Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Muscle Pain
Chronic Fatigue sufferers often experience additional symptoms to the extreme fatigue and lack of improvement after prolonged bed rest. Frequently those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) also experience muscle pain, joint pain and tenderness, headaches and tender lymph nodes in the neck and/or armpit. It's important to discover any triggers for CFS and its accompanying muscle pain. If possible, don't rely too much on medication, but instead work to discover any triggers, and focus on drug-free therapies.
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome causes severe fatigue that is not alleviated by bed rest and lasts at least six months. It is fatigue so severe that it interferes with what should be considered normal daily function and is often aggravated by mental or physical activity. Some other symptoms may include muscle pain, reduced mental capacity, sensitivities to certain foods, sugars, caffeine or alcohol, and even some psychological problems like anxiety or depression.
If you experience muscle pain or aches, before turning to medication like ibuprofen or aspirin, first try to modify certain behaviors. Are parts of your body tense even while you're trying to relax? Practice breathing exercises and systematically focus on each muscle group in your body. Begin at your toes and feet by wiggling your toes and moving your feet around. Then relax and let them lie still. Next gently flex your calves and relax. Continue up past your legs and abdomen, to your shoulders and neck, then down your arms to your fingers. Remember, you are gently flexing and relaxing each muscle group-don't over do it.
Many people experience relief by taking a certain number of deep, regular breaths or by meditating. Close your eyes, focus on your breath and inhale deeply through your nose, then exhale slowly out of your mouth. Continue for ten breaths, or however many feels comfortable to you.
Warm Baths and Massage
If you can, have a friend or masseuse give you a gentle massage. Be sure to communicate with the other person as to the type of pressure that feels good, and let them know immediately if you get too fatigued or if you are too sore for a massage. A warm bath might be a good alternative. Relax as long as it feels good for you.
If you suffer from frequent headaches, first try to identify what may cause them. Is it tension or anxiety? Are there certain foods that trigger headaches like chocolate, caffeine, sugars or fatty foods? Maybe bright lights and loud noises are triggers. Before turning to medication, see if a warm washcloth on your forehead helps. Lie or sit in a darkened room with a warm, wet washcloth on your forehead or the back of your neck. Or try and gently rub with a circular motion the area where your head aches.
Photo Credit: Flo-Jo2010