Living With Fibromyalgia: 12 Everyday Tips To Cope With The Painful Symptoms

There are mornings when you are too tired and sore to even get out of the bed. “Get up and get moving, there is a lot to get done today,” you tell yourself. But no matter how hard you try, you are just not able to move a muscle.

That’s life with fibromyalgia, and it’s surely full of ups and downs. Some days, you are doing just fine; having a productive day at work, preparing full-course meals for your family, and even spending some time planting lilies in your backyard. And the very next day, you are too tired to even get up and feed your cat!

Living with fibromyalgia is undoubtedly difficult, but with special care and everyday tips, it can certainly be eased to a great extent. If you are a victim of this medical condition, this article will help you explore some tips and tricks to get you through the hard and painful days with success.

What Is Fibromyalgia? 

What Is Fibromyalgia?

 

Fibromyalgia refers to a medical condition that causes severe fatigue, localized tenderness, and musculoskeletal pain in the body. While the actual cause of this problem is unknown, experts believe that genetics have a role to play in its development. The usual symptoms of fibromyalgia normally develop after:

  • Physical trauma
  • Psychological stress
  • A medical illness
  • An injury

Some other common symptoms of fibromyalgia include cognitive dysfunction, frequent headaches, mood dysfunction, and insomnia. (1)

While there are a lot of medical treatments offered to minimize these symptoms, including the use of painkillers, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, etc., many people resort to natural tips and tricks to manage their everyday troubles. (2)

Living With Fibromyalgia: Common Everyday Challenges

People with fibromyalgia tend to face some common challenges on a day-to-day basis. Some of these troubling thoughts and challenges are mentioned below:

  • Fear that you are going to fall apart any at minute.
  • Feeling that others consider you unreliable as you are always cancelling appointments at the very last minute.
  • Worrying that your family considers you a burden or someone who’s not normal.
  • Being too afraid to open up about your symptoms to others as you fear being labeled as a complainer.
  • Feeling undesirable sexually.
  • Feeling uncomfortable in public spaces due to extreme pain.
  • Giving up on all your favorite activities, such as gardening, watching a movie, driving a car, or playing a guitar, just because you fear they may cause you more pain.
  • Constantly feeling like a failure since you are never able to finish anything in timely manner.

Natural Tips to Live Comfortably With Fibromyalgia

Natural Tips to Live Comfortably With Fibromyalgia

The following tips are recommended for people living with fibromyalgia to minimize their challenges and get better control over their symptoms.

#1 - Take a Hot Bath

When it comes to pain reduction, soaking your body in hot water may not be your first preference, but it can actually provide significant relief from the discomforting symptoms. All you need to do is fill up your bathtub with water and keep your body submerged in it for half an hour. (3)

#2 - Work Out, But Not Too Much

Patients with fibromyalgia usually share a love-hate relationship with exercise. Working out and staying active is indeed a great remedy to reduce the everyday pain, but it is the last thing on your mind when you are already exhausted and all achy.

Therefore, experts recommend every patient to self-regulate their activity and make sure they don’t overdo it or they will end up exacerbating the symptoms. Try getting up regularly to move, and make sure to stick to light activity, like walking or other forms of aerobic exercises. (4)

#3 - Take Breaks

Engaging in a long activity consistently can be really tough for people with fibromyalgia. One such activity is cleaning which can force them to end up in a terrible flare-up. To avoid these flare-ups, experts recommend performing longer activities in bursts.

For example, if you are a housewife, consider performing a small amount of chores every day instead of trying to manage them all at once. Whenever you are cleaning, set an alarm for 30 minutes and start cleaning. As soon as the alarm goes off, stop and take a break for the next 30 minutes. Repeat as many times as needed.

#4 - Laugh More

Laughing is indeed the best medicine. It may not change anything in the long run but it can certainly make you feel pain a little less. So try finding reasons to stay happy and have a good laugh every day to keep things optimistic while you work towards achieving a better life.

#5- Cut Back On Sugar

Those cream-filled donuts topped with sugary sprinkles may make you happy, but remember that these effects are only short-term. In the long run, sugar can, in fact, make your fibromyalgia symptoms worse than ever.

According to experts, diet plays a huge role in determining the severity and frequency of flare-ups in a lot of patients with fibromyalgia. Eating anything sugary or potentially inflammatory can make the pain worse and push the victim into a vicious cycle of never-ending exhaustion. [5]

So make sure you limit your intake of sugar and other inflammatory foods and stick to healthier alternatives.

#6- Use the Healing Power of Turmeric

Turmeric, the golden spice, is the star ingredient in many Asian cuisines. In addition to giving foods a characteristic taste, smell, and color, this spice can also exert some amazing healing effects on your body. Turmeric has been proven as a strong anti-inflammatory agent which means that it can help control the symptoms of fibromyalgia as well. (6)

You may consider adding it to your daily meals and drinks or simply go for a supplement. Make sure to consult your doctor about the correct dosing.

#7 - Optimize Your Sleep

For some people, sleep and pain are closely related, and for such people, the best way to manage their fibromyalgia symptoms is to aim for seven to eight hours of sound, peaceful, and uninterrupted sleep.

Do whatever you can to make your sleeping experience more comfortable. You may consider changing positions, using special pillows, dimming the lights, or relying on soothing music to drift into sweet slumber.

#8 - Try Yoga

Research has proven that people with fibromyalgia who often participate in yoga classes tend to experience less pain and fatigue and better overall mood. For such people, the regular yoga classes may include meditation, group discussions, breathing exercises, and some gentle poses to relax your body muscles while increasing their strength.

Make sure to let your instructor know about your condition beforehand so that they can adjust your session according to your needs.

#9 - Go For Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient therapy for pain relief that does not involve the use of any medicines or chemicals. In fact, it includes using needles to prick the skin to:

  • Improve the blood flow
  • Promote self-healing
  • Treating chronic pain
  • Improving the mood-enhancing neurotransmitters in your brain

Research has found that people with fibromyalgia who rely on acupuncture benefit from this particular natural technique for up to 2 years. However, if you think you cannot tolerate needles being inserted in your body, consider trying acupressure that aims to accomplish the same results but with the help of pressure application. (7)

#10 - Book A Session For Physical Therapy

Physical therapy techniques aim to increase your muscle strength and range of motion. Furthermore, it can also help in the reduction of pain associated with fibromyalgia. Just get yourself enrolled in a physical therapy session and let your therapist know about the nature of your condition. They can then tailor a program to cater to your needs in addition to teaching multiple self-care techniques. Some physical therapy sessions also focus on educating the patients about fibromyalgia in detail so that they are better able to manage their symptoms on their own. Research has shown that this pain management education can also help boost performance during exercise. (8)

#11 - Load Up On The Sunshine Hormone

People with fibromyalgia often have low levels of vitamin D in their bodies. (9) Research has found that supplementing with this hormone can improve the symptoms of this medical condition and considerably reduce the extent of fatigue these patients experience on a daily basis.

Before you consider taking a vitamin D supplement, remember to speak with your doctor regarding the most suitable dosage as too much of it can be toxic. Alternatively, try spending more time in the sun to trigger the natural production of this hormone in your body

#12- Maintain A Trigger Journal 

Fibromyalgia can be confusing and overwhelming for many people. A lot of victims spend their entire lives wondering about all the things that make their symptoms worse.

To avoid these confusions and keep your flare-ups to the minimum, experts suggest keeping a trigger journal. Use it to write down all the potential triggers that initiate or exacerbate your symptoms. Search for patterns in what foods, activities, and other factors worsen your pain and exhaustion and keep noting them down in the journal. In a matter of weeks, you will have a better idea what to avoid to prevent flare-ups and live comfortably.

In a Nutshell

Despite the availability of multiple medical interventions, fibromyalgia still continues to haunt the lives of its victims due to its unpredictable and extremely discomforting symptoms. While pharmaceutical medicines can help with the symptoms to a significant extent, using them as adjuvant to daily tips and tricks mentioned in this article can help users gain better control over their symptoms and continue to live their lives comfortably.

To Your health and happiness, Doctor Danielle

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