Thanks Thanks:  2
Likes Likes:  0
Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    24 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)

    Fibromyalgia pain: Options for coping

    Fibromyalgia pain: Options for coping
    Mayo Clinic
    Dec. 16, 2011

    If you have fibromyalgia, difficult days are inevitable. Coping strategies range from meditation to watching a funny movie.

    Fibromyalgia pain tends to fluctuate. On the days when your fibromyalgia pain flares, everything you try to do can seem more difficult. It's easy to become discouraged.

    One of the hardest things to accept may be that there is no cure for fibromyalgia. While lifestyle changes and medications can lessen the severity of your fibromyalgia pain or fatigue, you will continue to have good days and bad days.

    Why prepare a list in advance?
    When fibromyalgia pain or fatigue is severe, you might not be thinking clearly. A flare of fibromyalgia symptoms can send you into a spiral of stress and despair if you aren't prepared. But having a plan to follow gives you a sense of control over your signs and symptoms.

    Write down your options for coping and keep your list where you can find it when you feel a bad day coming. Different strategies work better for some people than for others. Some may work fine for you on one day but not on another. That's why it's good to have a variety of options to choose from.

    Avoid negative self-talk
    Studies have shown that what we say to ourselves inside our heads can affect our perception of pain. Turning negative thoughts into positive ones takes practice but is worth the effort.

    Negative Positive
    I can't do anything because of my symptoms. I can do many things. I just need to pace myself and take breaks.
    I have no control over my happiness. The pain controls me. I can control my happiness. I can be happy and enjoy life despite pain.
    People at work are upset with me. They don't think I'm doing my share. I will do the best job I can and feel good about my accomplishments.

    Tell someone when you're having a difficult day
    You might be tempted to keep it to yourself, but resist that urge. While some alone time is a good way to relax, isolating yourself for days can end up making you feel lonely. Tell an understanding friend or family member that you're feeling frustrated or overwhelmed. But don't dwell on your signs and symptoms.

    In-person or online support groups can link you to people who are also dealing with fibromyalgia. In addition to the comfort of talking with people who are facing the same types of challenges, members often share coping techniques that might work for you, too.

    Spend your energy 'pennies' wisely
    Sometimes it helps to think of the amount of energy you have as pennies in a piggy bank. You need to prioritize tasks so that you won't run out of pennies before the day is done. Pace yourself and take frequent breaks to rest. This mindset is crucial on days when your symptoms flare.

    Take a look at what's coming up on your calendar. Identify what's necessary and what's not. Focus your energy in the next few days on what's necessary. Prioritizing your tasks can help reduce your stress levels. People who are overly stressed often have tense muscles, which tend to amplify fibromyalgia pain.

    Ask for help when you need it
    Make a list of people who can help you on bad days. For instance, a family member may be willing to fix meals or run errands for a day. You may be reluctant to be a burden, but your friends and family love you and want to help.

    Other resources in your community may be available to help you complete necessary tasks when you're having a really difficult day. Temporary changes that might help you get through a tough day might include shopping at a local grocery store that delivers. Using public transportation or a taxi may be an easier, less stressful way of getting where you need to go. Or you may be able to recruit neighborhood kids to help with yardwork.

    Find distractions
    Identify activities that distract you from your symptoms. Examples include:

    • Funny movies
    • Quick-read books
    • Outings with friends
    • Favorite museums
    • Beautiful walking paths

    Set aside time for relaxation on your daily schedule. Add more relaxation time on days when your fibromyalgia symptoms flare. Relaxation techniques include:

    • Deep-breathing exercises. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose to a count of five. Hold the air in your lungs for a count of five and then breathe out slowly through your mouth to a count of 10.
    • Progressive muscle relaxation. Tighten and then relax body parts one at a time, starting at either your head or your feet.
    • Meditation. Focusing on a single object or repeating a particular sound can help quiet your mind and relax your muscles.
    • Visualization. Take an imaginary trip to a beautiful place. Use all your senses to experience the location as fully as possible. Feel the sun's warmth. Hear the birds.

    Practice makes perfect
    The more often you use coping strategies, the easier it becomes. Different strategies work for different people. Something that's worked in the past may not work today, so be flexible and try the next thing on your list.

    If you have fibromyalgia, difficult days are inevitable. But planning ahead can help you take control of the bad days so that fibromyalgia pain doesn't take control of you.

    1. Fibromyalgia. American College of Rheumatology. Patient Education - Fibromyalgia Accessed Sept. 26, 2011.
    2. Barbara Woodward Lips, Patient Education Center. Fibromyalgia: The road to wellness. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2010.
    3. Bradley LA. Psychosocial factors and rheumatic disease. Evidence-Based Clinical Decision Support at the Point of Care | UpToDate Accessed Sept. 26, 2011.
    4. Good Living With Fibromyalgia. Atlanta, Ga.: Arthritis Foundation; 2006.
    5. Kimura Y, et al. Treatment and prognosis of fibromyalgia in children and adolescents. Evidence-Based Clinical Decision Support at the Point of Care | UpToDate Accessed Sept. 26, 2011.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Oregon, USA
    0 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)

    Re: Fibromyalgia pain: Options for coping

    I've been dealing with this condition for 40+ years and feel I have beat it for the most part. Being an advantageous condition it does on occasion remind me that it's still there. I have found that attitude is everything. I do have a choice of what kind of day I have. My mantra is "Have a wonderful day....No matter what!" If I choose to let FMS bum me out, I hurt more & sleep less. But if I feel happy inside, I hurt less and sleep a full night. I exercise daily, riding my bike between 2 & 10 miles daily, stretch often through out the day to keep things moving. I also watch what I eat. I only eat organic foods, no deep fried anything, no sugar, corn syrup, etc., low salt intake, no snacks before bed.

    I do art to distract my mind. If you keep your mind busy through creativity you will forget to pay attention to your pain. "I create places I'd rather be than in pain" I created over 2000 new images last year! Photographed 5000 flowers last year! I begin my day by creating 2 or 3 floral mandalas. I find they balance me and set the intention for my day.

    I also listen to my body. If my pain levels are high, I stay in bed and honor my body. Always listen to it or it will only speak louder. I do my best to not over do anything when pain levels are higher. Believe it or not but I am grateful for this teacher called Fibromyalgia !! It has taught me so much about me.

    Blessings .... Max aka Orchid

    ( I also grow orchids )



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Disclaimer: PsychLinks is not responsible for the content of posts or comments by forum members.

Additional Forum Web Design by PsychLinks
© All rights reserved.