Life with fibromyalgia can be a challenge. But you can take steps to proactively manage your health—and your life. Action is empowering.
Your doctor is your most important resource. Work closely with your doctor and talk about which steps might help you find fibromyalgia pain relief. You have options such as lifestyle changes, support groups, and medication.
A healthy and active lifestyle may help you decrease your fibromyalgia symptoms. Studies show that second to medication, the actions most likely to help are light aerobic exercises (such as walking or water exercise to get your heart rate up) and strength training. But always check with your doctor before you start any exercise program.
These tips from the National Fibromyalgia Association may help you get started.
If you find that you are sleeping poorly, you're not alone. With fibro, pain and poor sleep happen in a circle. Each worsens the other. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to help yourself sleep better. The National Fibromyalgia Association, the National Pain Foundation, the National Sleep Foundation, and other expert organizations recommend the following steps to help people sleep:
So what about your diet? There’s a lot of information on the Internet about “fibromyalgia diets.” But many researchers say there is no perfect eating plan for fibromyalgia relief. Talk to your doctor about what is right for your needs and your lifestyle. Let your doctor know if you have eliminated any foods from your diet. Also, be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking any nutritional supplements. They can possibly interact with any medications you may be taking.
Read tips from others living with fibromyalgia.
Learning to cope with fibromyalgia can be a challenge. Good emotional support can help. Try reaching out to family and friends. Talk to your loved ones about how to help give you fibromyalgia support.
It’s also important to work closely with a health care professional who understands your condition.
However, fibromyalgia can be hard to understand. Your friends and family may not always know what you are going through. Even members of the health care system may not be as sensitive as you may wish. Maybe the support you need has been lacking.
There are certain feelings, frustrations, and successes that only someone else with fibromyalgia can identify with. Reach out to others who have walked in your shoes. Let your loved ones and others with fibromyalgia help you along the way.
Support groups exist all over the country, as well as online.
All of this may help you better manage your fibromyalgia.
Another helpful skill is stress management. Stress plays a big role in how you respond to different situations, both physically and emotionally. Stress can have a significant impact on your ability to do the things that are important to you.
There are many different stress management techniques to try that are easy to learn such as
You can also simply allow yourself time each day to relax. That may mean learning how to say no without feeling guilty. But it's important to stay active and keep to a routine you can manage.
A type of therapy called cognitive behavioral therapy has also been found to be helpful. Studies show it can reduce pain severity and improve function. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps us see how our thoughts affect how we feel and what we do.