Living with any chronic condition presents challenges, but living with a chronic condition that others can’t see and that is not well-understood by the scientific community can be especially difficult. About 10 million people, mostly women, in the United States have fibromyalgia, and the symptoms that most of them share our pain, exhaustion, and brain fog.
Even though you are probably always going to face challenges related to fibromyalgia, there are things you can do to make sure you are enjoying the best life possible for you. The suggestions below may help you find ways to meet your obligations and still have a little energy left over for doing the things you enjoy.
Be an active participant in your own medical care
The staff at Apex Medical Center wants to see you living a full, active, healthy life, and the best way to reach that goal is for you to work with them. By attending all of your appointments, taking your medication as prescribed, keeping a journal related to your health, and most importantly, communicating with your care providers, you are taking great strides toward living as healthy and comfortable life as you possible.
You may find that a multidisciplinary approach works best to manage your pain. Through services such as radiofrequency ablation, acupuncture, and biofeedback, the staff at Apex Medical Center may offer options you haven’t considered to manage your pain.
Keeping a journal of your symptoms and taking it with you to your appointments at Apex, you’ll be helping your care provider understand what triggers flare-ups as well as what therapies work well for you. Everything from nutrition to stress levels can impact how you feel on a day-to-day basis.
Learn to step back when necessary
Most people today are living fast-paced, hectic lives. If you are finding yourself fighting through the exhaustion of fibromyalgia and pushing yourself to accomplish all of the tasks on your to-do list, you may need to take a step back.
Fibromyalgia fatigue is often a signal to slow down and rest. Doing so may help you avoid a flare-up. Learning what your body’s signals and cues are will help you understand when you can do a few more things and when you need to stop and rest.
In addition to paying attention to your energy level, you may also want to find a way to step back in small ways each day. Finding room for meditation, prayer, or simply a few minutes of quiet time may help reduce your overall levels of stress and lead to fewer flare-ups.
Exercise, but carefully
How do you exercise when you are exhausted and in pain? This is a problem for many fibromyalgia patients; experts advise exercise, but everything hurts. The key is to begin slowly and to find the right activity for you.
You may not be able to run or do kickboxing, but walking and yoga are likely within your range of capabilities. Even if you only begin with the simplest, gentlest poses, or you only walk for five minutes, you’ll be improving your health.
Once you find an activity you can enjoy, build up to it carefully. For example, if you walk for five minutes and you feel okay the next day, wait five to seven days before trying to add another minute to your walk. If five minutes is too much, try reducing it to three minutes the next time.
When you don’t feel well and you’re tired, it’s easy to become closed off. The idea of going out with friends or attending family gatherings may seem overwhelming, but it’s important to maintain relationships.
One of the hallmarks of a healthy life is having strong relationships with friends and family. Being isolated can make everything feel worse. Even if you can’t manage an outing or a visit, consider phone conversations so that you stay connected with the people you care about and who care about you.
Other things, like taking time away from technology, paying careful attention to diet and nutrition, maintaining a schedule, and keeping a positive attitude can all play a role in helping you live your best possible life. If you are looking for ways to control your pain, stay active, and live the fullest life you can, book a consultation with one of the experts at Apex Medical Center. They will be happy to discuss your specific situation and suggest options you may not have considered.