Fibromyalgia: Self-care tips
Fibromyalgia symptoms fluctuate over time, even from day to day. Try these self-care tips to help you cope with difficult days.By Mayo Clinic Staff
While lifestyle changes and medications can lessen the severity of your fibromyalgia pain and fatigue, you will continue to have good days and bad days. Knowing that, you can plan for the bad days. The following tips can help take your mind off the pain and ease your discomfort.
Put on some music
Music can have a powerful effect on moods and emotions. Music also helps reduce pain and increase mobility. What music works best? Any music you like. So turn on some of your favorite tunes and let the music carry you away.
Have a laugh
Even on tough days, it helps if you can keep your sense of humor. Spend time with people who have a positive outlook and a great sense of humor. Rent a funny movie or read the comics. Laughter can help ease pain by releasing brain chemicals that enhance a sense of well-being.
Take a bath
Several studies have looked in balneotherapy for fibromyalgia. Balneotherapy, which means bathing to treat an illness, appears to reduce pain and stiffness. This isn't surprising, given that warm water helps reduce muscle tension, promote relaxation and lessen pain. Add to that the generally pleasant experience of being at a spa or a similar setting.
If regular visits to a spa aren't your thing, try creating a spa-like ambience at home and have a soak in your own bathtub. Or look for a community center or gym with a heated pool or sauna rooms.
Apr. 28, 2014
See more In-depth
- Assessment and management of chronic pain. Bloomington, Minn.: Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement. https://www.icsi.org/. Accessed April 8, 2014.
- Fibromyalgia and Complementary Health Approaches. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/pain/fibromyalgia.htm. Accessed April 8, 2014.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Fibromyalgia: The road to wellness. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
- Garza-Villarreal EA, et al. Music reduces pain and increases functional mobility in fibromyalgia. Frontiers in Psychology. In press. Accessed April 8, 2014.
- Li Y, et al. Massage therapy for fibromyalgia: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. PLoS One. 2014;9:e89304.
- Matsumoto S, et al. Effects of thermal therapy combining sauna therapy and underwater exercise in patients with fibromyalgia. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 2011;17:162.
- Matsushita K, et al. Efficacy of Waon therapy for fibromyalgia. Internal Medicine. 2008;47:1473.
- Ablin J, et al. Treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome: Recommendations of recent evidence-based interdisciplinary guidelines with special emphasis on complementary and alternative therapies. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2013;2013:485272.
- Arnold LM, et al. A Framework for fibromyalgia management for care providers. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2012;87:488.
- Saad M, et al. Complementary therapies for fibromyalgia syndrome: A rational approach. Current Pain and Headache Reports. 2013;17:354.
- Luedtke CA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 9, 2014.