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Living Well with Fibromyalgia

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Living Well with Fibromyalgia
If you have been giving a diagnosis of fibromyalgia you may have many questions or concerns about what it could be like living with this long-term condition.

The truth is you probably have had the symptoms for a long time and have learnt many things that help you manage on a day to day basis. However, there may be some hints, tips or gadgets which could help to relieve your symptoms and live your life as fully as possible.

Fibromyalgia can affect people in a number of ways but commonly this includes pain in the body, stiffness in muscles or joints, lack of energy, memory problems and difficulties sleeping. Many of these symptoms can be managed by a combination of things – sometimes medication but often changes in lifestyle can really help.


Getting out and about every day!


Research shows that is it really important for both your mental and physical health to get out and about – going outside makes us feel better and gives us essential Vitamin D for building stronger muscles and bones. Getting outside even if it’s only for 15 minutes a day can significantly improve your health. Getting outside in the garden could help you do something purposeful whilst you’re outside- whether that’s gardening, hanging out the washing or throwing the ball for the dog.

Of course getting outside safely may mean that you have to use mobility aids such as a rollator or walking stick to prevent falls but research shows that it’s worth it! If you feel that you need more assistance to benefit from the fresh air you could always invest in a wheelchair – this may enable you to sit outside with family and friends or simply have a cup of tea in the sunshine.

If you are feeling more adventurous and want to go further afield, in the car or on public transport there are many products which can make this easier for you and your family.


Have a soak!

If you have tired muscles and painful joints it can really help to have a soak in a warm bath but getting in and out may be difficult. There are many products which can help from steps to seats through to lifts which raise you up from the bottom of the bath. It is also important to consider the safety of you have a bath – a alarm can provide peace of mind that you can get help if you need it, making sure you don’t lock the door (put an engaged sign on the door if you don’t one the kids running in!), rails on the side of the bath and having slip resistant flooring in the bathroom can all help.

If showering if more your thing you may find standing to shower tiring – there are shower chairs to suit most types and size of cubicle. Reaching toes or you back can be hard in the shower and long handled sponges and other aids may help.


Dressing in style!


Just because you have fibromyalgia does not mean you lose your sense of style. However, dressing can become more difficult due to pain, stiffness and tiredness. To make it easier here are our top tips:

• Sit down to do as many tasks as possible – for example putting on your pants or tights / socks. There are also gadgets to help with these tasks that prevent you having to bend as far.
• Plan in enough time to your routine so you’re not rushing. Getting up 15 minutes early might make all the difference, have a shower in the morning to loosen up stiff muscles before dressing, plan the clothes you’re going to wear the day before so you don’t have to think too much about it.
• Wear slip on shoes or have self-binding laces to prevent having to tie up shoes during the day.
• Bras can be particularly tricky to put on – try a Bra Angel or use a front fastening bra to make it easier.

Doing the chores!


Keeping active and productive is really important for your physical and mental health and unfortunately this includes the household chores! You may feel like these are getting on top of you but there are simple thing you can use or do to make these tasks achievable:

• Sit down wherever possible to preserve you energy – using a perching stool whilst ironing, preparing food or washing up can make a huge difference to your level of tiredness
• Make a timetable of your housework and do a little everyday rather than storing it up for one big clean.
• Accept help if its offered – people and family often feel better when they’re helping you out practically.
• Using long handled brooms, brushes and cleaning aids can prevent you bending and reduce pain.
• A household trolley can be really useful when carry things from room to room.
• If you’re living in a house a stairlift can really help you preserve energy for the thing which are more important in life than using all your energy to climb the stairs.

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