How To Deal With Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a condition characterised by extreme muscle pain that is followed by weakness, fatigue and issue with the state of mind. It is believed that fibromyalgia causes painful sensations by affecting the way your mind forms pain signals.
Indications now and then start after a physical injury, surgery, disease or critical mental anxiety. In different cases, side effects progressively show after some time with no single occasion that triggers it.
Here are some coping methods you can use to help yourself live well with fibromyalgia:
Minimize stress and tension in your life. Stress may play an essential part in activating fibromyalgia side effects and its symptoms. Many individuals with fibromyalgia tend to feel on the edge, anxious, and inactive around the time when the side effects fibromyalgia flare up.
Exclude yourself from unpleasant circumstances. People tend to amplify issues, making them appear to be far more prominent than they are. When you think of something to be a last chance situation, despite the fact that in reality, it is not, your body responds as though you are at risk. Work at treating your feelings as problems come by.
Coordination. Coordination is important with an unending condition like fibromyalgia. Transparent conversations diminish the problems amongst you and your companion, family, friends and colleagues.
How To Use Energy Pacing For Fatigue Management In Your Daily Life
Activity pacing sounds good in theory, but how do you put it into practice? An occupational therapist and/or a pain management psychologist can help you tailor your activity pacing based on your individual needs. I always listen to patients and ask them where they find the greatest challenges, Dodge says. Then we break down the tasks one by one together to develop solutions to try out. Dodge has patients work on one or two things between visits so as to not overwhelm with too much to do at once.
Here are some specific fatigue management techniques you can try:
How To Fight Fibromyalgia Fatigue
Besides pain, anxiety and mental fog, fibromyalgia patients may also suffer from chronic fatigue symptoms. But natural remedies can go a long way toward restoring lost energy. Heres an expert guide to what really works for fibromyalgia fatigue…On bad days, Holly Scott can barely drag herself out of bed, shuffle to the couch and sit down. Ordinary activities seem virtually impossible.When my fibromyalgia flares up, I miss my daughters soccer games and dance recitals, says the 39-year-old Tucson mother of two. Im too tired even to sit through a movie with my husband. Scotts exhaustion is typical of fibromyalgia, a condition that causes widespread muscle pain and tenderness, and can often bring about debilitating fatigue.Thats the result of the body trying to fight chronic pain both physically and mentally, says Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., author of From Fatigued to Fantastic! and a leading expert on both fibromyalgia support and chronic fatigue. After a flare-up, women with fibromyalgia find themselves with lagging energy levels because theyve spent a great deal of battling the depression and emotional anguish associated with the disease, Dr. Teitelbaum says.
For optimum fibromyalgia support, meditate at least once a day for a minimum of 10 minutes, Dr. Yee suggests.Build up to twice a day: once in the morning and once at night.Heres how to get started:
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Does Energy Pacing Work What Studies Say
The research is mixed there are papers out there that say that activity or energy pacing is helpful for patients with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue. Others show that it may help, but that other modalities such as cognitive behavior therapy and graded exercise therapy can be helpful as well, Dr. Sulapas says.
Energy pacing may also help for symptoms such as pain rather than fatigue. I tried pacing for fatigue management over six months and it didnt work, Katharine T. says. For pain levels I find it more helpful.
But with your doctors OK, it generally cant hurt to try. Energy pacing is one of the most well-received techniques to help with chronic fatigue, Dr. Sulapas says. Its a safe technique to help conserve energy during the day and not wear oneself out.
Triggers For Fibromyalgia Flares
At times the symptoms you experience as a result of your fibromyalgia will become more intense. This is called a flare. Flares can be triggered or made worse by several factors including:
- weather changes
- hormonal changes
- changes in treatment.
Triggers vary from person to person. Understanding the things that cause your fibromyalgia to flare means that you can be prepared and take steps to lessen the effect they will have on you and your life.
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Do Doctors Think Fibromyalgia Is All In The Mind
Fibromyalgia causes considerable distress and misunderstanding. The condition is a real one, which causes pain and disability and can have an enormous impact on everyday life.
Sometimes, in trying to explain that fibromyalgia is thought to be caused by abnormalities of pain transmitters in the brain and spinal cord rather than the peripheral nervous system, doctors can give their patients the impression that their pain is considered to be ‘in the mind’ .
This isn’t the case. The cause of fibromyalgia may lie in the brain, but saying that something occurs in the brain isn’t the same as saying it occurs in the mind. The brain is where we process and produce the sensation of pain. After all, nobody would ever suggest that a condition like a stroke, which affects the brain, is in the mind.
Pain is the end result of a nerve and neurotransmitter process, the function of which is to warn us of tissue injury. An abnormality in that process may produce pain without tissue injury.
Central sensitisation describes the brain responding differently to nerve signals. It does not represent a ‘low pain threshold’, as it doesn’t appear to be caused by low sensitivity to pain, but by higher-than-average release of central pain chemicals in response to certain triggers in the muscles, like pressure and stretch. Many people with fibromyalgia explain that their pain tolerance in other situations is not reduced at all.
Schedule In Your Rest Time
A good way to manage fatigue caused by fibromyalgia is to schedule rest into your day. Sitting or briefly lying down at some point could be what you need.
Try to plan your most rigorous tasks for times when you think youll have the most energy. Similarly, take time to pace yourself and find balance within your day.
The National Fibromyalgia Association offers a helpful guide to pacing, including:
- setting a schedule
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Aching Around The Tender Points
One of the most usual signs of the illness is that the tender points have a habit of getting quite tender around the joints in the body. The tenderness is known as the pain points and as soon as the pressure is applied on these points it results in a great deal of pain. The pain is only around the skins surface. The regions around the neck, the buttocks and the back are the most generally hit. Still, the pain is frequently invisible and not quite identified.
Management : Among the recommended treatments, acupuncture is an effective option for reducing the pain sensitivity and improving quality of life.Over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen may be recommended. Drugs such as milnacipran and duloxetine work by changing brain chemistry so pain levels are controlled. One drug, pregabalin, blocks nerve cells involved in the transmission of pain.
Make Work Life Better
Is work leaving you exhausted and in pain? Design a flexible plan that works for you and your boss. Ask about working from home part-time, or setting your hours for earlier or later in the day so you can be more productive. At the office, rearrange your workspace for comfort and easy accessibility. A telephone headset, keyboard tray, or other products may help put less stress on your body.
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How Your Family Can Help
Always remember that youre not alone. Support from your family can make your condition easier to bear by spending time with you on good days as well as the bad days.
I try to make family members a partner in treatment, he says. When you just want to spend the day in bed watching TV because of fatigue or pain, a family member can encourage simple, fun activities to help get you moving.
Whether your diagnosis is chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia, a doctors role in treating the disease small. A doctor is there as the coach and can help you with the first 10% to 15% of improvement, while you have to help yourself manage the remaining 85% to 90%.
If youre suffering with chronic pain and/or fatigue, talk to your doctor. A diagnosis can put you in a better position to manage your symptoms even if there are still some mysteries surrounding your disease.
What Triggers Fibromyalgia Flare
Numerous factors contribute to a flare-up. What triggers your flare may not be the same as what triggers another person’s fibro flare.
Once you can distinguish your triggers, you may be able to avoid them effectively and reduce the flare-ups that you have.
Pushing yourself past your limits may trigger a flare-up. Learning to pace yourself when it comes to physical activity and exercise is vital.
It is easy to push yourself too far and wind up paying for it later. Finding your limits and listening to your body can help to avoid this.
Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
Stress can cause much damage to the body, including increasing pain and fatigue in those with fibromyalgia. Anxiety and depression also cause physical symptoms that could lead to a flare-up.
Finding methods to help you cope with stress, as well as finding appropriate treatment for any mental health problems, may help to reduce the number of fibro flares you have.
Fibromyalgia is closely linked to specific hormonal imbalances. This means that a change in your hormones can easily affect your symptoms.
Women with fibromyalgia may find that their menstrual period or the start of menopause can cause a fibro flare.
There are some foods that may affect some with fibromyalgia. Some have been affected by dairy, gluten, MSG, refined sugar, or caffeine. Also, any food sensitivities that you have could trigger a fibromyalgia flare.
Accept That Youre Dealing With A Long
Accepting that chronic fatigue is just thata chronic illnessis essential to helping you cope. This is a long-term situation, not a short-term problem.
Knowing this will help you face each day with the right mindset so you dont get frustrated with your productivity day-to-day.
Being productive is hard when youre exhausted, but staying committed to the big picture helps! Know what your ideal productive day, week, and month will look like, but know that it has to fit into a much bigger landscape of your chronic fatigue diagnosis.
From there, you can focus on building consistency over time.
I’m Having A Hard Time Getting Things Done What Can I Do
Because you have good days and bad days with fibromyalgia, start each morning assessing how you feel. If you didn’t sleep well the night before, plan your day accordingly and arrange to do less. If you feel well rested and your pain is tolerable, do more — but remember that moderation is key. Always be flexible. You never know when you’ll have a flare, so listen to your body and take breaks when you need them.
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How Is Fibromyalgia Treated
Treatment for fibromyalgia focuses on managing the pain and other symptoms. This often involves a combination of medicines and lifestyle changes, such as exercise, relaxation, and stress-management techniques. There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but treatment can improve the quality of life for those who have it.
Before giving medicines, doctors usually will try other treatments, such as:
- Regular exercise. This may increase pain at first, but exercise can help ease symptoms when done over time and regularly. Some kids and teens benefit from working with a physical therapist. Others can show improvement from stretching and relaxation exercises.
- Stress-relief methods. This can include yoga, t’ai chi, and other methods, as well as light massage, breathing exercises, and acupuncture.
- Good sleep. Getting enough sleep is one of the most effective ways to treat fibromyalgia. Kids with fibromyalgia should try to avoid caffeine and sugary beverages and snacks late in the day. They also should go to bed and get up at the same time each day and limit napping during the daytime.
- Healthy lifestyle choices. This includes eating a healthy diet and finding activities that help distract from the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
If these steps aren’t enough to manage symptoms, the doctor may prescribe medicines. Some used to treat fibromyalgia include:
Antidepressants. Some prescription antidepressants can ease pain and tiredness, and help promote better sleep.
Why Are We So Exhausted
For people with fibromyalgia and/or CFS, the conditions themselves cause fatigue. Other factors such as stress, anxiety, depression, lifestyle, and medications can make the fatigue worse.
Below are a few reasons you may feel exhausted:
Studies published earlier this year, help explain why individuals dealing with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Fibromyalgia have poor response to physical activity and poor energy production.
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Will I Still Be Able To Work With Fibromyalgia
Usually. Most people with fibromyalgia continue to work, but you may have to make changes to do so. You can cut down the number of hours you work, switch to a less demanding job, or adapt a current job. If you face challenges at work, an occupational therapist can help you design a more comfortable workstation or find more efficient and less painful ways to do your job. A number of federal laws protect your rights.
However, if you cannot work because of your fibromyalgia, you may qualify for disability benefits through your employer or the Social Security Administration.
The Pain Is Too Intense
Everyone has a different threshold for pain. There are many people who could walk even if their bones were badly damaged.
There are those who feel a slight pressure of pain and to them this feels as though their bodies are being put on fire. For this reason, pain is often one of the aspects that drives fibromyalgia sufferers crazy.
The key to dealing with this to avoid those crazy feelings is to realize what makes this pain worse. This can only be achieved through monitoring your symptoms and daily activities.
Thus, it is not something that you are going to know after only a few days of dealing with this. In many cases, it takes people years to learn what it is that makes their pain worse.
However, there are a few starting points that have been found through studies of those suffering with this illness:
1- Loud noises can often trigger the pain and headaches that a person feels
2- Eating greasy foods, such as fast foods can make this worse
3- Not getting enough sleep is a huge issue for those who suffer with fibromyalgia
4- Not exercising enough, which makes the body get weaker can intensify the pain that is being felt
With this being said, you must change your life to accommodate the pain and ensure that you are doing those activities that are going to help you become stronger and deal with the pain.
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How To Deal With A Fibromyalgia Flare
Living with fibromyalgia means living with a wide variety of symptoms that can wane and change from day-to-day. Most of us live with a constant, steady stream of symptoms such as pain, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and more.
However, having fibromyalgia also means there will be occasional periods where fibromyalgia symptoms usually become more intense and last longer. During this time, we may also experience symptoms that we do not often have on a regular basis. This is commonly referred to as a fibromyalgia flare or a fibromyalgia flare-up.
A flare-up can be different from person to person, but for many, it means severe pain, with little to no let-up. A flare-up likely includes debilitating fatigue, even to the point of feeling weak and unable to stand or walk for much length of time.
Fibromyalgia flare-ups may also include headaches worsened cognitive fatigue, or fibro fog as well as increased mental distress, such as anxiety and/or depression. A flare-up can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks.
Fibromyalgia Costs The Economy
A 2003 study in the Journal of Rheumatology1 showed startling costs, both for employers and fibromyalgia patients:
- Medical costs for fibromyalgia patients were more than twice that of non-fibro patients.
- Disability rates were double for fibro employees than non-fibro employees.
- For each fibromyalgia medical claim, employers spent between $57 and $143 on direct and indirect costs.
It makes financial sense for both employees with fibromyalgia and employers to search for simple workplace and job modifications to reduce, prevent and improve symptoms, and subsequently improve productivity on the job.
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Look For Areas To Improve Outside Work
A streamlined and productive household is a great help when working, even without the complications of fibromyalgia. It saves energy, is less stressful, and allows fibromites to perform better at work.
Eating healthily, both at home and at work, is important to give the fibro body the best nutrients for daily energy, improving the immune system, and for dealing with the ongoing pain. Many fibromites have digestive issues – ask a GP to check for food allergies, and avoid processed foods and food additives. Try planning and cooking in advance to save energy on strenuous days.
Gentle exercise is important for maintaining mobility and strength in muscles. Many fibromyalgia patients report improved symptoms at a healthier weight, and exercise is important for reaching that. Tai chi, yoga, gentle swimming and walking are all good places to start, but check with your doctor first!Mindfulness, meditation, stress reduction and other pain management techniques are fantastic for helping the fibromyalgia worker deal with and often reduce daily and severe pain. Look at ways to improve your sleep – a better bed, a darker or quieter room, a relaxing before-bed routine, cutting out caffeine, nicotine and alcohol can all improve the quality of sleep. A good night’s sleep enormously reduces pain levels the following day.