The pain that fibromyalgia causes – widespread muscle pain, accompanied by severe fatigue – is often compounded by the fact that it can take years to be diagnosed. Although it becomes difficult to live with the discomforts of fibromyalgia, which can really paralyze a person, it is possible to live in a dignified way if you know how to do it. Next, we will talk about some ways in which you can have a better quality of life if you suffer from the symptoms of this condition that is increasingly on the rise.
Lower the discomforts of fibromyalgia with a better quality of life.
Recently, joint experts suggested broadening the criteria doctors use: Unexplained and widespread pain and tenderness are still on the list, but so are fatigue, exhaustion on awakening, and cognitive symptoms like fuzzy thinking and memory problems.
Of all the ailments of fibromyalgia, pain is the most common and most difficult symptom. So are fatigue and mental confusion. While those symptoms can be challenging, you don’t have to put your life on hold for them.
Living with fibromyalgia means making adjustments, from work to parental responsibilities to housework for fun. By taking a more active role in managing your condition, you can feel a sense of control and increase your self-esteem along with your quality of life.
Staying on medications. It sounds obvious, but this may be why you are not getting enough relief from symptoms. Almost half of the people in one study did not take their medications as directed due to forgetfulness, carelessness, or frustration. Keep a journal and take it to doctor visits so you can focus on what is bothering you and see what helps.
Make sure your doctor has experience with fibromyalgia. Other members of the team, who often practice together in pain and rheumatology clinics, can help with specific symptoms. They include physiatrists, psychologists, and physical and occupational therapists.
Consider complementary therapies, such as acupuncture and massage, to relieve pain. Sign up for a self-management education class, in person or online, to better understand fibromyalgia.
Be as active as you can. Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to deal with fibromyalgia. Relieves both fatigue and pain. Walking and swimming are especially good. Aim for 20-30 minutes, 2-3 days a week. It’s okay to do that in 10-minute chunks.
Balance exercises will help you feel more stable. Resistance training can increase your strength and overall fitness. A coach can teach you the correct way to lift.
Exergames, which are video games that include exercise – can be a good option if you’re worried about falling. These exercise games track the movements or reactions of your body and combine that with virtual reality. This style of exercise targets your ability to move easily and maintain balance.
If you’re uncomfortable or even low-impact activity is difficult, ask your doctor about an exercise program for people with fibromyalgia or another type of supervised rehabilitation to improve your strength, flexibility, and endurance.
Learn to manage your energy.
Practice good sleep habits, like going to bed and getting up at the same time. Regular exercise will also help you sleep. You can try a simple nightly bath in the tub to help you temporarily relax and relieve pain.
Ask your doctor to examine you for sleep disorders such as restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea.
During the day, keep up the pace. Plan your work, housework, and social events so you don’t overdo it. Break big tasks down into manageable bites. Build in short periods of rest between activities.
Worry, anxiety, and feeling overwhelmed drain your energy as well. Try to adopt a “more fluid” than “crisis” approach to life, set priorities and remember that it is okay to say “no” so that you can focus on what is important.
With guided imagery, replace negative or stressful feelings with pleasant images. Once you learn how, you can do it on your own. Mindfulness meditation teaches you to focus your thoughts in a positive way. The more you practice it, the greater the pain relief. Other useful approaches include cognitive behavioral therapy and biofeedback.
Mind-body practices such as tai chi, qi gong, and yoga can alleviate many fibromyalgia problems, from trouble sleeping and fatigue to mood. Because they include movement, they work in the same way as exercise, with the advantage of relieving the stress of concentrated breathing.
Focus on nutrient-dense foods to give you more energy and avoid other health problems. Use your journal to see if any food makes you feel better.
People with fibromyalgia tend to have low levels of vitamin D. That could make pain and other symptoms worse. A blood test can determine if you are low on vitamin D. Ask your doctor if you should take a supplement.
One study showed that light and moderate (but not heavy) alcohol drinkers have a better quality of life and less severe symptoms than non-drinkers. In this study, “moderate” meant 3-7 drinks per week, and not all in one day.
Avoid caffeine. While it can make you feel more alert, it can also make you nervous and make it difficult to sleep. Drinking 4 or more cups of a caffeinated beverage a day has been linked to more fibromyalgia pain.
Sit down with your partner regularly to talk about what’s going on with you. Listen to each other and solve problems together. If that is difficult, with the help of a therapist you can help bridge the gap. Studies show that it is best when the two of you agree on how fibromyalgia affects you. You could take it to your next doctor visit if they’re having a hard time understanding what it’s like.
Find out what really matters to the people you care about, like your kid’s soccer games or the school game. Then you plan their activities and save energy to be there for them during those times.