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What can I do during a fibromyalgia flare?

By September 23, 2011 - 7:08pm
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I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia for about a year. I take Ultracet and Neurontin and had been very stable until recently. I suffer primarily in my legs and hip area. I have some Lidoderm patches that were very helpful for the legs. I am wondering what else can I do to stop the painful aching. I am allergic to NSAIDS ( the best one was Vioxx and Bextra which are no longer available.) I have been laying up in bed dreading to move. Please help. Will try anything.

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I used to be one of those people that stayed in bed and tried not to move. Then I joined a support group in my area and found that doing things and moving was the best thing for me. I take magnesium supplements and Vitamin D and if I feel a cold coming on I load up on the Vitamin C. I try to eat right. Not too much sugar and more healthy vegetables and fruit, Less meat. Organic whenever possible. I am on 90 mgs of Cymbalta but it really has no effect on pain and I take muscle relaxers but they seem to be just a band-aide. The one thing that has helped me the most is yoga. When i have a flair I rest a little more but do not stop moving because I just get stiffer and more sore when I dont move. It is always a battle but after more than 20 years I also found that a good attitude goes a long way.

October 15, 2011 - 5:28pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have been living with Fibromyalgia for 20 years as well.. Right now in a flare combined with head cold that makes it all worse.. The only thing I can do is some light activities such as watching t.v, little reading and just resting. One of the problem is that I don't think I can take any of the over the counter cold/flu medicine since I am on Cymbalta. It specifically say on each one of the drugs not to take if you are on MAOI. The only thing I dare taking is Advil. It is recommended to walk, swim, yoga, Pilates but in the middle of a flare I can't seem to have the energy. I also take extra vitamins and drink and eat wholesome food.. One other observation I have come up with is that when in flare, my tendency is to get depressed and withdrawn.. I read "self help books" which helps. Another observation, I get more frequent flares every since I have been in Menaupose.

October 13, 2011 - 8:45am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Cymbalta is NOT an MAOI. Talk to your doctor.

March 20, 2013 - 8:14am
(reply to Anonymous)

Cymbalta is not an MAOI but you should always consult your pharmacist about what otc medications you can take with your current medications.

October 13, 2011 - 8:00pm
(reply to kimmim123)

Thanks! I have actually just learned it yesterday about MAOI. I have ended up taking the 5 days antibiotics and I am doing much better.
What pain medication do you take when you are in a flare?

Cheers to our health!

October 15, 2011 - 10:12am

Yoga is what helps me the best overall but sometimes with a flare more rest is the only thing I can do. Pain relievers of any level don't seem to help with the fibro pain at least not for me. I do take Cymbalta but that did not relieve any of the pain symptoms either for me I take it for the antidepressant effect. I have had fibromyalgia for over 20 years and I have found that if I keep moving and don't give into it I am better off. When I have a flare I try to rest more and doing yoga on a regular bases helps the most.

September 25, 2011 - 12:01pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi hicarole1968

Thanks for your question and I'm sorry you are dealing with fibromyalgia - we hear about it from many of our members and know what a hard condition it is to live with.

Fibro flares can be helped with various treatments:

The goal of treatment is to relieve or control the symptoms. Treatments include:

Physical and Behavioral Therapies
■Physical therapy (gradual aerobic exercise and stretching regimen)
■Heated pool treatments—Aquatic training in warm water (eg, strength, aerobic, and relaxation exercises) may help improve symptoms.
■Application of heat to painful areas
■ Alternative treatments, such as massage , acupuncture , relaxation training , trigger point therapy, biofeedback
■Cognitive behavioral therapy

Lifestyle Changes
■Eating a healthful diet
■Learning to cope with physical and mental stress
■ Doing regular, moderate, low-impact exercise with your doctor's approval ◦ Try gentle exercise that does not strain painful areas, such as: ◦Walking
◦Swimming, preferably in warmer water

■ Doing regular stretching exercises
■Maintaining a regular sleep schedule


These medications may help to improve symptoms:
■ Weak opioids (eg, tramadol , paracetamol)
■ Antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline , fluoxetine , duloxetine , milnacipran, moclobemide , pirlindole)
■ Pain relievers (eg, tropisetron, pramipexole , pregabalin )
■Sodium oxybate (eg, Xyrem), a central nervous system depressant

You can read a lot more on our Fibromyalgia page here: http://www.empowher.com/condition/fibromyalgia

If you are in the middle of a flare up now, consider getting a massage - you can call around to find someone who is trained in massage therapy for this condition or just mention it to a therapist before you begin so they can focus on the body parts that need the most attention.

You also need to get a lot of rest and as tired as you may be, going to a Yoga or meditation class can also really help. Do you have access to a hot tub? That might also help with your aches. Or a simple warm bath with essential oils would work.

For more tips and support, you can join our Fibro Support Group here: http://www.empowher.com/groups/fibromyalgia

Let me know what you think!

September 24, 2011 - 8:45am
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