FYBROMYALGIA – HOW TO HELP YOURSELF
Anyone suffering from fybromyalgia knows the pain, fatigue, discouragement, and frustration this syndrome can produce. The symptoms vary in intensity and frequency, causing patients much instability with their lifestyle. There are good days and bad days. Those with fybromyalgia have to be creative and flexible in planning activities and scheduling outings. They have to learn to take care of their physical needs before they can start anything else. It means putting themselves first, and for many people, this is hard to do. However, if they receive the idea of caring for themselves as a priority, patients can see improvements with their lives and with their involvement with family and friends.
If you suffer from fybromyalgia, here are some suggestions that may help you get a handle on your situation and improvement your effectiveness in the lives of others as well.
KNOW YOUR LIMITS
This can’t be stressed enough. Because they have good days and bad days, patients with fybromyalgia tend to overdo on the good days, thereby increasing their chances of having a bad next day. To help with this, evaluate how you feel each day. If you feel well enough, do more, but remember that moderation is important. Always be flexible. You never know when you’ll have a flare-up, so listen to your body and take breaks when you need them. If you wake up feeling the symptoms of the syndrome, plan your day accordingly and do less.
EXERCISE IT AWAY
Although it hurts to start, gentle exercise movements, if only for a few minutes at a time, will help relieve that pain, stiffness, fatigue, and other fybromyalgia symptoms. Start slowly and try activities like walking, swimming, and stretching. As you feel better, you can always increase the duration or intensity. The key here is moderation.
MASSAGE IT AWAY
People also use massage to help deal with depression and anxiety as well as a way to ease muscle pain, improve range of motion, and reduce stress. More vigorous forms of massage may help relieve deep muscle pain from fibromyalgia, or you can try using a tennis ball or another firm object to massage painful areas if you prefer to do it yourself.
Heat boosts blood flow to places where you hurt and moist heat may relieve soreness and stiffness from fibromyalgia. You can do this by applying a warm, moist washcloth to the painful area, try taking a shower, or soaking in a bath. Cold packs are also good for pain relief. You can make one easily by wrapping a towel around a bag of frozen vegetables.
Acupuncture may relieve fibromyalgia symptoms. The belief surrounding this ancient Chinese practice is that by inserting thin needles into specific points on the body, energy flow is helped. There are other explanations for the healing effects of acupuncture. Some people think it may increase the body’s natural pain-fighting chemicals. Whatever way it works, there are those that faithfully use this practice for fybromyalgia. Although some acupuncture studies have shown an improvement in pain, fatigue, or anxiety, others have shown it to have no effect when compared to simulated acupuncture. Whether it can work for you would be yours to find out.
GET GOOD SLEEP
This is easier said than done, I know. Fibromyalgia often disrupts sleep due to pain, restless legs syndrome, or other reasons. However, developing a sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day may help as well as avoiding daytime naps.
This is perhaps the hardest thing for some people to do. When it comes to family, children, and social activities, you have to practice a little bit of selfishness. When you are pressured by too many demands, it’s time to learn how to say “no.” Even though you want to, for your own good, you cannot at this time. Doing this will take a bit of practice for some folks but it will help you be able to participate later when you actually do feel better. Loved ones will understand and want the best for you.
There is more and more research being done on this topic with respect to fybromyalgia. Some studies suggest that certain over-the-counter herbs and supplements — such as 5-HTP, melatonin, and SAM-e — can help relieve fibromyalgia symptoms. Of course, always consult your doctor before trying any new substances to avoid conflicts between medications and supplements.
TRY TO DE-STRESS
Stress may trigger fybromyalgia flare-ups, complete with all the symptoms you dread. Therefore, make time for yourself every day to relax. Be sure to do something that you love like reading, listening to music, or taking a walk. Do whatever it takes for some guilt-free time to de-stress.
I hope these suggestions help those who suffer from fybromyalgia. Although they mean well, doctors can’t do it all. Sometimes, they are helpless to know what to do. Then is when we have to help ourselves. Try some of these and see if they don’t help you in your battle with this syndrome.