Those living with fibromyalgia know how difficult it is to constantly deal with chronic pain, fatigue and sleep disturbances. The incidence of fibromyalgia is much more in women as compared to men. The syndrome majorly affects the connective tissue and the musculoskeletal system. However, in severe cases, systemic manifestations also occur.Major signs and symptoms include chronic pain, chronic fatigue, joint stiffness, sleep disturbances, tingling sensations and muscle spasms. It has also been strongly correlated with anxiety, depression and cognitive dysfunction.
Not only does it heavily disrupt life, it takes heavy toll on the self-image and confidence. With certain tips and strategies, it is possible to manage fibromyalgia, decrease flare-ups and ease the associated discomfort.
Here Are The Tips To Cope With Fibromyalgia:
It is undoubtedly one of the most important lifestyle measures to be taken for coping with fibromyalgia. There is enough scientific evidence to suggest the role of exercise in managing fibromyalgia symptoms. Make it a part of your daily routine. Gentle stretches and endurance exercises are essential. Aerobic exercises like swimming, walking and light jogging help in increasing the oxygen supply to muscles. Aquatic exercises are also quite beneficial.
Stress has been strongly implicated as a causative factor for fibromyalgia. There’s a direct correlation between increased stress and exacerbation of fibromyalgia symptoms. Find out ways to de-stress yourself. Don’t let the deadlines get better of you. Stay calm and relaxed. Take time to do the stuff that relaxes you, follow your hobbies and keep stress at bay. A positive outlook towards life helps immensely. Stop continuous pondering over your problems. Worrying serves no purpose except exaggerating the problems and creating emotional upheavals.
Soaking yourself in hot water bath or shower works wonders for the tense and fatigued muscles. Hot water baths, steam and sauna release muscle tension, improve muscle flexibility, enhance blood circulation and reduce pain. You can also consider applying moist hot packs around nape of the neck, upper and low back for beneficial results.
Ensure that you get minimum of 8-10 hours of daily sleep. Insomnia is a potential trigger for fibromyalgia. To make sure that you get your daily dose of sleep, minimize the distractions. Keep the cell phone, laptops and gadgets away at bedtime. Reduce caffeine in diet, take hot water baths before going to bed and avoid watching late night television. Exposure to adequate sunlight during the day helps in regulating the circadian rhythm of melatonin secretion which is essential for good sleep patterns. Keep your bed time fixed also helps in controlling insomnia.
Brief rest periods interspersed in the daily activities help a great deal in managing fibromyalgia. The energising naps actually make it possible for people with fibromyalgia to do more work than they can otherwise do. Power naps of 10-20 minutes after every couple of hours help a lot in reducing the fatigue levels.
Conserve energy as much as possible. Avoid multi-tasking and take up one task at a time. Distribute heavy activities over the day with rest intervals in between. For instance, don’t do laundry and cleaning dishes at the same time of the day. Avoid carrying heavy loads. Prioritize the tasks at hand. Don’t try doing everything same day.
Avoid slouched posture with humped back and protruding neck as they put postural muscles under a lot of strain. Practice good posture. Use ergonomic chairs for long hours of desk work.
Guided mental imagery, meditation, deep breathing and biofeedback can help to cope with fibromyalgia symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often recommended to those suffering from fibromyalgia.
Take time to give your body the pleasure of massage. Massage improves blood circulation, decreases muscle tension and reduces stress and fatigue.