How to Manage Fibromyalgia Flares

Updated: Oct 8

Fibromyalgia flare-ups, often known as "Fibro-Flares," can last days, weeks, or even months. During this time, life can seem unbearable due to the intensity of symptoms and not knowing when the flare will subside.


Typical symptoms that are intensified:


Pain

Pain is one of the worst Fibromyalgia symptoms. Most of the muscles in your body are aching and painful. Since the pain is widespread, it makes life more difficult and even debilitating.


Stiffness

Stiffness often happens upon waking. The entire body feels taut and inflexible.


Fibro fog

Fibro fog, or brain fog, is a term used to describe the confusion and lack of mental clarity when a flare-up occurs. As a result, your focus and memory are adversely affected.


Sleep issues

You have difficulty falling asleep, and when you do, you often wake up feeling fatigued.


Mood disturbances

You feel anxious, depressed, and irritable.


Fatigue

You're exceptionally mentally and physically tired.



So, how do we manage these flare-ups?


The best way to manage them is to prevent them. We can do this by removing any trigger foods from our diet, relieving stress, staying hydrated, and keeping active. Prevention is our first defense.


However, sometimes despite our best efforts, a flare can occur. We have no choice but to ride it out. Below you'll find a few ways to manage a flare-up.


1. Massage


Find a qualified masseuse to give you a gentle massage. It will be soothing and help to release endorphins in the body that make you feel good. A massage can also help blood circulation in your body improve, which can help bring pain relief and relaxation.


2. Get more rest


Try to rest by sleeping more, working less, and spending more time just relaxing by doing self-care activities. If you have Fibromyalgia &/or Chronic Fatigue, you should be taking time every day to relieve stress to help avoid a flare, but if one does occur, it's as good a time to start prioritizing self-care and learning to de-stress.


3. Use heat


Apply hot compresses to the parts of your body that hurt the most. Soaking yourself in a hot bath can help your aching muscles to find some relief. You'll feel less stiff too.


4. Journal your flare-up


Write down how you feel and what you're doing. It's best to keep a journal to record what you eat, how long you sleep, your stress levels, and so on. It's a good idea to do this even when you don't have a flare-up. A journal will help you to monitor patterns and triggers that may be causing the flare. In addition, it will give you the keys to know what you need to do or not do to prevent future incidences.

5. Tone down your physical activity


Exercise is fantastic for strengthening the body, keeping it supple, and aiding in weight management. However, during a flare, it may be wise to take things down a notch. Do not push yourself beyond your point of comfort. If you wish to do some light exercise, engage in stretching exercises or light walking. The goal is to do what you can without unnecessary exertion. Pushing past your comfort zone is NOT recommended during a flare-up.

To conclude, besides the tips above, you could try other methods such as acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy. There are many holistic methods out there, but the success of these methods used for fibromyalgia is unknown completely.


Nevertheless, I encourage you not to dismiss them if you've not tried them. We are unique individuals, and while acupuncture may not affect one person, it may bring immense relief to another. But, of course, we'll only know if we try.


Last but not least, always speak to your doctor about your condition and any holistic methods or treatments you pl