Millions of people suffer from fibroymyalgia, a painful disorder that causes chronic widespread pain throughout the body. People suffering form fibromyalgia can feel like prisoners of their own body, never knowing when the debilitating pain is going to strike. If you’re suffering from the aches, pains and sleepless nights caused by fibromyalgia, there are some steps you can take to manage your chronic pain. Here’s how to cope with fibromyalgia and regain a sense of normalcy again.
* Discuss with your doctor all the different types of pain relievers available. Try to avoid taking narcotics unless you absolutely have to. Opiate painkillers can be very addictive, so be aware of any developing symptoms of dependency or addiction and consider taking non-opiate prescription medications.
* Be honest with friends and family. Don’t hide your pain or be afraid to seek help. Your loved ones want to help but may not understand the complexities of your illness. Give them the tools they need to help support you by telling them what to expect and how to help you. Create a list of people you can turn to when you need support.
* Seek support from other fibromyalgia sufferers. No one understands the pain and depression caused by fibromyalgia quite like another person suffering from the same affliction. Talking to other people going through the same thing as you can help you cope with fibromyalgia. Try joining a support group or joining an online community where you can share your stories and compare strategies for managing pain.
* Try not to dwell on your pain. This is easier said than done, but many fibromyalgia sufferers can easily slip into depression over how their chronic pain has disrupted their daily lives. Keep yourself busy enjoying activities you’re still able to do and always seek professional help if feelings of depression begin to take over. Stay positive by celebrating the small successes, such as the days where your pain is minimal or absent.
* Get moving. Certain exercises and stretches can help you better cope with the pain. Ask a doctor or physical therapist about things you can do every day and which exercises/stretches are best to do on your good days and on your most painful days. And remember: Don’t push yourself! Know your limits and listen to your body.
* Maintain a healthy living style. Don’t let pain become an excuse for neglecting your body. The healthier you are, the better able you will be to cope with pain. Eat a healthy diet that’s rich in the nutrients you need to combat pain and exercise when you can. You’ll find that you’ll be able to cope with bad days much easier when you create a healthy foundation within your body.
* Take advantage of your good days. Enjoy the activities you love that you’re unable to do on your bad days. Also, use the mental clarity of your good days to plan ahead. Make a list of everything you need to accomplish in the week ahead, prioritize tasks, and have the list handy to turn over to helpers when the bad days strike. By making a plan you’ll feel more in control of your life and of your disease.
* Research all the treatment options available. There are many ways to treat chronic pain beyond prescription medications. Read up on as much fibromyalgia research as you can and seek alternative methods of pain management. Holistic treatments such as acupuncture, massage and yoga are all effective ways of easing pain.