Finding a Balance in Activities with Fibromyalgia

Karen Lee Richards Health Guide
  • I have found that with fibromyalgia there is a line –– often a very fine line –– between doing too little and doing too much. We all know that too much activity will exacerbate our pain and fatigue, but I’ve discovered that too little activity can have the same effect.

    Some days my body feels like someone has beat me to a pulp, then run over me with a truck just for good measure. On those days everything in me wants to stay in bed, praying that the pain will subside. However, if I force myself to get up and move around some, I’ll usually start feeling a little better. No, the pain doesn’t magically disappear, but it does ease up enough that I can be at least somewhat functional.
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    On the other hand, if I’m having a good day and allow myself to get too ambitious physically (like cleaning the whole house), I end up collapsing in a heap and will usually suffer for several more days. My acupuncturist likes to tease me by saying he thinks people with fibromyalgia have a mental problem because every time we start to feel better, we push ourselves too far and end up in a flare. Although he is joking about the mental part, he makes a good point about our tendency to overdo.

    Everybody has a fine line. It’s not a stationary line; it moves from day to day. Some days you’ll be able to do more than other days. Only you can determine where your fine line is. If you’re having trouble finding it, try keeping an activity journal. Write down what you do each day and how you feel before and after each activity. Over a period of time, you’ll start to see a pattern emerge. Once you’ve found your fine line, try not to veer far from it.

Published On: October 01, 2007