Why Does it Seem Like Fibro Gets Worse Over Time?
Is fibromyalgia progressive? The medical profession doesn’t class it as a progressive or degenerative condition, but with long and frequent flare ups recurring over and over again it’s no wonder many of us feel like things are getting worse over time.
Although your body may not technically be deteriorating, it can feel like your quality of life is getting progressively worse. You can’t do the things you used to and the irregularity of the condition prevents you from finding the routine and consistency you crave.
In fact, with symptoms changing day to day, it’s almost like having to come terms with your limitations all over again.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. Here are five things you can do to delay the flare-ups and limit that feeling of degeneration.
1. Keep Track of Your Flares
It’s important that you really get to know your body and how it reacts because every fibromyalgia patient experiences something different. It’s tempting to put your faith in the medical community then sit back and watch, but those of you who have suffered for many years know your doctor can only help you so much and after that it’s down to you – a thought I find both empowering and frustrating.
Start recording your activity in a diary and make sure you make a note of your flare ups. This can be tedious but you’ll start to notice patterns you hadn’t been aware of that can help you predict (and sometimes even avoid) your flare ups.
2. Pace Yourself
You know it’s important to keep active but it’s equally important not to push yourself, and this careful balance is tricky business.
Fibromyalgia patients have a tendency to squeeze as much as possible in to a ‘good day’, only to find that flare ups became more frequent or more intense. You push yourself until you crash and eventually your ‘good days’ really aren’t as good as they used to be.
Take your time, slow down and find a consistent level of activity that won’t throw your body into fits and flares. What this means for each of you will vary depending on your body but here are some suggestions:
- Look at how often you’re active each month and halve it. I realized I was busy every weekend and never had chance to rest, so I now keep two weekends free every month. The more exhausted you are the less equipped you are to cope with the pain, so be strict with yourself; don’t give in and agree to do something on one of those rest days.
- Substitute activities that stretch or frustrate you for those that are easier on your body and therefore easier on your mind, such as changing to a softer form of exercise or meeting friends at a location that’s easier for you.
Next page: three more tips for limiting the feeling of degeneration.