People with fibromyalgia experience widespread pain, fatigue, and stress. As a chronic condition, it’s difficult to manage and can have a negative impact on your everyday life. You may begin to feel isolated and cut off from the rest of the world. You may end up struggling to meet your responsibilities at work or school and struggle to complete tasks around the house.
Tips For Managing The Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia
The stressors in your life only seem to increase as you attempt to manage this challenging condition. Fortunately, there are many ways you can learn how to live with fibromyalgia and manage its symptoms.
1. Talk to Your Doctor About Medication Options
If you find that over-the-counter pain relief is not helping you manage your symptoms, it might be time to talk to your doctor about medication. Prescription options include antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, anti-inflammatory medications, and even opioids.
It’s important to note that these medications can be extremely helpful for some people with fibromyalgia, but others may experience side effects that are worse than the pain itself. It’s essential that you talk to your doctor about your options and discuss how the medication will affect you.
2. Stay Active
Physical activity is a very important part of managing fibromyalgia symptoms. Regular exercise releases endorphins, which improve your mood and help reduce your pain levels. It’s best to start slowly, perhaps with a gentle yoga or tai chi class. If you find an activity you enjoy, it’s much more likely that you will continue to do it regularly.
You can even try adding physical activity to your daily routine. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking to work instead of driving. You can even try taking a break at work to do some gentle stretching. Whatever physical activity you choose to do, make sure to increase your physical activity as much as you can without increasing your pain. You can progress at your own pace and build up your routine over time.
3. Use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Techniques
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy focused on the link between your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. It is often used in conjunction with medication to help those with fibromyalgia manage their symptoms. Using CBT techniques can help you break down tasks, manage your stress levels, and refocus your attention on the positive.
There are many ways you can use CBT to help manage fibromyalgia. You can practice simple relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, mindfulness, or guided imagery whenever you feel stressed or anxious. You can also make a list of your positive traits and accomplishments to remind yourself of your strengths.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Achieving a good night’s sleep can be incredibly challenging for those with fibromyalgia. You may wake up throughout the night in pain, be unable to find a comfortable position to sleep in or have trouble falling asleep at all. You can help improve your sleep by creating a sleep routine, keeping your bedroom as dark as possible, and using a comfortable pillow.
Keeping a sleep diary or journal can be helpful to track your sleep patterns. This can be a helpful tool to share with your doctor to determine what is contributing to your poor sleep. A hot bath or warm shower an hour or two before bed can help you relax and release the day’s stress. It’s important to avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening, which can interfere with your sleep.