer at the office. Put money into a lower back aid made from foam or synthetic substances, as those are sturdy and breathable. Search for a assist that has:
- Lumbar support (a curve that fits into the lower back region)
- High back (as this will ensure that your neck and shoulders are properly aligned)
- An adjustable back (which will allow you to place it properly in any chair)
Additionally, you may want to invest in an ergonomic chair that offers a tilting back and adjustable seat.
This therapeutic self-massager helps you apply pressure to trigger points, knotted muscle fibers that can increase chronic pain.
How it helps: The oddly shaped device, which resembles a wide cane with short, ball-capped branches, allows you to reach trigger points anywhere on your body.
“A trigger point is an area of hyperirritability in a muscle, common in people with fibromyalgia,” Guenthner says. “You can push the little balls on the trigger point and hold the pressure for 30-90 seconds until you feel the tension release.”
A wide belt that stabilizes the spine.
How it helps: It helps control pain by improving posture, protecting your back, and allowing knees and hips to do most of the work when lifting something. These belts can reduce back pain and chronic fatigue in people with fibromyalgia, Dr. Glaser says. But he advises wearing one no more than half the time you’re active to prevent spine muscles from weakening.