Chronic and widespread pain may be the number one symptom associated with living with fibromyalgia, but it is far from the only symptom that makes this disorder so debilitating. Other symptoms that can have a significant impact on your day to day activities can include insomnia, fibro fog, fatigue, tender points, numbness or tingling in hands and feet, anxiety or depression, and gastrointestinal symptoms.
Despite the challenges posed by such a daunting illness, you still want to live the best life you possibly can. Our goal with today’s article is to help you succeed in improving your quality of life despite having to cope with a chronic health condition. Let’s look at some of the best tips for living with fibromyalgia.
Know When to Say No
As a person living with a chronic health problem, you have to learn to be your own advocate and say no when you can’t handle something. Guilt can be your worst enemy. You push yourself to do that one more thing, and it means days of increased pain and getting even less accomplished. Knowing when you need to take a break is crucial, and your real friends will understand when you have to forgo a social event to take care of work or something around the house with your limited energy.
Spend Your Good Days the Right Way
Overdoing it is a good way to end up with a flare-up of symptoms. But you want to get to as much as you possibly can accomplish on the days when you feel good. How can you reach a balance? Understand that by pacing yourself on your good days, you may be able to string more good days together rather than having one good day followed by several really bad days. This mindset can help you to accomplish more and increase the number of good days that you have.
We all set priorities on what needs to be accomplished, but this becomes even more important when dealing with a chronic ailment that can limit energy. Reorganizing how you write out your to-do list can help. You may want to organize your list by order of importance. This will help you to ensure you get the most important things done, even if you can only get to part of your list.
The other way to organize your list is by how much energy the tasks will require. Try a high energy task when you feel good. Go for several low energy tasks on a bad day because you will still be able to cross a few items off your list and feel good about that.
Keep Up Your Activity Levels
Daily exercise can be really difficult if you experience daily pain and fatigue, but there are a few reasons this is a must.
Exercise may actually decrease your pain levels
Research reported on in Pain magazine reveals that physical activity can lessen pain levels. Why is this the case? It may be due to the fact that exercise releases feel-good hormones in the body.
Exercise can help you maintain a healthy body weight
When you are already dealing with a chronic pain condition, the last thing you need is more weigh on your joints. However, when pain makes it tough to exercise, this is what often happens, and it can create a cycle that ramps pain up on a long-term basis, making fibromyalgia tougher to live with. Exercise can help keep those extra pounds off and alleviate the additional stress on your joints.
Of course, you need to be careful not to make your condition worse by working out so hard on your good days that you can’t get out of bed for the next week. This calls for the help of a physician to get you into a program of graduated exercise. You may just start with simple stretches and work your way up to things like walking or swimming.
Find the Support You Need from Others Living with Fibromyalgia
Do you still find that even in 2019 you run into ignorant people who say ridiculous things about how you “don’t look sick”? Fibromyalgia News Today ran an article recently about the benefits of finding a fibromyalgia support group that is well run. This can put you in touch with other individuals who are dealing with the same things as you, but who are looking to support one another rather than just a place to complain. Since emotional strain can also add to your symptoms, this is a good way to find help to feel better about yourself and to see that it is possible to live a happy life despite your chronic health condition.
Give Upper Cervical Chiropractic a Try
If you are suffering from a chronic illness, you want to find natural ways to try and improve your symptoms. Upper cervical chiropractic has been able to help some fibromyalgia patients in case studies. This is because the top two bones in the neck can impact blood flow to the head, brainstem function, and other vital functions of the central nervous system. If you are living with fibromyalgia, especially if you have a history of head or neck injuries, this may be a good option for you. Contact a practitioner in your area today to learn more. A no-obligation consultation may be your first step on the path to improving the quality of your life despite having a chronic illness.