how to reduce (and recover from) fibromyalgia flares #beingfibromom #fibromyalgia #fibroflares

Fibromyalgia Flares

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Okay. So you’re having a flare. What does that mean? What can you expect? How long does it last? How can you explain this term to those that do not have fibromyalgia, chronic pain, or other chronic illness so that they can understand and help during those times? Better yet, how do I reduce (and recover from) fibromyalgia flares?

What are fibromyalgia flares?

Having a fibromyalgia flare means you are experiencing an increase in pain or symptoms. Just as fibromyalgia varies from person to person, so do flares. These flares oftentimes leave the person without energy and not able to enjoy their normal daily activities.

For me, having a flare means elevated or heightened:

I sometimes also experience heightened anxiety or bouts of depression.

How long do fibromyalgia flares last?

Just as the flare can vary from person to person, so does the length of the flare. They have been known to last a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks. I’ve had flares last as long as three months.

What causes fibromyalgia flares?

There are many triggers for a flare.

Triggers could be:

  • stress
  • something you’ve eaten
  • the weather

There are other triggers for flares, but these are the most common ones.

How can I reduce the chances of fibromyalgia flares?

Here are some ways to reduce the chances of a flare.

Reduce your stress

Find ways to relieve stress. Whether it’s going for a walk, curling up with a good book, or talking to a friend, releasing stress relaxes the body. Try these tips on relieving stress in your life.

Eat the good stuff, avoid the bad stuff

Living with fibromyalgia means having a stubborn gut. It knows what it wants and if it doesn’t get it, it will act out. Be sure to fill up with all the good stuff your body needs, and by avoiding the bad stuff, you’re also greatly reducing the chances of a flare. Read more about the good, the bad, and the ugly of a fibro diet.

Watch the weather

Drastic changes in the barometer can also affect your body and health. My grandmother, mom, and dad would say they could feel the bad weather coming into their bones. I never understood what they meant until I developed fibromyalgia.

Be sure to watch the weather forecast to prepare for cold or rainy weather. In the days leading up to, during, and following, you can get extra rest, drink plenty of fluids, and load up on self-care.

The Fibromyalgia Diet #fibrodiet #beingfibromom #fibromyalgia

The Fibro Diet

According to research and other studies, there are foods that will relieve fibromyalgia symptoms and other foods that will worsen symptoms. It can be overwhelming to track which ones are to be avoided, which can be okay to consume in small amounts, and the foods that should be avoided altogether.

Positive mindset

Having a positive outlook on your illness can also help reduce the chances of a fibromyalgia flare. It’s not always easy, but having a better mindset can help you physically. Check out this article from Mental Health America about the benefits of staying positive.

Listen to your loved ones

My husband can tell when I’m doing something that could wind up in a flare, so he will give me warnings. These include ‘be sure to rest’, ‘don’t forget to drink water’, or something similar. When your loved ones help you in this way, take it to heart and know they say it out of love for you.

Know your limits

You know your physical and mental limits better than anyone. Be mindful of them and stay within those boundaries to avoid a full shutdown later. If you think it’s “worth the flare”, then try to do what you can during the event such as taking breaks, increasing fluids, etc.

Take plenty of breaks

When working in the yard, doing housework, or participating in a social event, be sure to take plenty of breaks. A good rule of thumb is to rest every 20 minutes of activity. The rest should be for ten minutes.

Make self-care a priority

Self-care should always be practiced. Love your body and don’t abuse it by pushing it too far. Self-care can be anything you enjoy doing. It could be working in the garden, going to a concert with friends, or reading a good book. Here are some great self-care gifts for fibromyalgia.

must have items to minimize fibro flares #fibromyalgia #fibroflares #chronicpain

Must-Have Items to Minimize Fibromyalgia Flares

No matter how successfully you manage fibromyalgia symptoms, a flare is inevitable. Whether you lie in bed/on the couch and rest or you go about your typical day during a flare, these are must-have items to minimize fibromyalgia flares.

How can I recover from fibromyalgia flares?

There isn’t one treatment for a flare. A flare is an elevation of symptoms, so the treatment depends on what is flaring, and can even be a combination of treatments.

Plenty of rest

Your body needs plenty of rest during a flare. Lying on the couch, reclining in a chair, or being in the bed are ways to rest your body. Be sure to get up periodically to move your joints to prevent stiffness and improve circulation.

Drink your liquids

Being hydrated is important when flaring. Ensure the liquids you give your body are nourishing. Liquids include water, smoothies, or tea. My preference for a smoothie is one with lots of berries and chia seeds both of which are antioxidants (help with inflammation). Turmeric Ginger tea by Buddha Tea * is my favorite.

*I add a spoonful of honey infused with copaiba, lemon, and Thieves essential oils for overall support.

Pain Relief Cream

Applying a topical pain relief cream to the affected area (if there is one) can drastically help your body with recovering. There are lots of creams out there including cream with CBD oil and magnesium lotion, but the one I find most effective for relieving pain is the Cool Azul Pain Relief Cream. It helps relieve deep muscle and joint pain through the methyl salicylate and natural menthol components.

Soaking in a bath

Soaking in a warm bath is great for your achy joints and body. Adding some Epsom salt or magnesium bath flakes (this is what I use) would be extra soothing.

Treatment can also include:

27 thoughts on “Fibromyalgia Flares”

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    1. I have officially been in a flare for a month. Went to the doctor yesterday and he gives me some kind of a shot that stops the flare. I’m a different person today although I’m still moving slow. Fibromyalgia is brutal.

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  4. I have a friend with fibromyalgia and one of the most frustrating part of the disease is the lack of information about the disease. It varies so widely from one patient to another and can be difficult to diagnose and treat. This post is a wonderful resource not only for those with the condition, but to inform others. Thank you for sharing it at the This Is How We Roll Thursday party.

    1. Yes, it is a frustrating disease. There are so many aspects to it and can mimic other diseases. I’m glad you are reading about fibromyalgia to help your friend. One of my friends did that so she could understand me better and it meant the world to me! Thank you for supporting your friends and others with fibromyalgia!

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    1. Oh, no! I hope you are feeling better now! The impending storm of Hurricane Matthew and the days after had me in a terrible flare. I’m just now starting to get back to ‘normal’. Gentle hugs, friend!

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  14. I’m in an awful flare right now and it’s really getting to me. Hubby doesn’t understand Fibro and usually I just try to pretend I don’t have it. When I’m in a bad flare, however…that is impossible.
    About massages- lately I feel like it makes everything worse. Maybe it’s just something my body can’t handle anymore…?

    1. Hi, Martha, thank you for sharing your struggles and taking the time to read my article. I appreciate your feedback. Fibromyalgia isn’t progressive (meaning it doesn’t get worse with time); however, it can get worse if it isn’t managed properly. I’d love to chat with you about pain management tools if you’d like. You can send me an email at beingfibromom{at}gmail.com Thank you again for your feedback!

  15. Hi, I’m Nicolette I’ve been living with this syndrome for 12 years and I beg to differ on your last statement….”fibromyalgia isn’t progressive” I was on stage 4 for a long time and in September 2019 a terrible virus entered my body, it was so bad I actually wish I’d rather died, my doctor told me I’ve skipped stage 5 and are now on stage 6 and let me tell you it’s no joke! I’m 45 years old and I’m wearing adult nappies (really…) I love impact sport kick boxing, tai bo, off road biking, love driving my unitmog on 4×4 opsticals, doing volunteer firefighting with my mog etc. and now I can’t even scratch my own back, feeding the dogs, cats, sheep & cattle is a mission for me, cleaning stables is taking up a lot of my time…and I’m running my own business…flares, what flares, I’m in a constant flare I can’t t lie down EVERYTHING PAINS so much that I just keep going, because if I don’t I feel useless, I don’t sleep, because the pain overrides my sleep ability….hope you guys never reach the stadge where you can’t even shower yourself and have to ask hubby to was your hair because you can’t lift your arms, get black outs and land up on the floor and when you wake up you can’t remember anything…..just a few to mention, have a great day, stay positive. Love Nicolette

    1. I’m so sorry to hear you’re struggling so much, Nicolette! It sounds as though there’s much more going on than fibro. Fibromyalgia isn’t a progressive condition. If you have literature to state otherwise, I’d very much appreciate it if you can send it my way. Fibro can overlap with other conditions and even have comorbid conditions. Do you have any other diagnoses?

  16. I’ve had fibro for 15 years and Rheumatoid Arthritis for 16 years. Both cause fatigue and pain. The last 2 weeks I’ve been having the worst fibro flare ever. I get these deep, deep aches that come from my core. Each ache is followed by a whole body twitch or tremor. This happens every day at least once, usually in late afternoon or early evening. The twitching is uncomfortable and uncontrollable and embarrassing if I’m in a group. My rheumatologist tells me that this type of major flare can be triggered by an infection or a surgery. I had a knee replacement about a month before the flare. With all of that being said, are you aware of anything that might stop these tremors? I’ve tried more exercise, meditation, yoga, Tai Chi and even cbd and medical Marijuana.

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