Personal Fibromyalgia Symptoms & Flare-Up Management

Personal fibromyalgia, as I define it, is the unique course of the fibromyalgia sufferer, with his or her own mix and intensity of symptoms and responses to those symptoms that are either chronic or acute, as compared to others with FM.

Please note that many of the observations and recommendations I will be touching upon are not new. I firmly believe that we need to be reminded of them every so often and use the opportunity to share this knowledge with those newly succumbed to fibromyalgia and who are just starting their journey and feel alone in their illness.

The course of the fibromyalgia sufferer is characterized by the remission and flare-up of symptoms. Remissions of varying degrees can last for any period of time [days, weeks, months and, yes, even years]. Depression, interrupted sleep patterns, changes in weather, physical and emotional stress, and other illnesses, can contribute to a flare-up of personal fibromyalgia symptoms. We can become very frustrated because many times we are not able to identify the triggering entity that initiates these flare-ups, leading to a feeling of lack of control over our health.

It is of vital importance for the fibromyalgia sufferer to feel in control of these flare-ups and his or hers more chronic symptoms. Not doing so can end up developing into a vicious cycle of depression, anxiety, and hopelessness. Thus the need for the person with fibromyalgia to practice “Personal Fibromyalgia Symptoms Treatment and Flare-Up Management.” It is much better to have a plan ahead of time to deal with flare-ups, so that his or hers “Personal Fibromyalgia Symptoms Treatment Flare-Up Management” [ here after referred to as the “Management Plan” ] can be initiated immediately at the onset.

I would recommend that the sufferer consult with his or her physician or fibromyalgia medical specialist and map out his or her “Management Plan.” This plan should take into consideration the variations in each patient’s course of illness and range of symptoms. The following is a list of help options and a short description of those options that have helped me, and other fellow sufferers of FMS symptoms, as have been experienced by and conveyed to me over the years.

Reduce One’s Stress Level:

* Whether they are emotional or physical, you need to alter your perception of the stress. Try to identify the major areas of your stress and modify it where ever you can and if at all possible, eliminate them.

If Possible, Change or Remove a Contributing Factor:

* Treat other illnesses as they occur. Be sure to consult with your fibromyalgia medical specialist. Not all symptoms can be attributed to fibromyalgia.

* Reduce or eliminate repetitive stress [for example: what I’m doing right now…typing at a keyboard, sitting and/or standing in one position for long periods of time, and continuous repetition of muscular movement].

Evaluate Your Sleep. Discuss Other Medication Options with Your Physician:

* Eliminate snoring spouses, loud pets, crying babies, playing television and radios, etc. at bedtime. In other words, improve your sleep environment.

* If you are taking medication [for the most part, a silly question if you are already being treated for fibromyalgia] trying a different medication may be helpful, or the dosage of a current medication may be adjusted.

* A medication for aiding sleep may be added. A good over the counter supplement that can be used occasionally is melatonin. As with any other over the counter supplement do not take for more than a day or two without consulting your physician or other fibromyalgia medical specialist.

Note: If in the past you were tested as having borderline sleep apnea, check with your fibromyalgia medical specialist if it may be time to be tested once again. Sleep apnea reduces the proper amount of oxygen that is entering our system and does affect our energy levels during the hours we are awake.

Has There Been A Change In Your Eating Habits?:

* Have you changed your eating habits recently? It may be time to pay better attention to any fibromyalgia diet protocol as recommended to you by your fibromyalgia medical specialist.

Be Gentle To Yourself and Rest:

* During activity take more frequent breaks.

* Take a nap during the day or try, if you can, to get more sleep at night.

* If you have any unnecessary appointments….cancel them.

* Think of ways to make your daily living activities as easy as possible, and then apply them.

* Learn to say “NO!”

Physical Therapy/Massage/Acupressure:

* See a massage therapist.

* Check with your physician if some sessions of physical therapy may be in order and prescribed:

Gentle Stretching/Change Intensity and Duration of Exercise:

* In order to ease kinks and knots, increase stretching exercises.

* Be aware of signals from your body, now is not a time to increase exercise activity.

Positive Messages:

* A person can easily get discouraged, so try to keep repeating self-affirming messages.

* “Yes I Can…Yes I Can!”

* “I am taking positive action to feel better!”

* And quoting Mr. Joe Raff, with whom I had the pleasure of working with many years ago while at Hub Truck Rental Corp., when things went bad, said “And this too shall pass!”

Get Extra Support:

* During the times of flare-ups, make sure to get extra support. You can get it from a friend, an experienced counselor or even by participating in a fibromyalgia message board or fibromyalgia chat on the Internet.

I sincerely hope that you will find a few of these recommendations to be helpful when attempting to manage your fibromyalgia, both the chronic symptoms and those times when your symptoms become more acute.