Tips for Pain Sufferers: Ways to Cope with Fibromyalgia and More

Pain patients often feel better when they work to relieve not only their pain, but their fatigue, depression and isolation. Here are some non-drug practices that can help.

• When you stand, rest one foot on a small stool, the bottom platform of a shopping cart or a phone book to avoid back strain. Alternate feet every few minutes.

• Try tai chi mind-body relaxation exercises or jin shin jyutsu, a non-massage form of shiatsu that uses the body’s pressure points to reduce tension.

• Pay attention to your body’s messages.

• Remember the things that used to make you feel good. Brainstorm with your health-care providers about ways to safely adapt and return them to your daily routine.

• Learn how to say no and how to ask for help. Consider assertiveness training and family counseling.

• Evaluate your work area. If you’re on the phone a lot, for example, use a headset.

• Eat foods rich in calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D, nutrients that promote new bone growth.

• Improve your sleep habits: Go to bed and arise at approximately the same times every day. Use the bedroom for sleep only. Place a small pillow between your knees.

Sources: Dr. Stephen Borowsky, Jessica Gheer, Penny Rickhoff, American Chronic Pain Association and National Institutes of Health.

Article source: The Arizona Republic, online at

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