Like me, I bet Lady Gaga has some advice on how to reduce fibromyalgia pain. Sure she’s famous, but she is also fighting the same pain as you.
It may be true that she is able to afford treatments that you and I will never be able to, but that doesn’t guarantee that her pain is less than ours. Why? Because there are many ways to reduce the wretched pain and symptoms from fibromyalgia without spending a fortune.
It takes more than money to fight #chronicpain from #fibromyalgia How many of these suggestions do you think @ladygaga follows?Tweet
Modify Activities to Reduce Fibromyalgia Pain
Lady Gaga has a choice. I have a choice. You have a choice. We all have a choice. Either do everything the way we did before our diagnosis and be miserable or suffer less by making modifications.
Simple changes such as sitting on a barstool to wash dishes or using a shower bench to bathe without fear of falling will make a huge difference in the long run. You may need to adjust the length of your outings or use a mobility aid to extend your time out. It may also mean taking what used to be a one-day activity and breaking it up into a multi-day event.
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Stress is not the cause of fibromyalgia, but it is a massive trigger! With that said, it only makes sense that less stress would result in less pain.
When feeling stressed, ask yourself if what you are stressing about is:
- Worth stressing about
- Something you can fix
- Out of your control
Unless your life or the lives of others are in danger, it’s probably not worth stressing about. If you can fix it, do it! If it is out of your control, let it go!
You may not worry about performing for thousands of people like Lady Gaga. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t worry. You can’t please everyone.
Just say NO to Reduce Fibromyalgia Pain!
Learning to say no is not easy. It goes against our nature to want to help and makes us feel like we are letting everyone down. One of the hardest things for me to learn was that in order to give more of myself, I had to first give less. Imagine if Lady Gaga agreed to perform live every night?
The next time you find yourself struggling to cut back on commitments, remember this:
Quality time is more important than quantity!
Move Your Body
Read this subheading again….. Move Your Body….. Got it? Good. Did you notice that I didn’t say exercise? The reason I chose the word move versus exercise is that exercising with chronic pain gets a bad rap. Trust me, exercising is the last thing I want to do when in the middle of a flare. However, moving my body is mandatory no matter how I feel.
Moving your body can be done in many forms that won’t increase your pain. Depending on your current pain level or abilities, you may want to try yoga, Pilates, or simple stretching. Lying in one position for too long creates more pain and nobody wants that!
Treat yourself like you LOVE yourself! Seriously, take a good look at how you treat your body and self.
- Are you too demanding?
- Do you allow for breaks?
- How do you care for it?
- Are you paying attention to the ingredients of food and skincare products?
- Is what you eat something you would serve to someone who was sick?
Reduce Fibromyalgia Pain by Asking for Help
Whether you do it out of stubbornness or pride, insisting on doing everything yourself increases chronic pain. I am not saying that you shouldn’t ever try to test your limits or suggest that you aren’t capable of doing things yourself, but asking for assistance before your pain spirals out of control can gift you with more energy.
For example, although I have recently recovered from a severe costochondritis flare and foot injury and was ready to go to Disneyland without my wheelchair, my body wasn’t ready to stand in a two-hour queue. I had brought my rollator/transport chair combo and had no excuse for not asking my family to push me through the queue of Smuggler’s Run.
My desire to do it on my own came at the cost of two days of severe muscle spasms throughout my legs and back. This was an avoidable flare, had I only asked for help!
Prepare for the Worst
People who are not chronically ill think I behave like a doomsday prepper when it comes to how I plan for outings or vacations. I honestly do not care what they think, because how I plan is what has made traveling something I am able to enjoy again and why I no longer fear to leave the house.
By planning for the worst I take away the stress of “what if”. I don’t have to worry about how I will get through a day out if I begin experiencing swelling around my spine if I have what I need to reduce swelling and comfort my body at hand.
Reduce Fibromyalgia Pain by Protecting Your Mental Health
You and Lady Gaga may not realize it, but the things you do daily may be triggering pain-inducing depression, anxiety, and stress. Two months ago I took a social media break. This included the pages for my blog as well as my personal accounts. What I discovered was that my life was much more enjoyable and my stress level was lower than ever when my mind was focused on my own life and not the thoughts and activities of everyone on my friend list.
I have since returned, but I have limited the time I spend on it. In fact, I still rarely post or look at my personal accounts. It isn’t that I don’t like the people on it or that I no longer care about them, but instead that I would rather catch up with them in person or with a phone call. While social media has its perks, it can trigger traumatic memories, make us feel anxious or angry, and distract us from what is really important in our own lives.
Eat with Caution
Not everyone with fibromyalgia needs to follow a strict diet. However, some do find they experience less pain and brain fog when they follow a gluten or dairy-free diet. While I do not follow a particular diet, through journaling I have discovered specific foods and ingredients that trigger inflammation in my body. I only indulge when I am willing to deal with and accept the consequences of doing so.
Need help finding gluten and dairy-free recipes? A Balanced Belly shares 10 gluten and dairy-free Chinese recipes to make at home!
Plan with Fibromyalgia in Mind
What does your calendar look like? It is packed with back to back appointments and commitments? It shouldn’t be! Even when my pain is at its lowest, my body still requires time to recover. Plan accordingly, if you are experiencing daily pain, give your body more time to recover.
@ladygaga can’t perform 365 nights a year, so why do so #fibromyalgia patients think they can? How to reduce #fibromyalgia pain.Tweet
Give Your Mind and Body a Break
Before my diagnosis of fibromyalgia and when I worked fulltime, I didn’t fill every weekend with physically exhausting activities. I often enjoyed a lazy Saturday lying on the sofa watching Lifetime movies. Vacations were even planned with time to recover before having to return to work. Yet, the moment I found myself both chronically ill and no longer working, I stopped!
Chronic pain made me feel like a failure and I no longer believed that I deserved time off if I wasn’t stuck in bed due to a severe flare. Thankfully I later realized how self-destructive this behavior was and began allowing myself a do-nothing day now and again. Do yourself a favor and give your mind and body a day off!
Reduce Fibromyalgia Pain by Listening to What Your Body is Saying
How well are you listening to your body? I am ashamed to admit that for the first 13 years of my chronic life, I refused to listen to mine. Instead of stopping when I felt the muscles in my lower back tighten, I kept going until my back completely seized up. By doing that I spent more time recovering and experienced pain that could have been avoided.
Listen to your body. What is it telling you?
If it is asking you to rest, do it! It may take longer to accomplish a task, but isn’t less pain worth the extra time?
Care for Your Mental Health
Sometimes caring for our mental health is as simple as limiting how much time we spend on social media or watching/reading the news. However, there are other times when we need the help of a professional. Whether it be to uncover the root of our problems or to find ways to cope with or overcome something, a healthy mind can prevent unnecessary flares.
Everyone, including Lady Gaga could benefit from talking with a mental health professional.
Stay in Your Lane
Have you ever compared pain levels and symptoms with another fibromite and felt discouraged afterward? While it is okay to discuss pain, symptoms, and relief options with others, it is of the utmost importance that we not compare our pain. It is possible to have the same symptoms, treat them with identical treatments and still have more pain than them. Why? Because there are many factors that contribute to the pain each of us experiences. Climate, emotional health, and lack of assistance are just a few reasons why we shouldn’t compare fibromyalgia pain levels.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Lady Gaga can’t expect to put on a stellar performance if she doesn’t get the rest she needs. Not reaching a restorative level of sleep each night or at least most nights could be the reason for additional pain and spikes in other symptoms. Before I found what helped me experience real sleep, not the I am so exhausted that I can’t go on sleep, I rarely slept more than 2-4 hours at a time. More often than not, I would only sleep in 20-minute increments.
When I did sleep longer it was because I was physically and mentally exhausted and my body shut down. One might think that I would feel refreshed after sleeping 12-24 hours, but they would be wrong. There was never enough sleep to recover from all the sleep my body and was not getting in between.
Finding what helped me sleep was just the first step. I also had to accept that the hours my body wanted to sleep wasn’t always when I wanted to. This also meant giving into naps when my body demanded them.
Find out how conquering my sleep issue led to an improvement of other symptoms and get tips to help you sleep better!
What if Lady Gaga Didn’t Try New Treatments?
Unless your current pain management plan provides significant relief and allows you to live a life you love, the hunt for better treatments should never end. When accepting that my pain was only getting worse with pharmaceutical pain relief options, I had no choice but to search for alternatives.
Throughout the past seven years, I have tried many alternative and natural pain relief options. Some helped and I still use them today. Others did nothing. The funny thing is that some of the options that I was most skeptical of turned out the be the most effective pain relief options.
Never give up! Listen to what has helped others, research treatments, and experiment. Here are 40 fibromyalgia flare fighting product suggestions for you to look into!
Check with your physician before starting any new treatment.
Find and Create Balance
Living well with fibromyalgia can only be accomplished by finding and creating a balance in your life. It could be a balance of rest and activity, time spent caring for others versus yourself, or time spent micromanaging your illness and making time for something fun.
Life can’t be all about doctor appointments, medications, or the needs of everyone else but your own. You need to make time for self-care.
Take up a Hobby
Hobbies are great! They give us something fun to focus on and often distract us from pain. What I have learned in my 17 years of diagnosed chronic pain is that it is important to have two sets of hobbies. One that I enjoy doing when my pain is low or average and another when I am flaring and unable to perform the other.
Some suggestions for flare hobbies that are easy on the hands are loom knitting, coloring, and game apps like Words with Friends.
Creating or playing music like Lady Gaga is a fantastic hobby. It also provides a great release for pent up emotions.
Lady Gaga and You Should Utilize Mobility Aids When Needed
Don’t let your age or severity of your disability be what keeps you from using a mobility aid. If using one allows you to get out of the house, stay out longer, and/or end the day with less pain then USE one!!
It makes me so sad to hear people say that they will just miss out on a special event because they refuse to use one because they aren’t old or disabled enough. When this happens, it is no longer the chronic illness that is holding a person back, but themselves.
Are you still struggling to accept your need for a mobility aid? Read Mobility Aids, Everybody Uses Them.
Become a Private Investigator to Reduce Fibromyalgia Pain
Before I became a chronic pain private investigator I had no idea what was triggering certain symptoms or pains. I had absolutely no control over my life or pain. After I began practicing pain investigating via journaling, I learned how to reduce many of my symptoms and the severity of some pains.
To become a pain investigator you need to commit to getting to know your body and to stop fighting it. It begins with journaling everything! Your feelings, what you ate/drank, how active you were/weren’t, the weather, and how you treated your illness and pain. It’s not a once a day process. Instead, it is something you do all day long.
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