Home treatment is the most important part of treating fibromyalgia. There are many things you can do over time to treat your symptoms:
- Exercise regularly. Of all the treatments for fibromyalgia, cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise may have the most benefit in reducing pain and other symptoms and in improving your overall condition. Work with a physical therapist or other professional who has expertise with fibromyalgia to build an exercise program that works for you. And then stay with it.
- Try to avoid or limit your exposure to "triggers" or "stressors" that make your symptoms worse. Common triggers include cold or damp weather, poor sleep, fatigue, physical or emotional stress, and being too active.
- Improve sleep. Sleep disturbances seem to both cause and result from some of the other symptoms of fibromyalgia, such as pain. Learn good sleep habits. And try to get enough sleep each night.
- Relieve pain. Heat therapy, massage, gentle exercise, and short-term use of nonprescription pain relievers may be helpful.
- Reduce stress. Finding healthy ways to cope with stress may help reduce your pain.
- Learn about fibromyalgia. The more you know about fibromyalgia, the more control you will have over your symptoms. People who feel more in control also tend to be more active and report less pain and other symptoms.2
- Learn ways to manage your memory problems. Feeling as though you are not thinking clearly-sometimes called "fibro fog"-increases stress and can make memory problems worse. Simple things like writing yourself notes can help you feel more in control.
- Have a good-health attitude, along with these other healthy habits. It's hard to stay positive when you don't feel well. But a good attitude helps you focus less on your challenges and feel more healthy.
The best results occur when you take an active, committed role in your own treatment. You may need to adjust your lifestyle to fit home treatment, especially regular exercise, into your daily routine. It may take time to find an approach that works for you. Try to be patient. And keep in mind that consistent home treatment usually can help relieve or control symptoms of fibromyalgia.