Before you read our article – a few definitions will help.
Trigger points: An area where applied pressure on the body would refer pain into another part of the body. An example of this is pressure applied to the middle of the shoulder blade causes pain down the shoulder and arm.
Tender Points: Tenderness in specific areas is exaggerated in fibromyalgia patients.
1. Warm muscles in a bath in the morning before stretching. A warm muscle is less painful and easier to stretch.
2. Concentrate on slow exercises. When you ask one muscle group to contract the opposing muscle is asked to relax. When the motion is slowed down, the muscle must hold the contraction longer and allows the opposing muscle group tome to relax.
3. Perform some of your exercises in the shower.
4. Stretch several times a day. This helps to prevent muscle spasm and release tension.
5. Use pillows placed as a barrier to prevent over stretching a muscle or for support.
6. If you apply pressure to a trigger point, apply pressure only to the point of discomfort, take a deep breath and after a few seconds apply a little more pressure. By pulsing the pressure, you allow the muscle to relax slightly before applying more pressure. Often times you will be able to go deeper into the muscle and inactivate the trigger point.
7. Schedule regular rest periods around your favorite TV program.
8. If you must lie down, set a timer for a reasonable rest time and get up to turn it off.
9. When you lie down stretch instead of hibernating.
10. If you are in the middle of an activity, and you are trying to work in spite of the pain, it is OK to stop, stretch and or rest. Usually it is the last 10-min of the activity that will send you to bed the next day.
11. Break tasks up into sections. If you finish one section of it, you have accomplished something. Also, tasks can be broken up into time increments. Work 10-15 minutes and do something else less taxing or rest, then come back to the task.
12. Prioritize your day. Make conscious choices of how you spend your energy levels and allow time to rest between tasks.
13. Pay attention to your energy level. Schedule things for the peak energy levels and allow time to rest between tasks.
14. Incorporate massage into your therapy. Interview the massage therapist to make sure they are certified and familiar with fibromyalgia and trigger points. Your pain level should be respected, the massage should be relaxing not TORTURE.
15. If you feel you are really having a bad day rent a comedy. You get to rest as well as release endorphins, which are your body’s natural pain killer.
16. Look at your environment to see how you can change it to make a task easier. Example: Your back or arms hurt when you do the dishes. Is the faucet high enough?
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