BACKPAIN

WHAT TO DO AND WHAT TO AVOID IN BACKPAIN

As fibromyalgia sufferers, backpain is almost an everyday occurrence.


The main reasons are:

  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Poor circulation
  • Lack of magnesium
  • Stress

Not only each of them is a factor but we suffer from many if not all of them. Not only they add to each other but also the are synergistic. Synergistic means that together they do not just simply add to each other but their sum is higher than their simple addition.

This is why backpain is so difficult to treat because treating one of them has little effect if we do not take care of all

 

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Lets’ have a look at each of them

Muscle pain

That is what fibromyalgia is made of.

If you look at the outdated description of fibromyalgia, almost all of the pain points most are backpain situated. Those which are not around the back are almost all part of postural muscles.

Postural muscles are muscle that are part of the trunk which is made of the abdomen, thorax and neck. They are always contracting to allow us to stand up or sitting. In fact, even lying down, when we move an arm or a leg , they have to contract about 200 milliseconds before! That's why backpain is so painful!!!

 

Joint pain

The joints are made of bones, cartilage, synovial system, and the capsules around the joint.

The synovial system produces the synovial fluid, the oil of the joint.

The capsules around ensure the stability of the joint. They are made of the tendinous extensions of the muscles around the joint.

In fibromyalgia, usually the cartilage is normal and does not show any obvious abnormality on the x-rays. But the muscles around are sick and they tend to make the joints painful. Obviously and because it is one of the fibromyalgia characteristic, the joint itself may be sick but that is an additional problem: a comorbidity.

In the back we have the spinal column which has many joints (facets) but also special ones that have the intervertebral disc and ligaments that may produce backpain.

 

Osteoporosis

It is a very common occurrence in fibromyalgia. It is a loss of density of the bones.

It can be painful especially when bones are suffering deformation or even fractures. It is increased by lack of magnesium and poor circulation

 

Poor circulation

 

Another very common occurrence in fibromyalgia. It affects the health of the bones, joints, intervertebral discs, muscles and all the supportive tissues.

 

Lack of magnesium

Magnesium helps control the pain levels. It also improves the circulation and the osteoporosis. Without a decent level we enter a spiral of bad effects such as back pain.

 

Stress

Stress induces tension in the muscles.

It also decreases the circulation by narrowing the arteries which in turn increases the spasms and the pain of the muscles.

It creates a vicious cycle with sleep deprivation which in turn decreases the ability to relax. Because it is during our sleep that we produce endorphins, our natural morphine, sleep troubles induces a decrease in production and stocking of endorphins. This in turn decreases our natural ability to fight pain.

 

I could write a book for each of those subheadings ( I may do that one day) but here are some basics. Each one of you is a very specific individual so there is no general recipe. But it helps !


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Do’s and Don’ts

1. Try to practice some physical activity regularly

I know it may sound excessive to many but here are the reasons. It will increase your endorphins and your Nitric Oxide production.

Endorphins are our natural morphine and helps fight pain.

Nitric Oxide (NO) is a vasodilator that improves our circulation. Fighter pilots contract their forearms by maintaining a tight fist to increase their NO for improved sight vision. If you only do that a few times each day. Choose a muscle that is not too painful for you. The best is to walk a bit or even better to swim regularly.


2. Before getting up from bed, adopt a fetal position on the side, with your knees as high as possible to relax your back muscles.

Keep it comfortable.


3. Make sure you drink enough water every day.

Dehydration is an added factor of pain and poor circulation. We all produce toxins and that’s the way to get rid of them. Your urine should be clear like water.


4. Avoid carbohydrates and eat fruits and vegetables.

Careful about red meat and dairy products. Get magnesium and     Vitamin D.


5. Always seat straight and not too long without moving or getting up. Adjust your seat at work.

Find the best position in your car and use pillows or special equipment.


6. Careful with your head position when texting or reading.

Flexing the head forward and downward increases its weight on the vertebrae 5-fold !


7. Careful about carrying bags.

The weight must be equal on each arm and don’t bend to catch them but flex your knees. Do not hesitate to use a shopping cart on wheels. And get help to fill up your car trunk.


8. Take care of your sleep.

Mattress, pillows, position, room temperature etc. There are so many details, it’s worth another page.


Hope this help

Warm Regards


Anne Masterson


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