A diagnosis of fibromyalgia usually morphs into a feeling that life is nothing more than illness.
Despite the pain and the fibro fog; the inability to sleep and the isolation; a fibromyalgia patient can undertake helpful steps to manage their chronic pain and regain happiness. Below are five key components of a treatment regimen to help fibromyalgia patients take back control of their lives.
Regulating sleep is vital to the management of fibromyalgia. Without enough rest, the other management steps won’t be easy to implement.
First, make the bedroom comfortable. Invest in a mattress that doesn’t irritate tender spots, as well as sheets that don’t irritate the skin. Adjust the temperature so that it prevents the body from tensing. Prepare for bed by doing deep breathing exercises and positive visualization.
If sleeping the whole night is not possible, don’t stress. Either build up to it, or allow for naps. One big block of uninterrupted sleep is unnecessary. And try to be active during the day to promote sleep, which brings us to the next step.
Exercise promotes sleep as well as keeps the body toned and stretched. But many with fibromyalgia avoid exercise for fear of pain. However, the resulting inactivity often causes pain levels to continue to worsen.
Exercise helps modify pain in a natural way. The best exercises for fibromyalgia are Pilates, swimming, and yoga. These exercises avoid putting stress on the joints, stretch the body, and raise the heart rate.
Furthermore, all exercise requires correct breathing, but Pilates, swimming, and yoga instructors specifically discuss breathing as part of their instruction. Many people take shallow breaths, but that’s especially true of people with fibromyalgia. Learning to breathe correctly helps modify pain.
Healthy foods fuel the body and mind. Though there’s nothing wrong with treats from time to time, don’t seek comfort in bad food.
Salmon and grass-fed beef, spinach, and oatmeal are all great for fibromyalgia. Sweet potatoes are a wonderful source of magnesium (stress fighter), and vitamins B6, C & D. Apples are full of fiber and help regulate the bowels as well as hydrate the body.
Some supplements help reduce fibromyalgia pain, but always speak to a doctor before adding supplements to the diet, as some do interfere with medications.
Time management and organization help avoid the stress of fibro fog.
Set aside a time to arrange each week’s calendar, and keep it visible so fibro fog doesn’t result in missing an appointment or deadline. This will greatly reduce stress because what needs to be accomplished is always in view.
Task management, or time chunking, is especially helpful for fibromyalgia patients. Blocking off adequate time for chores, cooking, exercise, and rest will prevent these activities from piling up and overwhelming you.
Support systems are essential for managing fibromyalgia. Seek out others with fibromyalgia via Twitter, Facebook and The National Fibromyalgia Association (www.fmaware.org ). Ask your doctor for info on local support groups as well.
Don’t hesitate to share troubles with family and friends or ask for help when you need it. Fibromyalgia is a legitimate illness that demands legitimate help.
Incorporating these tips into your lifestyle will help bring back the peace and harmony you enjoyed before your fibromyalgia diagnosis. Even after fibromyalgia, you can do more than just exist. You can live.
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