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Focus on: Fibromyalgia

Focus on: Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes muscle pain all over the body, tiredness, disturbed sleep and difficulties with concentration.  In this article we provide some information from the South East Cheshire Fibromyalgia Association on self help techniques which can help individuals manage and reduce symptoms.  At the end of the article you can find contact details and information relating to the Fibromyalgia Associations' support group, which meets once a month in Crewe.

If you have just been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia or you are looking for ways inwhich to better manage your symptoms, you might find the suggestions helpful:

Manage stress
Stress may trigger fibromyalgia symptoms. Minimising stress can improve your quality of life. Some proven stress busters are yoga, exercise, sleep, and meditation. Breathing deeply and exhaling slowly can also help. Or keep in mind activities that you enjoy or that make you feel better.

Avoid caffeine
Caffeine may compound stress, both physically and psychologically. It stimulates the heart and central nervous system, and can increase nervousness, anxiety, and insomnia.  For better sleep at night avoid caffeine from the late afternoon onwards. Watch out for caffeine in chocolate, coffee, and some soft drinks and teas.

Take time out
Fibromyalgia can pose unique health challenges and make life seem more complicated. So make time for yourself every day as a part of your treatment. Lose yourself in a hobby, put on some music, rest -- whatever makes you feel good. It may bring more balance to your life, help you fight stress, and boost your energy for the things you need to do.

Fibromyalgia puts stress on you and those around you. Communication is critical. Don't try to always put on a happy face. Your loved ones need to know what makes your symptoms worse. Plan talks for your best time of day. Try focusing on one issue and look for solutions. And don't be afraid to ask for help.

Learn to say 'No'
Fibromyalgia is sometimes called an "invisible illness" -- you can look fine but feel bad. People may forget that you need to pace yourself. When agreeing to activities, favours, or invitations consider if they will keep you from the rest, exercise, or relaxation you need to feel well. It's OK to simply say "no."

Get some quality sleep
If you're not getting enough rest, set the mood in your bedroom for sleep. Reserve your bed for sleeping, and keep the room dark, quiet, cool, and distraction-free. Keep regular sleep hours and ban your computer and late- night TV watching. Instead, wind down with relaxing music or a warm bath.

Understand your symptoms
Keeping track of events, activities, symptoms, and mood changes can help you take charge of your fibromyalgia. It may make you aware of when symptoms start and, over time, what may be triggering them. Then you can work to eliminate triggers or learn coping strategies to lessen their impact.

Seek support

South Cheshire Fibromyalgia Group
01270 583596

West Cheshire Fibromyalgia Support Group
0151 348 1098 - after 6.00pm

Warrington District Fibromyalgia Support Group
0845 345 5976

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