We’ve all had that moment where our breath was taken away for one reason or another. Whether we were participating in hard physical activity or we fell and “got the wind knocked out of us,” it’s definitely always a shock when it becomes difficult to breathe.
Unfortunately, breathing troubles and chest pain are quite common with fibromyalgia, so it’s important that we take note of the potential issues and address them if and when they arise. Let’s take a closer look at these potential problems and why fibromyalgia even causes some of these issues in the first place.
Why Does Fibromyalgia Cause Breathing Problems?
There are a number of theories out there as to why those with fibromyalgia struggle from breathing problems as part of what is going on. That being said, like many things with fibromyalgia, we don’t have a set in stone reason that it happens. So, here’s a quick look at some of the theories behind why breathing problems are so common in those who are fighting fibromyalgia.
First, some people believe that it’s only because of the chest pain that often comes alongside fibromyalgia. Chest pain is quite common for those suffering from fibromyalgia and it’s not because of heart issues or anything like that.
The pain gets right into your lungs and makes them feel as if they are constricted, which may be part of the reason that it feels like it’s hard to breathe. That being said, the chest pain may also make your chest feel heavy, like you have a cold or congestion, which also may make it hard for someone to get a deep breath out.
Another theory is that it comes from the anxiety that is so frequently part of the struggles with fibromyalgia. There is a lot of stress going on when you have fibromyalgia, so it’s not that uncommon to struggle with that pain and heaviness in your chest, thus making it difficult for you to breathe.
Panic attacks are, sadly, another common occurrence with fibromyalgia, so it’s also important that you understand the issues that come along with that. Breathing problems are a part of panic attacks, so it’s not really that bad of a theory to think anxiety is part of the cause.
There are other theories as well, including a lack of blood flow and issues with the brain signals that tell us to breathe as we normally should be. That being said, the studies that talked about them were relatively inconclusive, thus making it so that we don’t really know how valid those theories are for the overall issue.
The fact of the matter is, shortness of breath and breathing troubles are relatively common for those who struggle with fibromyalgia, and it’s important that we understand how to cope with it and what we can do in order to try and prevent the issue from becoming worse.
What Do I Do When I Have Breathing Problems From Fibromyalgia?
The question is, what should you do if you have breathing problems? Is there anything that you can do in order to make sure that your breathing problems don’t become more of an issue than they would otherwise? Here are some tips that you can use in order to ease the strain on your chest and make it easier for you to breathe and go through your standard daily routine.
Breathing exercises. If you have trouble breathing, take some time to lay down on your back. This will help your body to stretch out and your chest to not feel so constricted. After you lay down, you will want to put your hand on your belly in order to track your breathing. Then, lie down and take deep breaths – in through your nose, and out through your mouth.
Focus on your breathing and make sure that you’re getting full, deep breaths in. This will help your body to relax immensely, and it will help your body to start to re-regulate your breathing as well, thus making it less stressful and making it a lot easier for you to breathe again. There are other breathing exercises that you can try as well; most of them involve similar techniques, just your location when they occur may differ.
Relaxation techniques. Breathing problems are one of the main reasons that specialists suggest that those with fibromyalgia actually take the time to do yoga and other relaxation techniques.
Relaxation can help the tenseness in our body to diminish, and it can help us to breathe more easily because we aren’t on edge all of the time. Take some time out for yourself and learn how to relax in a healthy way, and you will find that your breathing problems may subside slightly.
Grounding techniques. As stated above, some of the issues we have with breathing are a result of panic attacks and anxiety. Because of this, it’s important for us to know how to ground ourselves. Grounding ourselves is, essentially, realizing that we are present and that we aren’t a million miles somewhere else.
Put your feet on the ground, wiggle your toes, and rub your hands or your thighs. Make sure that you are present and let your body relax as it should. By knowing you’re here and present, you will feel grounded and the panic will subside much more easily.
Don’t feel like your fibromyalgia symptoms, whether it is breathing problems or anything else, has to be a fact of life. Even though these problems are common, there are many ways to prevent them and treat them, which will make it much easier for you to live the life that you want to live, even with fibromyalgia.
If you have questions about your breathing issues or you worry that it may be a sign of something more, make sure that you talk to your specialist. They can answer any questions that you may have and give you a regimen that can take care of the problems more effectively.
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