Possible Treatments

  • Pacing is one thing that definitely helps you achieve more.  Dividing your day between periods of rest and activity helps you to control pain and fatigue.  The golden rule is to stop before you get to the ‘climbing up the wall level’ and rest.  You definitely achieve more mentally and physically by being strict with yourself and of course your sense of achievement helps you feel good.  If you have plans for a certain day but your fibro is at such a height as to make this activity impossible, think of something you can do and then pat yourself on the back for achieving that instead.

 

  • Exercise It will probably be the last thing you feel like doing, but low impact aerobic exercise such as walking, cycling or swimming (must be a warm water pool preferably heated to hydrotherapy temperature) will help your symptoms if done in moderation.  Movement and stretching help to keep your muscles conditioned and reduces stiffness and cramps.  Just lying on the sofa or in bed all the time only increases your pain and stiffness over time.  Start off slowly with short stretches to your comfort limit in the mornings and gradually increase when you feel able.  Exercising also increases oxygen supply to our muscles and brain and produces natural endorphins (the bodies pain medication and feel good factor).

 

  • Relax.  Stress is one of your worst enemies and causes an increase in pain and can become a vicious circle causing added sleep problems resulting in more problems the next day etc.  Just taking 15 minutes to yourself to shut your eyes and breathe deeply can have amazing results.  Obviously, all this advice will be difficult for Mum’s with young children to follow but try and involve your children in what you are doing and treat it as a game – they will no doubt thank you when they are able to relax in their adult lives.

 

  • Analgesics.  As fibromyalgia is such a diverse and individual illness it is difficult to advise on any particular drug.  What we do suggest is that you work with your GP or Consultant to find out what works best for you.  An analgesic that dulls down the pain message to the brain has been found effective coupled with a mild dose of antidepressant at night to help with pain and sleep.  Your local hospital’s Pain Relief Clinic can be helpful for you to try pain control injections (Lidocaine a local anaesthetic like the dentist uses) and nerve stimulation such as a Tens Machine. They can sometimes advise on the use of alternative treatments with taster sessions. 

 

  • Heat Using a hot water bottle or wheat bag on a painful area can sometimes bring relief, (some have said that frozen food packets work best for them though).  Having a hot bath or shower will also help pain, tension and resultant stiffness.

 

  • What works best for you.  At the end of the day you may discover another strategy that works well for you and we would like to hear from you if this is the case.

 

  • Acceptance.  Accepting that you have been diagnosed with a long term condition that is currently incurable but not known to be life threatening, will enable you to deal with things better.  You can then move forward in your life with a more positive attitude.  Meeting other sufferers helps realise that others are experiencing the same as you so joining a support group is a good place to start.

DISCLAIMER:   Please bear in mind that any views expressed in articles, recommended literature or information in this web site or any other literature are for guidance purposes only.  Any treatments or medication information cannot be guaranteed to work for any one individual and are suggestions only.