YOUR TREATMENT PLAN
GETTING STARTED WITH YOUR PLAN
Taking the first steps
There are many ways to manage fibromyalgia pain, including taking a prescription medicine. But your prescription is only part of a complete fibromyalgia treatment plan. One way to approach your treatment is to think of it as a series of steps:
- Learn all you can about fibromyalgia
- Work with your doctor to set a treatment goal—even one as simple as “be in less pain” or “attend my grandson’s baseball games”
- Work with your doctor to form a fibromyalgia treatment plan. Consider using more than one method—for instance, complement taking a medication with an alternative treatment approach, such as being more active
- Track progress over time—this will help you know when you’ve met your first goal
Moving more during your day
For someone with chronic widespread fibromyalgia pain, the idea of exercise may be scary and even impossible. But studies show that physical activity is one of the most effective ways to manage fibromyalgia.
With regular exercise, your muscles can strengthen and be better able to support your body. This could mean having less pain and feeling better overall.
Getting restful sleep
Getting enough sleep can help ease the pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia. That means that improving your sleep may help improve your symptoms.
Looking into alternative treatments
Many people with fibromyalgia find it beneficial to consider adding one or more of the following alternative treatment approaches to manage their condition:
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic therapy
- Nutritional counseling
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Hydrotherapy (using water, ice, and steam)
Eating a healthy diet
While eating certain foods cannot treat fibromyalgia, a healthy, balanced diet can give you more energy and generally help you feel better.
DID YOU KNOW
Getting enough sleep
can help ease the pain
and fatigue associated
BENEFICIAL ACTIVITIES FOR FIBROMYALGIA
BEING MORE ACTIVE WITH FIBROMYALGIA
Click through the different types of exercise that could help you stay active with fibromyalgia. Be sure to always talk with your doctor before changing your exercise routine.
You can incorporate walking into your everyday life by walking around your home or yard, taking the stairs, walking in the mall, or parking at the far end of the parking lot.
If you have access to a warm pool, activities such as swimming, water walking, and aquarobics are a great place to start.
Gentle stretching is good for you both physically and mentally. It can help improve flexibility, increase blood flow to the muscles, reduce stress, and calm your mind.
Less strenuous exercise such as yoga, tai chi, and Pilates may help to increase your balance, core strength, and flexibility.
Movement and breathing exercises
Light weight training or resistance training, where you use your own body weight to strengthen your muscles, may help to make you stronger and fitter.
TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Download an Activity
Tracker. Keep track of how
you’re doing and share
with your doctor
A FEW THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
Start low and slow
Start with a few minutes a day with one of the recommended exercises and stick with it. Over time, gradually increase the amount of time and intensity. Remember to always warm up your muscles before each exercise session and cool down after.
Pace, patience, and not pushing it
Find a balance of short periods of activity and rest that works for you. If your physical ability is limited one day, don’t overcompensate by overdoing it the next day when you feel more up for it. If you overexert yourself, you may do more harm than good. If you continue at a pace that suits your capabilities, your pain may subside over time.
Recognize your barriers
Understanding and anticipating the things that could stand between you and your physical activity can help you find ways to address and plan around them. If you don’t have access to a gym, can you exercise at home or outside? If you exercise outside, can you walk in the mall if the weather is bad?
Starting and maintaining an exercise routine is easier with support from your family and friends. Connect with other people who have fibromyalgia in your local community or online; discuss your activity goals and invite them to join you in your efforts. Keep your family involved as well.
Keep at it
While it may be painful to exercise with fibromyalgia, try to stick to your routine so you can experience the benefits. Always listen to your body and tailor your activity based on how you feel.