What can I do to try to feel better?
Besides taking medicine prescribed by your doctor, there are many things you
can do to lessen the impact of fibromyalgia on your life. These include:
- Getting enough sleep. Getting enough sleep and the right kind of sleep can
help ease the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia. Most adults need seven to eight
hours of "restorative" sleep per night. Restorative sleep leaves you feeling
well-rested and ready for your day to start when you wake up. It is hard for
people with fibromyalgia to get a good night's sleep. It is important to discuss
any sleep problems with your doctor, who can recommend treatment for them.
- Exercising. Although pain and fatigue may make exercise and daily activities
difficult, it is crucial to be as physically active as possible. Research has
repeatedly shown that regular exercise is one of the most effective treatments
for fibromyalgia. People who have too much pain or fatigue to do hard exercise
should just begin to move more and become more active in routine daily
activities. Then they can begin with walking (or other gentle exercise) and
build their endurance and intensity slowly.
- Making changes at work. Most people
with fibromyalgia continue to work, but they may have to make big changes to do
so. For example, some people cut down the number of hours they work, switch to a
less demanding job, or adapt a current job. If you face obstacles at work, such
as an uncomfortable desk chair that leaves your back aching or difficulty
lifting heavy boxes or files, your employer may make changes that will enable
you to keep your job. An occupational therapist can help you design a more
comfortable workstation or find more efficient and less painful ways to lift. A
number of federal laws protect the rights of people with disabilities.
well. Although some people with fibromyalgia report feeling better when they eat
or avoid certain foods, no specific diet has been proven to influence
fibromyalgia. Of course, it is important to have a healthy, balanced diet. Not
only will proper nutrition give you more energy and make you generally feel
better, it will also help you avoid other health problems.