Taking Care of Yourself with Fibromyalgia

Besides taking medicine as prescribed by your doctor, there are many things you can do to minimize the impact of fibromyalgia on your life. These include:

Getting enough sleep

Getting enough sleep and the right kind of sleep can help ease the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia. Even so, many people with fibromyalgia have problems such as pain, restless legs syndrome, or brain-wave irregularities that interfere with restful sleep. See “Fibromyalgia and Sleep”

Exercising

Though pain and fatigue may make exercise and daily activities difficult, it's crucial to be as physically active as possible. Research has repeatedly shown that regular exercise is one of the most effective treatments for fibromyalgia. People who have too much pain or fatigue to do vigorous exercise should begin with walking or other gentle exercise and build their endurance and intensity slowly. Although research has focused largely on the benefits of aerobic and flexibility exercises, some studies point to the benefit of adding strength training to the traditionally prescribed aerobic and flexibility exercises.

Making changes at work

Most people with fibromyalgia continue to work, but they may have to make big changes to do so; for example, some people cut down the number of hours they work, switch to a less demanding job, or adapt a current job. If you face obstacles at work, such as an uncomfortable desk chair that leaves your back aching or difficulty lifting heavy boxes or files, your employer may make adaptations that will enable you to keep your job. An occupational therapist can help you design a more comfortable workstation or find more efficient and less painful ways to lift.

Eating well

Although some people with fibromyalgia report feeling better when they eat or avoid certain foods, no specific diet has been proven to influence fibromyalgia. Of course, it is important to have a healthy, balanced diet. Not only will proper nutrition give you more energy and make you generally feel better, it will also help you avoid other health problems.

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Last updated: 5/13/2022