Fibromyalgia is a medical condition of having chronic pains in one or more parts of the body. People living with fibromyalgia are also experiencing symptoms like fatigue, sleeping problems, headaches, depression and many others. Most of the symptoms are similar to arthritis; however, fibromyalgia does not cause damage to muscles, joints or bones.
2% of Canadians live with this condition; most of the suffering are women. The exact cause of the disease is currently not known.
A person needs to have at least three months of chronic pain in some parts of the body to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The pain can change place, can disappear and reappear from time to time.
There is no cure to the disease and treatment focuses on managing the symptoms, specifically the pain.
What can a person with fibromyalgia do to ease the pain?
Try to remain physically active at all times. Choose the exercise type easy to follow; try not to create extra stress by choosing an extremely demanding routine. Exercising can increase the pain at the beginning but keeping the regime with reducing the pain eventually. Proper exercises are more gentle activities to increase endurance gradually. You can swim, bike, walk, take water aerobics.
- Meditation helps to focus, concentrate on the current moment, thus relax your muscles and decrease stress level.
- Massage therapy is a popular alternative treatment for fibromyalgia; however, not everybody likes it. Some find massage painful. If you want to try it, consult with physiotherapists who have experience with fibromyalgia.
- Aqua therapy is essential to start with low-impact exercise activities that don’t put extra weight on your body. Water therapy, which is different from water exercise, supports your body throughout the session, lowers the pain, motivates you to continue the routine. At Hydroactive professional therapists develop the program individually for each patient to meet specific needs.
- Guided imagery is the method that helps you to replace negative thoughts, memories with the positive ones.
Listen to music; try to change negative thoughts into positive self-talk, laugh. Good humour developed in carefree days can help you through painful times.
Find distractions like movies, beautiful nature scenes, meeting with friends. Socializing helps in bad days.
Follow a healthy diet
Weight control, eating healthy food, keeping healthy routine – all help to improve the symptoms according to Arthritis Society. Compared to medications that help to release the pain in a particular time frame and usually have several negative side-effects, a healthy lifestyle is a more sustainable way to reduce the symptoms and manage the pain.
Manage sleep times
Getting enough sleep is vital for people with fibromyalgia. Distorted rest is one of the common symptoms that people tend to ignore. Try to sleep and get up at the same time every day. The sleeping environment should be free of distractions; all conditions should support healthy, relaxed sleep. Stay away from caffeine, alcohol, food before sleep. Improved sleep will improve brain functioning, decrease the level of stress, eventually ease the pain.
Find your best combination
Living with a condition like fibromyalgia is a challenge that requires continuous monitoring and treatment. To reach the best pain management strategy for yourself, you need to explore many ways, create combinations of listed options or find new ones. Reach for help and advise whenever needed. Do not isolate yourself. Stay positive, find what works you, and keep in mind that the nature of the condition can change, thus the methods to manage the symptoms.
Planning and managing expectations will help to control the condition; thus, your life.