How to Ease the Pain of Fibromyalgia

Two Parts:Using Self-Care for Pain ManagementTaking Medications to Reduce Pain

Fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disorder that presents with widespread pain throughout the body. The disorder is also generally accompanied by fatigue, as well as sleep, memory and mood issues.[1] Researchers are not sure what causes fibromyalgia, but women are more likely to suffer from it than men.[2] There is no cure and the pain of the disorder can be intense, but through proactive management, you may be able to ease pain associated with fibromyalgia.[3]

Part 1
Using Self-Care for Pain Management

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    Eat as healthy as possible. Having a poor diet may exacerbate stress and anxiety and this can stimulate pain and other symptoms of fibromyalgia. Making healthy food choices can not only improve your overall health, but may relieve pain and other symptoms of the disorder.[4]
    • Foods like asparagus contain nutrients that enhance your mood and may also relieve stress.[5]
    • Foods high in vitamin B can also reduce stress and may help minimize your pain. Food such as avocados and beans are high in in vitamin B.[6]
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    Limit caffeine, alcohol, and drugs. It’s important to stay away from all recreational drugs and reduce your caffeine and alcohol consumption. These substances may increase stress and anxiety, as well as pain associated with fibromyalgia.[7]
    • Most adults can consume 400mg of caffeine daily. This is about four cups of coffee, ten cans of carbonated soda, or two energy drinks.[8]
    • Women should drink only 2-3 units of alcohol a day and men only 3-4.[9] A bottle of wine, for example, has 9-10 units of alcohol.[10]
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    Reduce your stress levels. Stress can exacerbate pain reception in your body, making your fibromyalgia worse. Avoid stressful situations if you can, which in turn will help you relax and may ease your symptoms body.[11] #*Organize your day around a flexible schedule that includes relaxation time, which can help minimize your stress.[12]
    • Remove yourself from stressful situations if possible. If it isn’t, take deep breaths and not reacting immediately to avoid having your feelings and tension rise unnecessarily.[13]
    • Sitting properly can increase your oxygen flow and may help you relax. It also may minimize muscle tension and associated pain.[14]
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    Practice good sleep habits. Fatigue is one of the main characteristics of fibromyalgia, and it’s essential to get enough sleep every day. it will also help your body relax and process stress. Make it a priority to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night and limit how often you nap.[15]
    • Insufficient sleep can cause tension and may exacerbate stress and pain. Make sure you get sufficient sleep every night to minimize your pain.[16]
    • Short naps of 20-30 minutes may help relieve fatigue and stress.[17] However, limit yourself to 1-2 short naps a day.[18]
    • Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, which can help train your body on when to sleep and which also may minimize your symptoms.[19]
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    Exercise on a regular basis. Exercising regularly can help decrease your symptoms when done longer term. Aim to incorporate some kind of activity into your daily, which may minimize pain and other symptoms.[20]
    • Even twenty minutes of exercise can help relieve your symptoms. For example, a twenty minute walk can stretch your muscles and refresh you.[21]
    • Exercise also produces endorphins. These can improve your mood and aid your sleep, which may ease your pain.[22]
    • Be aware that exercise may make your pain worse at first, but that it will gradually alleviate symptoms.[23] Do what you can to start and increase your activity as you are able. For example, begin with light, low-impact activities such as walking or swimming and then switch to jogging or running, or other sports, as you are able.[24]
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    Practice yoga. Gentle yoga incorporates slow movements, deep breathing and meditation, which some studies have shown can minimize the symptoms of fibromyalgia.[25] Practice gentle yoga as you are able to help reap the healing benefits for your fibromyalgia.[26]
    • If you can’t commit to a full session, just do downward facing dog for ten breaths. Even this can help relax you.[27]
    • Make sure to practice more gentle forms of yoga. Restorative and yin yoga are excellent choices that can relax you and stretch out tense muscles.[28]
    • Speak with your doctor before beginning any yoga practice. She can confirm if you are healthy enough to practice.[29]
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    Get a massage. Massage has many benefits including decreasing heart rate, relaxing muscles and increasing your body’s production of natural painkillers. Allow yourself to enjoy a massage, which may ease pain and other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.[30]
    • Massage comes in different styles and you should choose one that you enjoy. All types of massage can produce oxytocin, which may minimize your pain and other symptoms.[31]
    • You can find a massage therapist either online or by asking your doctor for a recommendation.[32]
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    Undergo acupuncture or acupressure. Some studies have shown the benefits of acupuncture or acupressure for those who suffer from fibromyalgia. Schedule an appointment with certified practitioner to help alleviate any pain or tension you are experiencing because of fibromyalgia.[33]
    • Acupressure may increase blood flow throughout your body, which may minimize your pain.[34]
    • Acupressure or acupuncture can also help your brain’s hormone regulator, which in turn may minimize your pain.[35]
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    Pace yourself. Practicing moderation by pacing yourself can help ease symptoms. Don’t overdo anything one day, because it may cause more problems on the next. For example, if you get 30 minutes of exercise every day, avoid trying to push yourself to an hour. This could cause you to feel worse and exacerbate your pain the following day.[36]

Part 2
Taking Medications to Reduce Pain

  1. Image titled Ease the Pain of Fibromyalgia Step 10
    Use pain relievers. The pain associated with fibromyalgia can range from mild to crippling. Depending on the severity of your pain, you can either use over the counter or prescription pain reliever.[37]
    • You can take a variety of OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, acetaminophen, or aspirin.[38]
    • If you have severe pain that OTC relievers can’t relieve, ask your doctor to prescribe a medication such as tramadol. Most doctors don’t recommend narcotics for long-term use because you can develop a dependency on them.[39]
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    Take anti-depressants. Some medications usually prescribed for depression may help relieve the pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia.[40] Ask your doctor if this is a possible option to help you deal with your symptoms.[41]
    • There are different anti-depressants you can take to have alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms. You might need to experiment with different medications to help ease your pain.[42]
    • Your doctor could prescribe a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine or amitriptyline to help you sleep.[43]
    • Your doctor may prescribe serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as duloxetine or milnacipran to help ease pain and fatigue.[44]
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    Ingest anti-seizure drugs. There is some evidence that certain anti-seizure medications can minimize pain associated with fibromyalgia.[45] You’ll need a prescription for these drugs, so ask your doctor if this treatment is a viable option for you.[46]
    • The Food and Drug Administration has approved pregabalin for treating fibromyalgia.[47]
    • Your doctor may also prescribe gabapentin to help ease your symptoms.[48]


  • Make sure to consult your doctor if you are experiencing worsening symptoms of fibromyalgia.

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Categories: Autoimmune Diseases