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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.
My favorites are:
For more exercises, check out the tutorial of basic PiYo, pilates and yoga, poses.
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.
Click here for more information on exercises.
Knee to Chest Stretch
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?