"On a day-to-day basis, the most important thing for patients with fibromyalgia to do is to work at understanding their disease and living with it," says Deanna Davenport, a nurse practitioner who often works with fibromyalgia patients at the University of Missouri-Columbia Center for Rheumatic Diseases.
Studies show that people who understand and accept their disease fare much better than those who don't, Davenport
Read books, check out reliable websites and seek out support groups to learn more about fibromyalgia, as well as how others are coping with it.
Pay attention to how you feel.
If you are in the middle of a flare, tone down your activities and give yourself some time to rest and recover, Davenport
Stress reduction is crucial because stress can trigger a flare-up and make symptoms worse.Accepting the disease is very important.
"People with fibro are never pain free," Davenport
"It is up to them to learn how to manage with this pain, to make lifestyle changes to accommodate the fact that there will be times when they can't do everything they did before."
Pain Medication Will Only Do So Much
"Medical management of pain in fibromyalgia has limited value," Davenport
Exercise is one activity that targets fibromyalgia on all fronts, Davenport
Daily exercise not only improves the overall physical condition, but can also elevate the mood, diminish depression and improve sleep, all of which help to decrease pain."However, exercise is often one of the hardest things to prescribe," Davenport
"Motion and physical activity are often what makes a person with fibromyalgia hurt more."
The key is to start slowly, even with just 3-5 minutes of an aerobic activity, such as walking, swimming, riding a stationary bike.
"If this doesn't make you hurt worse the next day, then you are at the correct level," Davenport
The two conditions are considered medical cousins, Davenport