Home treatment is the most
important part of treating fibromyalgia. There are many things you can
do over time to treat your symptoms:
- Exercise regularly. Of all the
treatments for fibromyalgia, cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise may have the
most benefit in reducing pain and other symptoms and in improving your overall
condition. Work with a physical therapist or other professional who has
expertise with fibromyalgia to build an exercise program that works for you. And then stay with it.
- Try to avoid or limit your
exposure to "triggers" or "stressors" that make your symptoms worse. Common triggers include cold or
damp weather, poor sleep, fatigue, physical or emotional stress, and
being too active.
- Improve sleep. Sleep disturbances seem
to both cause and result from some of the other symptoms of fibromyalgia, such
as pain. Learn good sleep habits. And try to get enough sleep each
- Relieve pain. Heat therapy, massage, gentle exercise,
and short-term use of nonprescription pain relievers may be
- Reduce stress. Finding healthy ways to cope with stress may help reduce your pain.
- Learn about fibromyalgia. The more you know about fibromyalgia, the more control you
will have over your symptoms. People who feel more in control also tend to be
more active and report less pain and other symptoms.3
- Learn ways to manage your
memory problems. Feeling as though you are not
thinking clearly—sometimes called "fibro fog"—increases stress and can make
memory problems worse. Simple things like writing yourself notes can help you
feel more in control.
- Have a
good-health attitude, along with these other healthy
habits. It's hard to stay positive when you don't feel well. But a good
attitude helps you focus less on your challenges and feel more healthy.
The best results occur when you take an active, committed
role in your own treatment. You may need to adjust your lifestyle to fit home
treatment, especially regular exercise, into your daily routine. It may take time
to find an approach that works for you. Try to be patient. And keep in mind
that consistent home treatment usually can help relieve or control symptoms of
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Karin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology
October 20, 2011
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