While treating fibromyalgia with conventional medications sounds as if it's a trial and error procedure, there are other methods you and your doctor can use to not only
help reduce your symptoms, but give you a feeling of control over your life.
Your physician may recommend that you go through what's called cognitive behavior therapy. This treatment is conducted through a series of individual counseling sessions, various classes as well as recorded information you listen to in the comfort of your own home. The aim of this therapy is to strengthen your inner beliefs in your capability of dealing with stressful situations. If your doctor hasn't suggested this line of treatment, you may want to ask him about it.
You physician may also suggest you enroll in an interdisciplinary program that combine a various treatments, including biofeedback, and relaxation techniques. Bear in mind that fibromyalgia doesn't manifest itself in identical form for every person. Your doctor can help you create a program that is tailored specifically for your own needs.
Ultimately, the treatment of fibromyalgia may depend on your own ability to take control of not only your symptoms, but your environment as well. Probably more than any other disease, you may be able to control the severity of fibromyalgia with careful planning and taking very good care of yourself.
One of the first aspects of your life that you should try to get control over is stress. For people with fibromyalgia, this is the equivalent of walking a tightrope. Experts recommend that you reduce your exposure to emotional stress, but that you don't eliminate all the stress in your life. It seems that those individuals who completely change their schedule – like quitting their job or dropping out of all outside activities – actually find that the disease gets worse.
Sit down and develop a plan that avoids – or at least limits – your exposure to emotional stress. Give yourself a minimum of 30 minutes on a daily basis just to sit and relax. You may even want to start meditating during this period. Any other activity that encourages calming effects in your life is also recommended.
Be sure you get enough sleep. Of course, telling this to a person with fibromyalgia is like telling a sailor not to get wet. One of the hallmark symptoms of this disease is inability to sleep. But, on the other hand, fatigue is also a defining characteristic of this condition. There's not a better time than right now, though, to get serious about good sleep habits.
Starting can be as easy as going to bed at the same time every night and getting up about the same time every morning. To ensure that you do sleep soundly, try to avoid those naps during the day. Yes, this is tough, especially when you run up against that wall of fatigue about mid-day.
Here's another suggestion that sounds contradictory: exercise regularly. That's right. Yes, it's difficult to even think about when every muscle in your body seems to hurt, and you feel as stiff as a starched collar. And yes, depending on your physical condition, initially that extra activity may only increase your pain. But as it becomes a habit, you'll notice that the exercise actually decreases your level of pain.
Don't think that you need to do anything real strenuous like run a marathon either. You can get a great deal of benefit from simple activities, like walking, bicycling and swimming. If you don't know how to swim – and even if you do – water aerobics may also be a great option.
Note: Some statements in this
article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational
purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.