Friday, May 29, 2015

How I go medication-free with fibro; plus cauliflower potato salad

Mom and I are going biking.
Is there really a world where medications help relieve pain without side effects? In my world, I get no pain relief but all of the side effects. Anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin---you name it, I get zippo on the positive side and plenty of negative side effects. That's why I go medication-free except for Armour Thyroid which is compounded to leave out the fillers (they blunted its effectiveness).

Mom and I are going hiking after I rest up.
How do I control my pain without medications? Trust me, sometimes I am tempted to take a Tylenol or aspirin, especially when my fibro flares up. But then I say to myself, "Wait a minute, Einstein. Haven't you already experienced elevated liver enzymes from taking medications previously? Show me the benefit."

Instead, I cope with these strategies:
  • Exercise including working on good posture. (I know you're thinking but you're in pain. For me, it helps to move around.)
  • Muscle release.
  • Meditation.
  • Positive thoughts.
  • Heat and ice to painful muscles.

The no-potato salad
The big three for relieving my pain are exercise including working on good posture, muscle release (myofascial release) and meditation. Exercise is the one that most people don't get. How can it relieve pain or how can you do it if you're in pain? I guess it's like a feel-good drug because it elevates my endorphins.

The best exercise program for someone with fibro should focus on rebalancing the body. Let's face it. We're off balance. Well, some of us are more off balance than others.

What I mean is we're kind of like an old door hanging off balance. The door didn't get off balance right away. First, there might have been a loose screw but if no one fixes the problem, the door becomes so unbalanced it won't even close.

The same thing happens to a body in pain. We shift this way and that way trying to deal with the pain. We slouch because we are miserable. The body gets out of alignment because some muscles are tighter than others. Pretty soon, everyday movements become inhibited and more painful.

I spend a lot of time doing an exercise program that rebalances my body, releases tight muscles, relieves my pain, and improves my posture by lengthening and strengthening my muscles. It's the Essentrics program (also called Classical Stretch).

Myofascial release is the second of the big three. My husband learned to do the technique on me from a physical therapist I saw for years. Myofascial release is a stretching technique used by physical therapists to treat patients with a variety of soft tissue problems. Like most things, it only helps if you are doing other key things like a stretching/strengthening program as well as getting proper nutrition.

Myofascial release is stretching of the fascia. Fascia is a thin tissue that covers all the organs of the body. This tissue covers every muscle and every fiber within each muscle. Fibro sufferers have short, tight muscles as well as fascia which causes pain. Myofascial release helps by releasing the uneven tightness in the fascia.
In other words, Myofascial Release is stretching of the fascia.

During a myofascial release session, small areas of muscles are stretched at a time. The therapist finds tight spots by feel and also is guided by patient input. Myofascial release is not massage. It's actually a technique of trying to equalize muscle tension throughout the body. Unequal muscle tension can compress nerves and muscles causing pain.

I stress it's not a miracle cure. It won't work by itself. I had myofascial release treatments for years but my real progress was made when I added nutritional support and an exercise program designed to rebalance my body.

Meditation is another way I relieve pain. I practice it every day. See my post here for more information:

Another thing I have to do every day is practice good nutrition. One of my favorite recipes is Cauliflower Potato Salad.

Here's what you need for 4 servings:

1/2 medium cauliflower, chopped into florets
1-2 hard-boiled eggs
1 dill pickle, chopped (I used Bubbies brand)
1 celery stalk, chopped
Optional: 1 chard stalk, chopped
2 tsp. yellow mustard (I use Eden organic yellow mustard)
1 T. olive oil
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper

Here's what you do:

Chop all your veggies. Place in a pot of salted, boiling water. Cook until fork tender. Drain the veggies. Then, emerse them an icewater bath to cool the veggies. Mix the cooled veggies in a large bowl with the mustard, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. For a creamier version, add in 1 T. of plain yogurt of your choice. Toss in the eggs. Chill until ready to serve.


Buba4Turtle said...

I agree with natural treatment. I also do all natural treatments as opposed to medications (for different reasons). I didn't know what it was called about working the tissue out. It worked wonders for my back when my physical therapist was doing it. She did wonders with that treatment. It's a shame I don't see her anymore due to me moving.

I also rely on exercise as well as supplements and eating foods that don't trigger flares. Here is an in-depth look at my regiment:

I found your post at Fibro Friday.

Sheree Welshimer said...

Thank you for sharing your link for your natural treatment plan. Our routines/regimens are very similar. I, like you, stick with my plan regardless of how I feel and usually I feel better.