What…? fibromania…., Fibermalaysia…, fiber …something! Not less than a month I took to pronounce and remember the exact term “fibromyalgia”. The same was a problem with my colleague-friend Mrs. Rover. Who was recently diagnosed with the disease! She wanted to know what possibly has caused her fibro, her new workout or some stress. Also if there exist some “Yoga Poses for Fibromyalgia”.
With months of recurring neck pain, stiffness, and vertigo, she was a regular visitor of the Physiotherapy center (mentioned earlier) and have treated for Cervical Spondylitis.
With little or no improvement, her next visit to a physician resulted in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Most of the cases, misdiagnosis of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) occurs quite frequently in clinics. Maybe this is a usual case, because of the chronic tension in the upper back, shoulders, and neck (places where most of the tender points are located), which are the prevalent indicator of cervical spondylitis too.
If you are suffering from musculoskeletal pain further worsen by SLEEP DISORDER AND MENTAL SLUGGISHNESS? Chances are you having fibromyalgia.
The term Fibromyalgia is a combination of Latin and Greek terms, in which fibro stands for fibrous tissues, myo means muscle, and algia is a synonym for pain.
While doctors consider it to be an arthritis-related condition, it does not harm muscles and joints up to an extent arthritis can!
Yoga Poses For Fibromyalgia Relief – Anatomy in Brief
For centuries yoga has proved to be the most effective when it comes to stress management.
A properly executed yoga session can set your nervous system response from “stressful to relax”. It works extraordinarily for a sensitive and hyper central nervous system.
In the case of fibro, yoga poses work directly on a painful muscle. In FMS, muscles first lose their length and natural flexibility then eventually start hurting. The tender points are often located where cramps commonly occur.
Yoga has this beautiful ability to stretch and lengthen a muscle and set it to its natural size.
A thing to remember here is that yoga is an excellent treatment, not a cure though. And it is vital to consult your doctor before starting your hand (and neck) with yoga poses. Try restorative yoga poses in the beginning. Use yoga props whenever needed.
In case you are a yoga beginner, start at a slow pace. Don’t hurry up for perfection. It may hurt you rather.
Breath to Heal Your Fibro Naturally
However, the situations are, you can never go wrong with slow and deep breathing. Breathe into your pain points to soothe them! This practice is known to calm the mind and reduce stress, which is a key trigger of this syndrome.
Further, in chronic pain conditions, you may unconsciously start short and shallow breathing, which can set off the body’s fight-or-flight response and trigger the release of stress hormones like cortisol. Breathing deeply counters stress by stimulating the vagus nerve, running from the brain to the diaphragm, the vagus nerve activates the parasympathetic nervous system. That’s why breathwork is crucial for people with fibromyalgia, says Shoosh Lettick Crotzer
Why Some Yoga Poses Are Preferred Over Other
If we talk about the best yoga poses for fibromyalgia, a good yoga session, which intelligently comprises poses to provide a complete body workout. Generally, it may start with standing postures viz. mountain pose, forward fold, downward-facing dog pose; seating postures viz. diamond pose, child pose or some all four ( engaging both arms and legs) viz. cat and cow pose, plank pose.
Then it is well-rounded by some “breath n relax” poses such as Savasana or meditation and pranayama.
People with fibromyalgia often have chronic tension in the upper back, shoulders, and neck —places where 10 of the 18 tender points are located. These three areas can easily be targeted with a few simple yoga poses.
A favorite pose to counter your upper body stiffness is Garudasana (Eagle Pose) because it stretches the muscles around the shoulder blades in the upper back.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) extends the back while opening the chest as well as gentle head and neck stretch to relieve tension in the large muscles on the sides of the neck.
Fibromyalgia-stats and facts
People suffering from fibromyalgia often undergo severe and persistent pain.
The disorder affects an estimated 10 million people in the U.S. and an estimated 3-6% of the world population. Fibro is most prevailing in women. An estimated 75-90 % of the people with FM are women.
Men and children of all cultural groups may also suffer from the disease. The disorder is often seen in families, among siblings or mothers including their children. The diagnosis is usually made between the ages of 20 to 50 years, but the incidence rises with age so that by age 80, approximately 8% of adults meet the American College of Rheumatology classification of fibromyalgia.
More Women Than Men
Fibromyalgia is distinctly more prevalent in women, which is the case with a number of other painful situations, such as joint disorder, headache, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Studies in both humans and animals have shown that the perception of pain is different for males and females. In general, females of all species are more sensitive to experimental pain, hence they have more pain-related clinical conditions, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia.
Good Hormones playing Bad in Fibro
While female-specific hormones (estrogen and progesterone) are primarily considered for their role in reproduction, they also have significant effects on the central nervous system and hence, the perception of pain.
In general, estrogen tends to induce excitation in the central nervous system—this is the reason why someone with a seizure disorder has deteriorating conditions at the time of their menstrual cycles when estrogen levels highest- a condition known as “Catamenial Seizures”.
Women may also experience variations in pain levels throughout their menstrual cycles. Which is an indicator that female hormones play a role in pain perception!
Some of you with the migraine may have realized, for instance, an exacerbated pain during the menstrual cycle and improved thereafter. With the same logic, migraines often improve during pregnancy.
So for the same reason, I avoid visiting my beautician during those days and save my skin from any hair raising experience. Anyway, back to seriousness!
While most of these symptoms may not be a clear indicator of fibro or FMS (Fibromyalgia Syndrome), experiencing lots of them together may be the trigger point. Watch out for these carefully:
- Pain and tender area
- Sleep Disorder
- Fibro fog (issues with concentration and memory)
- Stress and Anxiety
- Morning Sickness
- Numb arms and legs
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Painful menstrual cramps
Though factors causing fibro are not brightly clear, suffering from a painful disease such as arthritis or an infection raises your chances of developing fibromyalgia.
Emotional and physical abuse may also lead to causing disease. Childhood abuse is more dangerous in a way to diminish the ability of the brain to handle situations of pain and stress.
Also, possibilities being that physical trauma, stress, or flu can shoot the disease up. The nerves and brain misinterpret or overreact to normal pain signals, causing an imbalance in the brain chemicals.
It is disappointing to assert here that there is not much one can do to prevent the occurrence of fibromyalgia. However, the best rule to follow in any condition including FM is to stay as healthier as possible.
My best suggestion, as usual, is- YOGA + HEALTHY FOOD + GOOD SLEEP. My one formula proved to be the best savior in the most problematic situations I ever faced and the same can be for you.
That said if you can WIN YOUR STRESS, fibro will be improved without any further medication.
9 yoga poses to cure fibromyalgia
1. Mountain Pose- Tadasana
My mom always warns to underestimate something from its first appearance. Same suggest I! Never ever think Tadasana as simply upward standing on your yoga mat. This is the beginning and most important pose of a yoga session and one of the best yoga pose for fibromyalgia!
It prepares your brain and body for upcoming challenging poses.
2. Forward Fold- UTTANASANA
3. Warrior Pose- Veerbhadrasana
- Start on the top of your mat in Mountain pose, or Tadasana.
- On an exhale, step your left foot back about 3 to 4 feet, depending upon the length of your legs and the flexibility in your hips.
- Place your left foot parallel to the edge of your mat and line up the heel of your right foot with the heel of your left foot.
- Press down firmly through the pinky toe edge of your back foot to avoid crumpling into the arch.
- On an inhale, extend your arms out, parallel to the floor and alongside your body, with your palms facing down.
- Keep your gaze just over the middle finger of your right hand and relax your shoulders down.
- Bend deeply into your right knee, stacking it directly over your right ankle so that your right shin stands perpendicular to the floor.
- Ensure the knee above the ankle.
- Keep your core gently engaged by tucking your ribs in.
- Continue pressing through the pinky toe edge of your back foot, particularly through the outer edge of the heel.
- Remain in the pose anywhere from 5 to 10 breaths
- Repeat on the other side whenever you feel ready.
4. Cow Pose- Gomukhasana
5. Eagle Pose- Garunasana
- Start in Mountain pose (Tadasana), with the legs hip-distance apart and parallel.
- Root down firmly through all four corners of the feet — big toe mount, pinky toe mount, and the outer edges of the heels.
- Shift your weight into the sole of your left foot, with a slight bend in both knees, and inhale to pick your right foot up off the mat and cross your right thigh over your left.
- Point your right toes down and move towards fastening the right foot around the back of the left calf while balancing on the left standing leg.
- As you exhale, take a deeper bend in the knees and sink the hips a down.
- Extend your arms out in front of you, cross your left arm on top of your right arm and bend your elbows
- Next, try bringing your palms together to touch.
- Lift your elbows, raise your forearms perpendicular to the floor to draw your shoulder blades inward.
- Stack your shoulders over your hips, keeping the low belly drawn in and the core engaged.
- Keep your gaze focused on one fixed point, just in front of you, to maintain your balance.
- Stay in the pose for 4 to 5 breaths, then gently unwind and come back to the Mountain Pose.
- Repeat on the other side.
6. Child’s Pose- Balasana
7. Cobra Pose- Bhujangasana
8. Fish Pose- Matsyasana
- Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
- Inhale to lift your hips slightly off the floor, and slide your hands (palms down), below your hips and let them rest on the backs of your hands.
- Adjust and hug your forearms and elbows up close to the sides of your torso.
- Inhale and press your forearms and elbows firmly against the floor.
- Next, scoop your scapulas (two shoulder bone) into your back and with an inhale, lift your upper torso and head away from the floor.
- Now release your head back onto the floor.
- Avoid exerting much of the weight on your head to avoid pressure your neck.
- Keep your knees bent or straighten your legs out onto the floor.
- In case the later, keep your thighs active and press out through the heels.
- Stay for 15 to 30 seconds or 4 to 5 breaths.
- With an exhalation lower your torso and head to the floor.
9. Corpse Pose- Savasana
Wrapping Up- Yoga Poses For Fibromyalgia
Thanks for reaching here with me! I hope it to be helpful in sobering your fibro. When we are in pain our brain fogs. We lose the ability to think and make decisions. Here your decision to start a yoga practice and mindfulness activities may prove to be an important step towards your wellness. Further, with a good diet and appropriate Sleep, you can make a difference in your life and win even Fibromyalgia.
Word of Caution:
Stay active and warm, as cold can tighten muscles; keep moving; breathe into painful areas; and work equally on both sides of the body in order to maintain balance, even if you have trouble only on one side.
Once again Keep your stress at bay. Best way to do this is reading.
The last thing, leave your comments and suggestions in the box. I love them. Readers would also get benefit from your experience. Spread the words using social media share buttons.