As the body ages, aches and pains might become more difficult for men and women to handle. While not all pain is indicative of a disorder or condition, aging women who experience pain may be suffering from fibromyalgia. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases notes that fibromyalgia is a common and chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain. While anyone can get fibromyalgia, the NIAMS that between 80 and 90 percent of those diagnosed are women and that sufferers are most often diagnosed in middle age. Doctors may prescribe medication to help women fight pain resulting from fibromyalgia, and there are some additional ways to combat that pain as well.
• Get enough sleep. The NIAMS says the getting enough sleep can help ease the pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia. To ensure a better night’s sleep, women can adopt sleep schedules so they go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, including on weekends and during vacations. Avoid alcohol and caffeine in the late afternoon and evening, as both substances can make it more difficult to sleep soundly. In addition, avoid reading or working while in bed, as such activities can stimulate the body, making it harder to fall asleep as a result.
• Exercise regularly. Exercising while in pain may seem counterintuitive, but the NIAMS notes that numerous studies have indicated that regular exercise is an effective treatment for fibromyalgia. When beginning a new exercise regimen, take things slowly at first, gradually building up your endurance levels and amping up the intensity of your workouts as your body acclimates itself to exercise.
• Change your diet. Some women suffering from fibromyalgia have reported feeling better when they began to avoid certain foods, though the NIAMS points out that there is no specific diet connected to reducing fibromyalgia-related pain. The AARP notes that foods such as red grapes and cherries and herbs and spices, such as ginger and turmeric, can help aging women combat pain.
• Examine your work space. Working women who are dealing with fibromyalgia may benefit by examining their work spaces and adapting those spaces to make them more comfortable. Replace desk chairs if they do not provide adequate support and speak with an occupation therapist regarding other ways to make work stations more comfortable.