Fibromyalgia,  Health

Tips for Coping with Pain

This post may contain affiliate links.

I have dealt with fibromyalgia my whole life, but I have only recently been diagnosed with it. Having a name for my unexplained pain is actually quite helpful. When you have a name for what you are dealing with, you can find out productive ways to deal with that pain.

My Top Ways to Deal with Pain:

Don’t be afraid to take the painkillers.

For some reason, I always thought that I was weak if I took them, that I wouldn’t be listening to my body and would hurt myself. Not true. There is no shame in using what you can in order to get through the day. It is actually helpful to your body to take painkillers if they are anti-inflammatories. Much of the pain of fibromyalgia comes from inflammation of the muscles. So, if you are taking painkillers, you are helping reduce what is causing you the issue in the first place.

Do yoga and pilate stretches.

Stretches are a wonderful way to deal with the pain and stiffness I and many others experience with fibromyalgia in the morning. I also have started doing some of these at work to deal with pain.

Down Dog

My favorites are:

Child’s Pose

Pigeon

Down Dog

For more exercises, check out the tutorial of basic PiYo, pilates and yoga, poses.

Want more? Buy Chalene Johnson’s PiYo Base Kit – DVD Workout with Exercise Videos + Fitness Tools and Nutrition Guide.

Go to Physical Therapy.

I was skeptical at first, but I go in once a week now. I always feel better. At first, it made me hurt more, but, now that my body is used to it, it helps with my stiffness and pain. My treatment is a combination of strength/stretch exercises and dry needling.

Pelvic Tilt

My exercises:  

Pelvic Tilt

Plank

Cat-Cow Pose

 

Click here for more information on exercises.

 

Knee to Chest Stretch

My Stretches:

Hamstring Stretch

Lateral Flexion Stretch – Ear to Shoulder

Knee to Chest Stretch

Open Book

Open Book

Click here for more information on stretches.

 

My physical therapist also does dry needling on me. It is amazing. You have to try it! It is so difficult to make my muscles loosen up after they have become stiff, but dry needling works to loosen up those muscles. 

The first time I got it done, I was very nervous. I was sweating and nauseated. My back, where most of my pain is, was in pain afterward. The next time I did it though, my body had gotten over the shock of it, and I relaxed enough to experience the benefits of a loosened, less painful back. I do recommend that you drink plenty of water beforehand. It is the same principle as when you get a deep tissue massage, it is releasing the toxins that have built up in your muscles, so you need water to flush that away.

Write it out.

This is one of the reasons that I started my blog because I need a place to write down what I am feeling both physically and mentally. Once I write out what is going on, it suddenly seems to have less power over me. I am able to see what I can do in order to heal. Here are some examples from my blog where I had to write because I was in pain either mentally or physically. Trust God, Broken, and Are You Okay?.

Find your community.

Most importantly, you don’t have to face this pain alone. The best thing I ever did was tell those close to me about my struggles with fibromyalgia. They are able to show me so much grace when I am having a bad day. Online families are wonderful too! I wrote for one of mine called The Mighty. There is even a whole group of bloggers dedicated to fibromyalgia. In fact, this whole post was written from their prompt for this week. There is hope. You are not alone. You have a community.

*P.S. – Just in case you might think I’m a doctor, I’m not, so please ask your doctor before using any of these pain treatments. I speak from my experience. Pain management is different for each person.*

What are some ways that you cope with pain? What has worked for you?

8 Comments

  • Lee

    It’s good to see so many great fibro bloggers talking about moving and exercise for fibromyalgia these days. Dry needling though I have never heard of. I agree with Karen and find that floating really relaxes all the muscles – in fact it is the only time I feel my body completely relax. I do some exercises in a warm pool each week and then float. I wish I could go more.
    Congrats on getting your article at The Mighty and thank you for joining in at Fibro Friday (another good fibro community) Best wishes.

  • Sheena

    Great post.
    I deal with chronic back pain due to herniated disks and a tear in the soft tissue of my spine. It’s manageable, but when it’s bad it’s bad and I am done for at least a week or more. Staying active is very helpful. Yoga is my go to as well!
    And you’re right… you’re not alone. Living in chronic pain can be depressing and daunting, but don’t let it get you down. Call a friend and distract yourself ❤

    • Elizabeth

      It’s nice to meet a fellow yogi! I’m so glad you liked the post! I love that you mentioned calling a friend! That is such a good and relatively easy, way to build your community.

  • Karen

    For me I find that water helps with pain, just floating because I finally relax and that tension is what can make the pain worse. I see you like yoga, is there any particular yoga systems you would recommend beyond those 3 poses?

    • Elizabeth

      I love that water idea, Karen! I will have to try that! Thank you for the suggestion! I actually was introduced to yoga through Beachbody’s PiYo. I can’t consistently go through the program because of my fibro-flares, but I loved what I could do. It is an amazing combination of pilates and yoga. So I’m not sure which exercises are pilates and which are yoga, but my favorite exercises from PiYo are the Tuck and Extend and the Connector. To see these exercises go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wrqb_8DEB7s

  • John Saeger

    Great post! I am dealing a few of my own issues right now and I appreciate the sentiment between finding your community. Everyone has different issues and support through the right group can be very helpful in dealing with certain obstacles.

    • Elizabeth

      Thank you! I absolutely agree! Without living in a community, we have difficulty handling sometimes even small things. Even sharing what you are going through to one person makes such a huge difference!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Google+
http://elizabethauwarter.com/tips-for-coping-with-pain
Pinterest
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Instagram