Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

A fibromyalgia success story

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Today’s recommended reading: a practical and hopeful article by a reader about wrestling with fibromyalgia over the last few years, more or less successfully. But it wasn’t easy:

What do you do when all your effort backfires and makes things worse, where you feel like your body is allergic to effort? (And you tried "resting" or doing nothing for months but that clearly did not work either?) Especially if you are the type of person that thrives on effort (professional life and hobbies and ways to blow off steam?)

For several years, the pain, fatigue, isolation, anxiety and low mood cycles were hell. The harder I tried, the worse it made everything: I was used to trying harder making things better, but this was its own beast. During this time, I had trouble walking without my muscles (eventually my whole system) complaining for days. I had trouble driving. I felt trapped in my apartment.

Underwater photo of a woman aquajogging, wearing an AquaJogger belt and AquaRunners.

Aquajogging is one of Jared’s most successful management strategies, it’s a fantastic idea & it directly inspired this great new article for

Jared Updike is my ideal reader, a best-case scenario, a great example of what I hope will happen with everyone who comes to my website with a painful puzzle to solve. There is, of course, no hope of that (see the next post: “Accidental voice mail records visitor struggling with my website”). But a writer can dream!

Jared perfectly demonstrates a thoughtful, systematic approach to learning about fibromyalgia and experimenting with treatments. He’s open-minded, but — crucially — not too open-minded. His writing about that process is a great bonus, clear and interesting, and I learned a lot from it, so on top of everything else it’s a useful collaboration.

The main article is short, but some of his “Additional Notes” are actually longer and the best part: be sure to click/tap to show those.

DOCTOR MASSEUSE: Or My Personal Pain Puzzle
by Jared Updike