A fibromyalgia flare up can happen at any time for any reason. It can happen after doing some extra yard work because you were feeling great, or when you were in a stressful situation, or when you’ve had too much caffeine one day. Sometimes a flare up will happen for no reason at all!
When a flare up happens, you want to be prepared with several coping techniques. These techniques will help you manage the pain.
Here are some ways that you can survive a fibromyalgia flare up.
Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep can play a big role in a fibromyalgia flare up. Adequate rest is so important.
It should be a priority to get 8 or 9 hours of sleep every night. If this is a problem for you, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This will help to reset your body’s sleep cycle.
Taking a short nap during the day can be beneficial. But only if it doesn’t make it harder to fall asleep at night.
Some things you can do to help you relax and fall asleep better at night are:
- Do something relaxing for an hour before bed like reading a good book.
- Have a relaxing warm bath with your favorite essential oils.
- Doing some mild stretching and breathing exercises to help you let go of any tension you may have.
- Put all devices away at least an hour before bed and also shut off Netflix. The blue light from those devices can keep you awake. If you absolutely have to watch something or look on your phone, find out how to block the blue light in the evening especially before bed. Some phones will adjust these levels for you, or you can get blue light-blocking glasses.
- Try to make your bedroom as dark as possible at night. Cover any alarm clock lights or digital clocks. Keep your windows covered with room-darkening shades.
- Avoid overeating before bed, as this can cause acid reflux. It’s best not to drink too many fluids either as you will wake up often to run to the bathroom.
There are some beverages that may increase the intensity of a fibromyalgia flare up. Try to avoid alcohol, soda, caffeine, energy drinks, and artificially sweetened drinks. These types of drinks do not hydrate your body.
The best drink to keep you hydrated is water. This is nature’s perfect health drink. Drink at least 8 – 10 glasses of water per day. It’s the only way to keep yourself well hydrated. This also helps to keep your kidneys and liver functioning properly to aid in ridding your body of unwanted toxins.
Talk About Your Fibromyalgia Flare Up With Others
Fibromyalgia is sometimes hard to cope with on your own. The pain can be debilitating. It can be very helpful to find support. If you try to deal with it by yourself, it can lead to depression, anxiety, and other problems.
Reaching out to family and friends can help when your pain levels rise.
First, you need to find people who are able to be supportive. Explain to them the symptoms you have and what type of support you are looking for. Sometimes just talking to someone you’re close to who understands and cares can help lessen the pain.
Finding support groups is another way to find help for copying with your fibromyalgia. When you’re in a group you can ask questions and listen to what other people go through and how they deal with it.
It’s easier to deal with your fibromyalgia when you have a support system. Never be afraid to reach out for help.
Exercise When You Can
Exercise is one of the best treatments you can do for fibromyalgia. It helps with pain and stiffness, fatigue, and sleep problems.
Regular exercise also reduces stress. It improves bone mass and increases strength. With all the benefits of exercise, it’s still best to be cautious and exercise only when you feel able.
Start slowly with low-impact activities. Do gentle stretching, walking, swimming, or riding a bike.
Strength training is also good for people with fibromyalgia as it has been shown to reduce pain, fatigue, tender points, depression, and anxiety. If you are going to lift weights, always start with 1 to 3 pounds and increase the intensity and weights slowly.
It’s important to talk to your doctor first before starting any type of exercise program.
Caffeine may increase the intensity of any type of stress. It can increase nervousness, anxiety, and insomnia. It’s better to completely do away with caffeine if you want to improve your sleep at night and reduce anxiety.
Most people with fibromyalgia are already feeling tired most of the time. Caffeine gives you a little pick-me-up feeling, but when it’s over, you crash even harder.
By cutting out caffeine you will see a difference in your fatigue level within a few weeks.
Make Sure Your Work is Flexible
Working when you have fibromyalgia can leave you exhausted and in pain. Try to plan ahead and discuss with your boss the things you can do at work to help you cope when you have a fibromyalgia flare up.
Devise a plan that works for both you and your boss. Maybe you can do most of your work from home, where you can set your own hours. If you can’t work from home, talk about taking several rest breaks from your workstation and why that helps.
If you work in an office, try to make your workspace as comfortable as possible. Use different products that may help reduce stress on your body, like a telephone headset.
Most importantly, know ahead of time what you’ll do if you have a fibromyalgia flare up. You can manage your pain with deep breathing and other techniques. If you take medication, be sure you have some on-hand at work.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition and there is no cure for it. The good news is that it doesn’t get worse as you age.
You can help reduce the pain with different coping mechanisms. Talk to your doctor and find out different ways that will work for you to help you get through a fibromyalgia flare up.