Fibromyalgia pain: Options for coping

Fibromyalgia pain can come and go. When pain strikes, are you prepared with coping strategies?

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Fibromyalgia pain tends to come and go throughout your body. On the days when your symptoms flare, everything can feel more difficult — and it's easy to become discouraged.

Sometimes, one of the toughest things to accept is that there is no cure for fibromyalgia. While lifestyle changes and medications can lessen the severity of your fibromyalgia pain or fatigue, you will continue to have good days and bad days.

Why prepare for a bad day?

When fibromyalgia pain or fatigue is severe, it might be tough for you to think clearly. A flare of fibromyalgia symptoms can send you spiraling into stress and despair if you aren't prepared. But having a plan to follow gives you a sense of control over your signs and symptoms.

Write down your options for coping. Keep your list handy so that you can grab it when you feel a flare starting.

Different strategies work better for some people than for others. Some may work fine for you on one day but not on another. That's why it's good to have a variety of options written down to choose from.

Avoid negative self-talk

Studies have shown that what we say to ourselves inside our heads can affect our perception of pain. Turning negative thoughts into positive ones takes practice, but it's worth the effort.

Negative Positive
I can't do anything because of my symptoms. I can do many things. I just need to pace myself and take breaks.
I have no control over my happiness. The pain controls me. I can control my happiness. I can be happy and enjoy life despite pain.
People at work are upset with me. They don't think I'm doing my share. I will do the best job I can and feel good about my accomplishments.
Nov. 11, 2017 See more In-depth