Managing Fibromyalgia Pain

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Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points.

A new feature on guides users in developing a coping plan for days when fibromyalgia pain is particularly bad. One key strategy is planning ahead.

When pain and other signs and symptoms are severe, people who have fibromyalgia might not be thinking clearly. Experts agree that this isn't the time to prepare a plan for coping. Instead, creating a plan when people are feeling reasonably well helps ensure they'll be ready when a difficult day arrives. suggests the following steps for coping with fibromyalgia pain:

  • Make a list of family and friends who can help. On a day when symptoms are mild, make a list of people who can help, and on days when symptoms are more severe, enlist their support.
  • Identify other resources. Resources in the community, such as a support group, may be available to help during a really difficult day.
  • Make a schedule. Write down the tasks that must be completed every day. Think about what's necessary and what can wait.
  • Find distractions. Identify activities that distract from signs and symptoms of the condition. Family and friends also can provide distraction.
  • Plan to relax. Set aside time for daily relaxation. Activities might include meditating, writing in a journal, listening to music or taking a bath.

Organizations such as the Arthritis Foundation and the American Chronic Pain Association provide educational classes and support groups. These groups can often offer a level of help and advice not found anywhere else. They can also help put individuals in touch with others who are coping with fibromyalgia.


Launched in 1995 and visited more than 13 million times a month, this award-winning Web site offers health information, self-improvement and disease management tools to empower people to manage their health. Produced by a team of Web professionals and medical experts, gives users access to the experience and knowledge of the more than 2,500 physicians and scientists of Mayo Clinic. offers intuitive, easy-to-use tools such as "Symptom Checker" and "First-Aid Guide" for fast answers about health conditions ranging from common to complex; as well as an A-Z library of more than 850 diseases and conditions, in-depth sections on 24 common diseases and conditions, 16 healthy living areas including food and nutrition, recipes, fitness and weight control, videos, animations and features such as "Ask a Specialist" and "Drug Watch." Users can sign up for a free weekly e-newsletter called "Housecall" which provides the latest health information from Mayo Clinic. For more information, visit

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Ginger Plumbo
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