The fibromyalgia sufferer, over time, gets used to the pain. Being in chronic pain over many years has an effect on the brain and nerve pathways that transmit how we feel. In layman’s terminology, we get used to feeling pain. Pain becomes our new normal. It becomes normal to wake up and have pain, even though we may have had a restful sleep. It becomes normal to go out for a simple stroll in the park and have it end in fatigue and pain. It becomes normal to do just about anything and always have the pain along for the ride, like a constant companion (or an unwelcome house guest). There are seldom times when we do not feel pain.
Drugs can help but we build tolerances to them over time and there are always unwanted side effects or that foggy feeling in the head that we cannot seem to shake. For many patients drugs can be a life saving treatment, making us able to function, or at least help manage life.
Does this sound too familiar? Perhaps so, but I want you to know that you can take a new direction in your life of pain.
First, you have to realize that the course you’re on does not have to be a permanent existence, and I know that may be hard to consider. Just as pain has become a constant companion, so too can good heath and wellness. Just as the nervous system has learned your chronic pain cycle, so too can it learn to be pain free and unlearn the pain triggers that have kept you in a fibromyalgia prison.
At our clinic, we take a comprehensive approach to this problem. For some patients, having chiropractic care for the first time in their lives can be the missing element. However, most patients usually need more. Exercise will be critical. It may seem counterintuitive when you have muscle pain to exercise, but research has shown it does help. Diet will also play a role. We aim for a diet that is rich in foods that heal and that decrease the pain-inflammation cycle that is so common. Some of our patients have become overweight due to lack of exercise over many years and need professional guidance to get back to their ideal weight.