Archiwa tagu: eyestrain

young businesswoman suffering from eyestrain

Avoid Eyestrain

Eyestrain is a common problem that attacks people who use computers. Eyestrain can lead to stress and reduced working well and getting a lot done. When your eyes are strained, you're also likely to feel tired out, as well as experience neck pain and headache. All of these can cause youfurther stress. By improving your working conditions, you can make something  and reduce your stress level. 

 

Lighting is important

Good enough lighting is important in your work area. If there is not enough light, you'll bestraining your eyes; too bright and you'll suffer from very bright shine. Having the right kind of lighting is also important. While you can always depend on natural light during the day, you will have to choose your fake light if you're working on your computer at night. Get fluorescent lights rather than regular, old-fashioned light bulbs. They're a lot better and kinder on your eyes and they consume less energy and last longer. 

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You'll be overworking your eye muscles if you must squint because of the angry stare. Make sure to eliminate all sources of very bright shine, whether it's light that directly shines into your eyes or a reflection off your screen. If your monitor did not come with an anti-glare coating, think about getting an anti-glare screen. 

Next to very brightly shine, your other concern is the high contrast of colors around you. This includes what you see on your computer monitor and everything in your immediate (surrounding conditions) such as your walls and furniture. Your eyes find it hard to look at bothalmost-opposite/showing the differences between colors and boring colors. So if you can find an opportunity to repaint your walls, go for the light and pastel colors to create a calmer atmosphere. 

Flickering computer monitors or light bulbs are annoying. To avoid getting stressed any further, immediately replace light bulbs that do not shine steadily. Buy a new monitor if your old one can no longer be repaired, although you may want to first change to fit new conditions the refresh rate to make steady the display output. 

Be more careful with what you are reading at your computer. You'll be straining your eyes for no good reason if you have to continue reading documents in small sets of printed letters of the same style or fancy typefaces. And if you have to deal with scanned documents that are barely readable, it is a good idea to use an optical character recognition program so you can read the content better and without much effort. 

Be aware of your distance from the computer monitor. You have to be at least an arm's length away from the screen. According to experts, the eyes are less tired if you look down below the line in the distance where the Earth and sky meet rather than above it. 

 

Avoid switching of your focus.

More than that, you should avoid the continuous switching of your focus to and from objects that are near or far. Doing so can be very tiring to your eyes. If you are working on your computer and are constantly referring to a hard copy at the same time, it is best to prop up your source document on a holder placed beside your monitor. That way, the distance of your focus remains almost the same. 

You will also strain your eyes if you keep your focus on the same object for an extended length of time. Make it a habit to take off your eyes from what you're working on and look at something else far away for about two minutes. Do this every twenty minutes or so. Or, you can close your eyes and cup your palms over them for a few seconds. 

eye-strain2_keepwellintheoffice One last thing that you should be concerned with is the humidity level in your office or wherever you're working. Low humidity tends to dry the eyes and dry eyes lead to eyestrain. As a fix, make sure that your work space is well ventilated and check the flow of air currents where you're seated. 

If you want to avoid stress, it is important to take good care of your eyes. Before you feel thestress, your eyes are the ones first affected so protect them whenever you work on yourcomputer.

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Cure Back Pain Naturally!

Back pain is when the pain is so strong and so constant that you are really tired and listless from just dealing with the pain.

 

It is important when dealing with these issue, to see if you can find a way to alleviate them. There are not a lot of proven natural ways to reduce with your pain and natural therapy is a better solution as a first option because some medicines, harmful testing, and chemicals can often do more harm than good.

Here are a few natural solutions to help with back pain and or back pain tiredness. You may put into use one of them or all of them. It is recommended that you research other methods as well to find the best solution for you.

Natural supplements

Firstly, try natural supplements. There are a few natural supplements found to have had proven success in managing this type of condition.. Magnesium is one of them. It's been said that magnesium helps maintain muscle tone and bone density. It also can help in relaxing and catching the muscles, this way helping the pain. This is also instrumental in useful back disc pain. It can help contract and relax the area of the disc, and help take pressure off.

An herb that has been connected to back pain relief is nettle. The extracts from the nettle leaf help reduce swelling. The reduction of inflammation will help serious sufferers get some relief from their pain. Vitamin B12 is a vitamin that has a lot of benefits in this area. Vitamin B12 increases energy, thereby helping to relieve back pain fatigue. It also helps with supporting the spine to grow normally, and maintains bone density. This helps to strengthen the back.

Massage. Everyone enjoys a massage, but massage therapy has been known to help in this area. When massaging the back where the pain is most prevalent, it helps to increase endorphins. Endorphins make us feel good. When we feel good, pain becomes much more manageable. Just be sure when you get a massage it is done by a professional massage therapist. Someone who has trained specifically in this area will know how to treat your general condition. If someone who is not trained in massage was to work on your back, they could do more harm than good. That's why a professional massage therapist is so important. Many sufferers have regular massages as massage increases energy, which can combat your back pain fatigue.

 

Back pain can be extremely painful and many people have turned to prescription medication in an effort to get rid of their pain. Often they become addicted to or overly dependent on it. It will help your back pain in the short term, but may also give you another problem to deal with if you stay on it over long time.

Healthy diet

Eat a healthy diet and include lots of water. Many good whole natural foods are filled with vitamins that aid in the relief of back pain. Calcium, Vitamin B12, and magnesium are found in many foods and help in managing back pain. Also, consume lots of water. Water keeps your body in a hydrated state. This can make a vast difference in the severity of your back pain. Back disc pain and back pain fatigue can also be helped when we remain hydrated.

As previously mentioned, back pain can be very hard to deal with. That's why it is so important to seek out alternate methods of relief, and choose the one that will help you the most. It may take a little time through trial and error but once you find an alternative solution that works well for you, you will be on your way to feeling better and that much closer to living your life the way you want to – naturally!

Joel.

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HIIT can helps the chiropractic patient as well?

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can help us in maximize weight loss results. But can it help the chiropractic patient as well?

 

What is HIIT?

HIIT is an exercise program that incorporates short bursts of intense exercise followed by slow exercise. For example, twenty minutes of HIIT can produce greater energy expenditure and more cardio benefits than using a treadmill for fourty-five minutes.

Just because the exercise is labeled high intensity, it does not mean that it is high impact. HIIT routines can include chair exercise for those who have weak or injured knees and ankles. Even though the person sits, they would still be working all the major muscle groups and receive the benefit of a good cardio workout.

 

How Does This Benefit the Chiropractic Patient?

HIIT benefits the chiropractic patient in many ways. First of all, it increases the oxygen and circulation in the body. Secondly, it develops a strong core. Correct posture is also emphasized to prevent injury and muscle strain. All of these things benefit the chiropractic patient by promoting good health and reducing pain.

 

Is HIIT Only for Aerobics?

No, it can easily be changed to any exercise program. For example, if a person has a walking (something commonly done), they can incorporate high intensity intervals. They can start at a comfortable pace for 2 minutes then walk at a faster rate for 1 minute. They would then go back to a comfortable pace for 1 minute and increase again. This would triple the benefits they receive from the same walk for the same amount of time. This method would also work for swimming, biking or hiking. The key is to incorporate short bursts of high intensity into what they are already doing.

 

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What About Weight Loss?

 

Excess weight puts a huge strain on the spine and joints. Weight loss is often recommended to reduce this strain and relieve pain. Losing weight can also reverse many underlying diseases such as metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

 

The exact mechanisms behind HIIT’s superiority aren’t fully understood yet, but scientists have isolated quite a few of the factors:

  • Increased resting metabolic rate for upward of 24 hours after exercise.
  • Improved insulin sensitivity in the muscles.
  • Higher levels of fat oxidation in the muscles.
  • Significant spikes in growth hormone levels (which aid in fat loss) and catecholamine levels (which are chemicals your body produces to mobilize fat stores for burning).
  • Post-exercise appetite suppression.
  • And more…

The science is clear: if your goal is to burn as much fat in as little time as possible, then HIIT is the way to go.

High Intensity Interval Training is accessible to people of all fitness levels. As always, a person should check with their doctor or chiropractor before starting any exercise program. They can help you find the right program for your present level of fitness. In a very short time, you will see great results from HIIT.

If you need help with weight loss check out my service here!

Joel

 

medication_keepwellintheoffice

Right Medication to Treat Chronic Back Pain

If you are suffering from long-lasting back pain, you don't need to be depressed. If you use the right therapy, the right set of medicines, and practice appropriate physical activities, you can get rid of the problem of backache in a very short period of time. There are two types of drugs available in the market – the drugs prescribed by a doctor and the drugs that you can just buy over-the-counter (OTC). In a situation where you are suffering from extreme pain, you are strongly recommended to stay away from OTC medicines because the wrong choice of drugs may (irritate/make worse) the problem.

Just because a particular medicine has worked effectively for another patient with similar-looking problem, it does not mean that particular drug makes the best choice for you also. A thorough (identification of a disease or problem, or its cause) of your problem is the most important thing. Once you know the main cause of the long-lasting back pain, you can decide which drugs are the most appropriate for you. Your doctor is the right person to tell you which medicines and therapies to use based on the (identification of a disease or problem, or its cause). However, it is always worth educating you on the different medicines that your doctor is likely to prescribe you. Following is a brief rundown about the same.

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Opiods.

Opiods have been found to be very effective in treating long-lasting back pain, but you are strongly recommended not to use it unless your doctor prescribes it for you, as it can have some serious side effects also if taken in improper dosages. Some of these medicines may include codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, and Oxycodone.

 

Anti Depressants.

The person suffering from sudden and serious problem of backache always get depressed and depression only adds to the problem, (irritating/making worse) the pain. Therefore, your doctor may also prescribe you some anti-depressants to reduce your depressive moods. Amitriptyline and despramine are the two most common anti-depressants that health care providers usually prescribe. Especially if it is the lower back that is almost always affected, the eating of these medicines can be very helpful, as they can effectively relieve the pain.

 

Analgesics.

(things that reduce pain) are OTC drugs and you don't exactly need to show your doctor's prescription to buy them. These drugs are also known as Non-steroidal Anti-Insulting/swelling Drugs (NSAID). However, as said earlier, you must talk to your doctor before you use them. Ibuprofen, medicine, naproxen are some common medicines in this category that your doctor may prescribe you to get relief from long-lasting back pain. They can also be very effective in reducing stiffness, swelling, and swelling that goes along with sudden and serious backache.

 

Sometimes, the problem with the back might be a result of nervous seizures. If that is the case with you, your (professional or skilled person) is very much likely to prescribe you anti (powerful, scary muscle jerking) drugs, as they can effectively treat long-lasting back pain by treating seizures in the body.

 

The therapy used for long-lasting back pain usually brings the best results if along with the best medicines. Besides that, a healthy (way of living) also plays an important role in back pain treatment .So, you must know which types of physical activities you should practice and which you should avoid.

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The Truth About Treating Your Own Back Pain

There are many at home treatments for back pain. They all involve simple exercises that you can do to stretch the muscles and spine. Some of these programs work for some people and not for others. Some say (something upside down) is the cure, others say it doesn't work at all. I say if done correctly it is an extremely valuable tool in the back pain tool box. Others suggest that only the medical job/line of work should address back pain.

Of course, itis usually those in the medical job/line of work who are making that suggestion. It's kinda like Walmart suggesting that you visit your local Walmart store. Somewhere in the middle of all of this sometimes disagreeing information is the truth about treating your own long-lasting back pain. Thankfully, it is simple to sort through the mess and come up with a (practical and doable) solution.

You should first understand your goal when dealing with your back pain. It is not to stop the pain. You should focus all of your attention on keeping your spine in the correct position by maintaining your (related to the lower back) (curved spine). That is the inward cure of your lower spine. Most back pain is caused by keeping your back in stressful positions for a long time. The stress is cause by the loss of the (related to the lower back) curve. If you maintain the curve,you reduce the stress and the pain. In fact, the goal of good (way of standing/attitude) is not to sit or stand straight up. It is to sitand stand while maintaining the natural curve of your back.

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Another problem most at home treatments have is that they overdo the stretches or stray from the needed straight line stretches. Sometimes they advise the wrong kind of stretch and can prevent you from healing. All that is needed is a simple extension exercise to make tiny steps forward. A properly done extension exercise is a self given/gave (medicine based on body part manipulation) treatment. Do them regularly and allow for proper rest and you will end up pain free before it is all over. Add a little mild (something upside down) when the sharp pains are gone and you can get pain free a lot faster than you ever thought. The main reason people fail in curing their back pain is that they over do it. If a little exercise is good, a lot must be better. But that is TOTALLY wrong.

If you need a simple and set treatment that you can do over and over again to (accomplish or gain with effort) pain freedom in a matter of weeks, check the link below.

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New Research About Lower Back Pain

Over the years there have been many approaches for treating lower back pain. Traditional medical approaches have included the use of medications, injections and surgery. However, a recent research study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) published in the 2017 Annals of Internal Medicine has just released new guidelines advising a non-surgical and pharmaceutical free strategy.

A main concern in the United States is the ever-growing use of opioid medications causing addictions, overdoses and suicides. Opioids include Percocet, OxyContin and hydrocodone have been inappropriately prescribed in some cases for pain of the back. The new ACP guidelines advise against what are called "low value treatments" such as doctors prescribing opioid medications.

Instead nonpharmacological approaches are recommended by the ACP. These include nondrug treatments such as spinal manipulation which is typically performed by chiropractors, acupuncture, massage, tai chi and mindfulness-based stress reduction.

According to Roger Chou MD, professor of medicine, Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine, and lead author of the new reviews on back pain treatment: "the biggest shift is prioritizing non-formal logic therapies using those first versus medication." "This is the first guideline to really take this stance."

The guidelines of the ACP also reject initially having patients get MRIs for lower back pain. The study notes that MRIs typically will not reveal findings relevant to the cause of the lower back pain.

Lower back pain that lasts for less than four weeks is considered acute. Low back pain lasting up to 12 weeks is considered subacute. Lower back pain lingering for more than 12 weeks is considered chronic. In all cases it is not wise to give into total bed rest. Gentle activity such as walking periodically daily and gentle appropriate stretching is more effective.

Physical measures such as chiropractic spinal manipulation, also called chiropractic spinal adjustments are recommended by the ACP.

Chiropractors are licensed as doctors. Their education involves typical undergraduate courses followed by five years at a chiropractic college. Following this they must pass national boards and become licensed in individual states in the US. Chiropractors then take continuing education classes for ongoing training.

Many responsible recognized insurances cover the initial evaluation by a doctor of chiropractic and treatment such as chiropractic spinal adjustments, physiological therapeutics and corrective exercises. These types of therapies been shown in numerous research studies to be beneficial for those suffering from acute, subacute and chronic pain of the lower back.

In advising nondrug, nonsurgical measures for the treatment of pain of the lower back the American College of Physicians guidelines published in the Annals of Internal Medicine have made a substantial shift in traditional prioritization of the treatment of lower back pain.

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Office health problems

You can eat right and exercise everyday, but if you work in an office, those things can only go so far. Like it or not, we spend far more time in the workplace than we do at the gym or at the kitchen table, and with that comes a whole new set of health problems, ranging from computer headaches to back pain to germ-spreading. We found some of the most common office health problems, and how you can prevent them.

Eyestrain:

It’s hour six of staring at a computer screen, and your eyes burn and your head is pounding. Sound familiar? Luckily, there are ways to minimize the dreaded computer headache. The Mayo Clinic suggests keeping light sources to the side of your computer, not overhead, to cut down on glare, keeping your monitor 20 to 40 inches from your eyes, using a larger font so you can sit further away and still see, and cleaning your screen frequently. Wearing glasses specifically designed for reading or looking at a computer can also be helpful.

Sitting:

A ton of research is emerging linking prolonged sitting to everything from heart disease and slower metabolisms to bigger butts. To combat the problem, try a standing desk, or schedule breaks to take a quick walk around the office or stretch. And, if possible, walk some or all of your commute instead of driving or taking public transit.

Back pain:

Your mother wasn’t making it up—good posture really is important. Research shows that sitting up straight can reduce day-to-day back pain and stop chronic conditions from starting. To improve your posture, place a cushion or towel between your lower back and your chair to help support the back and prevent slouching. Strengthening your core and keeping your feet on the floor instead of crossing your legs can also do wonders for your back.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

If you have a typing-heavy job, you could be at risk for carpal tunnel. To prevent it, the Mayo Clinic suggests taking breaks to bend and stretch your wrists. But avoid bending your wrist dramatically up or down, and keep your keyboard at elbow height or just below it.

Spreading illness:

Studies show that contagious sicknesses spread incredibly fast in an office environment, so be extra careful to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after touching communal objects. And if you’re sick, do everyone a favor and stay home for that extra day of rest.

 

 

 

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keep well in the office lower back pain

Health tips

Statistically, research has shown that about 80% of adults would suffer from low back pain at some point in their lifetime and this condition is a major cause of job-related disability worldwide. If you are presently experiencing low back pain, here are some beneficial health tips in treating or providing considerable relief from this condition:

Avoid sitting for too long 
Whenever you sit for hours on end at a desk or watching TV, you are keeping your low back flexed and your back muscles are strained. Researchers at a Norwegian University discovered that teenagers who sat in front of TV or computer for 15 hours or more in a week were three times more likely to suffer from low back pain. Additionally, the exit plan on the off chance that you should sit for long is to extend your body or walk around at intervals to relax your muscles.

Quit Smoking 
Numerous studies have shown that smokers are more likely to suffer from low back pain than nonsmokers. Cigarette contains a substance, nicotine which disrupts blood supply to intervertebral discs of the spine leading to a crack or rupture of the discs. Also, smoking slows the healing process and depletes the oxygen supply to the muscles and drains the oxygen supply to the muscles and ligaments in the back.

Indulge in Exercise 
Numerous evidences have revealed that stretching and strengthening exercises including Yoga often help to speed recovery from chronic low back pain by enhancing the flexibility and strength of the muscle groups that support the lower back. Similarly, studies have shown that low-impact aerobic exercises are good in maintaining the integrity of intervertebral discs. The implication of this is that if you are experiencing low back pain, you need to resist the temptation of keeping yourself to delayed bedrest or staying away from all types of activity.

Take more Calcium and Vitamin D 
Arguably, the role of calcium and vitamin D in the formation of strong, healthy bones cannot be overemphasised. When your bones are strong, the possibility of suffering from low back pain due to osteoporosis is ruled out. Dietary sources that are rich in calcium and vitamin D include milk, fresh green vegetables, sardines, cheese, oranges, egg yolk and so on.

Mind your Diet 
Research has shown that the same diets that are good for your heart, weight and blood sugar are also good for your back and vice-versa. A study that was conducted in Finland discovered that individuals who experienced low back pain were more likely to have clogged the arteries supplying the spine. Furthermore, shortage of nutrient supply to the spine triggers inflammatory responses that may lead to back pain. In view of the foregoing, it's better to stick to a healthy diet of whole grains, proteins, fresh vegetables and fruits while avoiding excess caffeine and processed fatty diets.

Avoid Heavy Loads 
The nature of the jobs a lot of people do is such that they often have to lift, pull or push heavy loads, all of which put a considerable strain on your spine and ultimately set the stage for lower back pain. If you must carry a heavy load, make sure you distribute the weight evenly on both shoulders or arms to avoid tilting to one side and twisting your spine. Preferably, if you can get your hands on a bag with wheels or a rolling cart, it is better for the health of your back.

Change your Shoes 
For the ladies, this may not be a really good news. High heels compel you to arch your back and this places a strain on your spinal muscles leading to avoidable back aches. At Lehigh University, 80% of low-back patients who were given lightweight, cushioned and flexible shoes experienced significant relief from their back pain. However, occasional use of those high-heeled shoes is not likely to cause serious harm.

Sleep with a pillow under your knees 
It's been discovered that when you sleep on your back, an estimated 55 pounds of pressure is put on your spine. However, with a pillow under your knees, you reduce that pressure by 50% and decrease your risk of low back pain.

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Correct lifting position

Using the proper technique when moving boxes, heavy furniture, or other objects will greatly reduce the risk of injury and soreness. Jobs that require you to consistently move heavy objects especially require that you learn and consistently use the proper technique to keep yourself safe, each and every time.

If you must lift objects, do not try to lift objects that are awkward or are heavier than 30 pounds.
Before you lift a heavy object, make sure you have firm footing.
To pick up an object that is lower than the level of your waist, keep your back straight and bend at your knees and hips. Do not bend forward at the waist with your knees straight.
Stand with a wide stance close to the object you are trying to pick up and keep your feet firm on the ground. Tighten your stomach muscles and lift the object using your leg muscles. Straighten your knees in a steady motion. Don't jerk the object up to your body.
Stand completely upright without twisting. Always move your feet forward when lifting an object.
If you are lifting an object from a table, slide it to the edge to the table so that you can hold it close to your body. Bend your knees so that you are close to the object. Use your legs to lift the object and come to a standing position.
Avoid lifting heavy objects above waist level.
Hold packages close to your body with your arms bent. Keep your stomach muscles tight. Take small steps and go slowly.
To lower the object, place your feet as you did to lift, tighten stomach muscles and bend your hips and knees.

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keep well in the office fibromyalgia

Fibro Fog

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that affects about 5 million Americans. Doctors diagnose fibromyalgia based on a patient's symptoms and physical exam. Patients experience pain and stiffness in the muscles, but there are no measurable findings on X-rays or most lab tests. While fibromyalgia does not damage the joints or organs, the constant aches and fatigue can have a significant impact on daily life.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms:

– The hallmark of fibromyalgia is muscle pain throughout the body, typically accompanied by: 
– Fatigue 
– Sleep problems 
– Anxiety or depression 
– Specific tender points

Fibromyalgia Tender Points:

One of the unique aspects of fibromyalgia is the presence of tender points in specific locations on the body. When these points are pressed, people with fibromyalgia feel pain, while people without the condition only feel pressure. This illustration shows 18 possible tender points.

Fibromyalgia: The Pain Is Real:

The pain of fibromyalgia can be intense. Because traditionally no lab tests or X-rays could confirm a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, some patients were once led to believe this pain was "all in their heads." But the medical community now accepts that the pain of fibromyalgia is real. Research suggests it's caused by a glitch in the way the body perceives pain.

Fibromyalgia: Who's at Risk?

Women between the ages of 25 and 60 have the highest risk of developing fibromyalgia. Doctors aren't sure why, but women are 10 times more likely to have the condition than men. Some researchers believe genetics may play a role, but no specific genes have been identified.

Fibromyalgia and Fatigue:

After pain, the most common and debilitating symptom of fibromyalgia is fatigue. This is not the normal tiredness that follows a busy day, but a lingering feeling of exhaustion. People with fibromyalgia may feel tired first thing in the morning, even after hours spent in bed. The fatigue may be worse on some days than others and can interfere with work, physical activity, and household chores.

Causes of Fibromyalgia:

There are many theories about the causes of fibromyalgia, but research has yet to pinpoint a clear culprit. Some doctors believe hormonal or chemical imbalances disrupt the way nerves signal pain. Others suggest a traumatic event or chronic stress may increase a person's susceptibility. Most experts agree that fibromyalgia probably results from a combination of factors, rather than a single cause.

Fibromyalgia: Impact on Daily Life

Constantly fighting pain and fatigue can make people irritable, anxious, and depressed. You may have trouble staying on task at work, taking care of children, or keeping up with household chores. Exercise or hobbies such as gardening may seem daunting. Exhaustion and irritability can also lead to missing out on visits with friends.

Diagnosing Fibromyalgia

Your doctor may diagnose fibromyalgia after hearing your symptoms and doing a physical exam. There's one lab test that can check for fibromyalgia. It measures the levels of proteins in the bloodstream and can help confirm a fibro diagnosis. However, your doctor may also do some testing to rule out other conditions. Be sure to describe your pain in detail, including where and how often it occurs. Also bring up any other symptoms, such as fatigue, sleep problems, or anxiety.

Fibromyalgia: Getting Treatment

Fibromyalgia was once the exclusive domain of rheumatologists. Today, the condition has captured the attention of a wide range of health care providers. Many people receive treatment through their primary care providers. Check with local support groups and hospitals for a list of fibromyalgia experts in your area.

Fibromyalgia Triggers

An important first step is identifying what makes your symptoms worse. Common triggers include: 
– Cold or humid weather 
– Too much or too little physical activity 
– Stress 
– Poor sleep

Fibromyalgia and Sleep

Many people with fibromyalgia have sleep problems, including trouble falling asleep or frequent awakenings during the night. Studies suggest some patients remain in a shallow state of sleep and never experience restful, deep sleep. This deprives the body of a chance to repair and replenish itself, creating a vicious cycle. Poor sleep may make pain seem worse, and pain can lead to poor sleep.

Fibromyalgia and Depression

Nearly a third of people with fibromyalgia also have major depression when they are diagnosed. The relationship between the two is unclear. Some researchers believe depression may be a result of the chronic pain and fatigue. Others suggest that abnormalities in brain chemistry may lead to both depression and an unusual sensitivity to pain. Symptoms of depression may include difficulty concentrating, hopelessness, and loss of interest in favorite activities.

Managing Fibromyalgia: Medication

The goal of fibromyalgia treatment is to minimize pain, sleep disturbances, and mood disorders. Doctors may recommend medications that help ease your symptoms — ranging from familiar over-the-counter pain relievers to prescription drugs. There are also prescription drugs specifically approved for the treatment of fibromyalgia, which include Cymbalta, Lyrica, and Savella.

Managing Fibromyalgia: Exercise

Exercise can relieve several fibromyalgia symptoms. Physical activity can reduce pain and improve fitness. Exercising just three times a week has also been shown to relieve fatigue and depression. But it's important not to overdo it. Walking, stretching, and water aerobics are good forms of exercise to start with for people with fibromyalgia.

Managing Fibromyalgia: Diet

Some experts say diet may play a role in fibromyalgia — just not the same role in all patients. Certain foods, including aspartame, MSG, caffeine, and tomatoes, seem to worsen symptoms in some people. But avoiding these foods won't help everyone. To find out what works for you, try eliminating foods one at a time and recording whether your symptoms improve.

Managing Fibromyalgia: Massage

Some research suggests massage may help relieve fibromyalgia pain, though its value is not fully proven. Practitioners say that applying moderate pressure is key, while the technique is less important. Rubbing, kneading, or stroking all seem to help. A significant other can learn to provide regular massages — and a 20-minute session may be long enough to get results.

Managing Fibromyalgia: Acupuncture

Formal studies have produced mixed results on the use of acupuncture for fibromyalgia, but some patients say it eases their symptoms. This traditional Chinese practice involves inserting thin needles at key points on the body. Acupressure stimulates the same pressure points and may be a good alternative for people who want to avoid needles.

Managing Fibromyalgia: Fibro Fog

Many people with fibromyalgia have trouble concentrating, a phenomenon known as fibro fog. While getting treatment for pain and insomnia may help, there are other steps you can take to improve your focus.

Managing Fibromyalgia: Stress

Stress appears to be one of the most common triggers of fibromyalgia flare-ups. While it's impossible to eliminate all stress from your life, you can try to reduce unnecessary stress. Determine which situations make you anxious — at home and at work — and find ways to make those situations less stressful. Experiment with yoga, meditation, or other relaxation techniques. And allow yourself to skip nonessential activities that cause stress.

Does Fibromyalgia Get Better?

Many people with fibromyalgia find that their symptoms and quality of life improve substantially as they identify the most effective treatments and make lifestyle changes. While fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, it does not damage the joints, muscles, or internal organs.

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