Chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia can control you life, taking up a lot of your time and attention. Variations in your energy and pain levels may make planning ahead difficult.
You might feel tempted to give up on living a full life with fibromyalgia – but you shouldn’t. Not only can you continue to have a full and active life while dealing with a chronic pain condition, but keeping active and connected to social support is an important part of self-care and good health.
A complex chronic pain disorder, fibromyalgia affects about 2% of Americans, many of them women. Fibromyalgia typically comes with widespread aches and pains, physical tenderness, sleep problems and fatigue, and negative psychological symptoms. The condition can impact your life both physically and socially.
At the Pain Institute of Southern Arizona, we can help you develop strategies to keep your life full, active, and varied, without using all your energy reserves or leaving you in increased pain. Our team of experts offers treatment and support to patients living with chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia throughout the Southern Arizona area, with locations in Tucson, Safford, and Benson.
Stay active and connected
Regular, gentle exercise can actually help with your fibromyalgia symptoms. Activities like yoga or walking can prevent or lessen the intensity and duration of your flare-ups. Don’t push yourself too hard in any workout session. Aim to exercise frequently but within your safe limits, without triggering pain or exhaustion.
If you wear yourself out, try recalibrating your expectations for your exercise activities. We can help you develop an exercise plan that won’t leave you in too much pain the next day.
It’s essential for people with chronic illnesses to stay connected to a social community. Your unpredictable symptoms may make it difficult to maintain friendships and social plans, but it’s worth the continued effort to connect when you can. Keeping your mind busy and distracted from your fibromyalgia symptoms can help you get through flare-ups. On bad days, reach out and ask for help from friends and family, instead of isolating yourself out of negative feelings like guilt.
Know when to take a break and rest
When you’re living with fibromyalgia, making the most of your good days is key. However, it’s important not to overdo it on days when your pain levels are lower and your energy is more abundant. If you take on too much, you may feel extremely tired or experience increased pain for days afterward. Instead, try for moderate activity.
Sometimes your symptoms flare up, and you need to take a break. Don’t stress about needing to rest, because stressing about your condition can actually make your symptoms worse. Listen to your fatigue and rest until your exhaustion improves. Let your friends and family know about your struggles with your fibromyalgia symptoms, and keep open lines of communication with us about your treatments. We’re here to support you.
Look into therapeutic options
Treatment options may be available to relieve your fibromyalgia symptoms. While we still don’t know the exact causes of fibromyalgia, and medication regimens are not reliably effective for all patients, there are other options. Treatments that target the specific nerves that are causing your pain may be able to help.
At the Pain Institute of Southern Arizona, we offer a procedure that blocks the nerve signals that register as pain in your brain with targeted injections of a local anesthetic, steroids, or both. The medication rapidly takes effect, and you stop perceiving pain at the treated location, potentially breaking the chronic pain cycle and giving you relief.
To discuss helpful therapies and treatment options and receive ongoing support for living with fibromyalgia, contact the Pain Institute of Southern Arizona today. Call one of our Southern Arizona offices to schedule or book your appointment.