Okay. So you’re having a flare. What does that mean? What can you expect? How long does it last? How can you explain this term to those that do not have fibromyalgia, chronic pain, or other chronic illness so that they can understand and help during those times? Better yet, how do I avoid fibromyalgia flares?
What are fibromyalgia flares?
Having a fibromyalgia flare means you are experiencing an increase of pain or symptoms. Just asfibromyalgia varies from person to person, so do flares. These flares often times leave the person without energy and not able to enjoy their normal daily activities.
For me, having a flare means elevated or heightened:
- pain levels
- abdominal pains
- sensory sensitivities
- muscle knots
I sometimes also experience heightened anxiety or bouts of depression.
How long do flares last?
Again, the length of flares vary from person to person. Fibromyalgia flares can last a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks. I’ve had flares last as long as three months and recently experienced an anxiety attack that lasted days.
What causes a flare?
There are many triggers for a flare.
Triggers could be:
- something you’ve eaten
- the weather
There are other triggers for flares, but these are the most common ones.
What treatments are there for flares?
There isn’t one treatment for a flare. A flare is an elevation of symptoms, so the treatment depends on what is flaring.
Treatment can be:
- yoga, or deep breathing exercises
- stress relief techniques
- lying on the couch (my preference)
For me, if it is my stomach, I drink plenty of water along with ginger tea such as Jammin’ Lemon Ginger. If it is a headache, I drink Tension Tamer tea or Lemon Zinger tea. For an overall increase in pain levels, I drink Honey Vanilla Chamomile tea.