Alongside professional medical treatment you can make changes to your lifestyle and your activity levels which may have a positive impact on your fibromyalgia symptoms. As well as making changes to your lifestyle you could also consider joining a support group like those provided by UK Fibromyalgia. Below are some other key areas where you can make changes which may positively affect your symptoms.
Two of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia are chronic fatigue and pain which can make exercising difficult or impossible at times. An exercise programme designed for your condition can help improve your overall health and manage your symptoms. This is something that should be managed by your GP or physiotherapist and can be made up of both aerobic and resistance training. The exercises will be gentle and designed to help improve your endurance and help alleviate pain. Exercises such as hill walking, tai chi and yoga are popular, however you should seek medical advice before undertaking any strenuous exercise.
Once you have your diagnosis of fibromyalgia you will often hear the phrase ‘pace yourself’. It’s a fact that you really do have to take a step back when it comes to the pace of your life and pacing yourself, understanding and listening to your body, can help avoid periods of downtime and inactivity. Learning your body’s limits and working with them will help with managing your condition comfortably and not overexerting yourself and ending up with excessive pain.
Studies show the risks of depression and anxiety are higher for sufferers of fibromyalgia. Taking time to relax and practice relaxation techniques will help allow your body and mind to heal. You could choose to simply enjoy extra naps or time relaxing in bed or you could partake in meditation, deep breathing or specialised relaxation techniques. Talking therapies including counselling can also be a relaxation method.
The National Fibromyalgia Research Association reports that more than 75% of sufferers complain of disturbed sleep. Basic good sleep techniques including building a sleep routine with the same waking and going to bed times, avoiding caffeine, nicotine and alcohol before bed and avoiding eating heavy meals late at night. Your bedroom should be a relaxing environment without electronics, kept dark and quiet and you should also avoid checking the time throughout the night.
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If you’re interested in finding out how you can help yourself if you suffer with fibromyalgia, then we have more information for you within the exercise, relaxation and sleep sections of our blog.