Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

Self-care is critical in the management of fibromyalgia.

  • Reduce stress. Develop a plan to avoid or limit overexertion and emotional stress. Allow yourself time each day to relax. That may mean learning how to say no without guilt. But try not to change your routine completely. People who quit work or drop all activity tend to do worse than do those who remain active. Try stress management techniques, such as deep-breathing exercises or meditation.
  • Get enough sleep. Because fatigue is one of the main characteristics of fibromyalgia, getting sufficient sleep is essential. In addition to allotting enough time for sleep, practice good sleep habits, such as going to bed and getting up at the same time each day and limiting daytime napping.
  • Exercise regularly. At first, exercise may increase your pain. But doing it gradually and regularly often decreases symptoms. Appropriate exercises may include walking, swimming, biking and water aerobics. A physical therapist can help you develop a home exercise program. Stretching, good posture and relaxation exercises also are helpful.
  • Pace yourself. Keep your activity on an even level. If you do too much on your good days, you may have more bad days. Moderation means not overdoing it on your good days, but likewise it means not self-limiting or doing too little on the days when symptoms flare.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthy foods. Limit your caffeine intake. Do something that you find enjoyable and fulfilling every day.
May 02, 2017
References
  1. Fibromyalgia. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Fibromyalgia/default.asp. Accessed Oct. 19, 2016.
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  3. Goldenberg DL. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of fibromyalgia in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 19, 2016.
  4. Goldenberg DL. Initial treatment of fibromyalgia in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 19, 2016.
  5. AskMayoExpert. Fibromyalgia. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  6. Goldenberg DL. Pathogenesis of fibromyalgia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 19, 2016.
  7. Goldenberg DL. Treatment of fibromyalgia in adults not responsive to initial therapies. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 19, 2016.
  8. Fibromyalgia. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/fibromyalgia. Accessed Oct. 19, 2016.
  9. Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Fibromyalgia: The road to wellness. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
  10. Fleming KC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 10, 2017.