Fibromyalgia has become very common in the U. S. with about 5 million Americans suffering from it. A person suffering from it has long-term pain in many parts of the body, and there is tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Fibromyalgia patients suffer from mild or severe pain at tender points, such as the soft tissues on the back of the neck, shoulders and chest; lower back, hips, elbows, and knees, which then spreads out from these areas. Patients of fibromyalgia also have to deal with sleep problems, depressed mood, and fatigue. When it flares up, you have to manage life, and learn to cope up with pain and other symptoms.
How to cope with fibromyalgia flare-ups?
Fibromyalgia is a long-term disorder. Sometimes the symptoms may improve, but at other times, it may continue for many months or years. It is very important to learn to cope up with its symptoms. Limitations caused due to fibromyalgia can be lessened if you learn to deal with it by getting the facts. Try to know more about the disorder and how it can be treated. Make lifestyle changes to equip yourself to cope with pain and carry on in life. With some simple strategies and setting up priorities, you can help yourself in dealing with fibromyalgia.
- Take your medicines on time- Take all the drugs prescribed by your doctor. They do help in relieving your pain. By not taking all the medicines, you will be hurting yourself. You may have worries about getting addicted to drugs, but especially when disorder flares up, you must take all the drugs prescribed.
- Make modifications in your work style- You may be a perfectionist, but do take it easy. Try to modify your work habits by stockpiling food, cleaning dishes only once in a day, and limiting unnecessary commitments. Take help of your family and friends. Avoid stress and anxiety in your office. Talk to your employer and try to have flexible working hours. If office chair hurts you, get it changed. Try to make work environment as friendly as possible.
- Minimize stress- Stress plays an important part in triggering the symptoms. Try to be in control of the situations in your life. Learn to delegate work. Also, learn to say no to people who put too many demands on you. Prioritize your work. Stop worrying about every small thing. If you imagine something to be very troublesome, it becomes troublesome. Try to think positive. If you take things easy, and stay calm, you will find that many things can be handled very easily. Try to control your emotions, and stay calm in all situations.
- Exercise regularly- Doctors will prescribe an exercise and fitness program for you. Exercising regularly is very important to mitigate the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Aerobic and conditioning exercises help enhance your well-being and have antidepressant effect. Walking, swimming, biking, etc. will have positive impact on you. Yoga helps in improving blood flow to muscles.
- Learn to relax- There are many relaxation techniques which you can learn to ease tension and anxiety in your life. You can learn meditation, deep breathing, visualization and many such techniques to relax and enhance your positive mood. When you relax and think positive, it produces happiness and positive waves in your brain. You can also include light massage therapy for reducing stress and improving blood circulation.
- Keep a diary- Keep a diary of pain and symptoms. This helps in understanding when and how the symptom starts. Looking back will enable you to emulate the incidents, which contributed to the enhancement of the symptoms, and you could take corrective measures.
- Eat balanced diet- Eat a well-balanced diet. Reduce caffeine intake, as too much caffeine increases insomnia as well as anxiety. Drink lots of water. Water not only keeps your skin soft, but also helps in eliminating toxins from your body.
- Practice good sleep routine- Practice good sleep routine to enhance the quality of sleep. Make sure that your room is dark, temperature is comfortable, and there is no disturbance while you sleep. Eliminate caffeine especially near bedtime, from your diet. Take a warm bath before sleeping. This not only relaxes your muscles, bur also induces good quality sleep.
- Join a support group Consider joining a fibromyalgia support group. These groups are not only educational, but also help patients in venting their frustrations, and sharing their experiences. Apart from that, maintain contact with your friends. Their sympathetic attitude will lift you up in difficult situation and help in coping with problems easily.
Though fibromyalgia is a long-term disorder, and brings many problems for the patient, but with positive attitude and little help of family and friends, quality of life can be improved.