Stress and fibromyalgia

Many people with fibromyalgia find that stress makes their symptoms worse. Reducing stress, or finding healthy ways to cope with it, may help reduce your pain.

  • Identify stressful situations at home and at work that seem to trigger your symptoms. Work on ways to make those situations less stressful or to make them occur less frequently.
  • Cancel unnecessary activities that cause stress.
  • Set priorities and learn to cope with your physical limitations. If you can't do an activity because of pain, find a less painful way to do it or try a different activity.
  • Think about seeing a counselor if you are unable to deal with severe stress or need help finding ways to cope with stressful situations.
  • Learn to use stress reduction, biofeedback, visualization, meditation, or relaxation techniques. Cognitive-behavioral therapy or training may be helpful in learning to manage stress. For more information about these techniques, see the topic Stress Management.
  • Join a fibromyalgia support group.

Last Updated: October 21, 2009

Author: Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Richa Dhawan, MD - Rheumatology

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