Using distraction to reduce pain in Fibromyagia patients

Does distraction reduce pain in Fibromyagia patients
A new study shows that distraction can be an effective tool in reducing pain in patients with fibromyalgia just the same as it is in healthy people.
We all know that when we are in pain it has an impact on our ability to function well. People with Fibromyalgia usually live in constant pain as just one of their symptoms.

The study - Task interference and distraction efficacy in patients with fibromyalgia: an experimental investigation - was conducted at the Institute for Health and Behaviour, INSIDE, University of Luxembourg and printed in Ovid in June 2018.

All people who participated in the study experienced the pain stimulus as less intense when directing attention away from the pain than when focusing on the pain. So distrating themselves from the pain actually lessened the pain.

This is what I have always thought and why I spend so much time researching on the computer, reading, watching television and drawing. When I do these things the pain recedes and it is not in the forefront of my awareness.

The actual task performance of patients with Fibromyalgia (FM) in the study was slower than the task performance of the healthy control group. (as I would expect)

In contrast to what researchers thought, patients with FM and healthy volunteers did not differ in the effect or efficacy of the distraction. 

In conclusion, the study reported that they support contemporary theories claiming that attention modulates the experience of pain and vice versa. However, no evidence was found for an altered attentional processing of pain in patients with FM. 

So using distraction in whatever form it takes is a valid tool for coping with FM pain. Do you agree that distraction helps in coping with pain?

If you are looking for ideas to help you cope with pain and other symptoms of Fibromyalgia please sign up below. 


  1. I totally agree. Distraction is a great way to cope with pain. Sometimes it's hard to concentrate on other things but escaping from reality does really help to forget your suffering. I shared on Pinterest. I have been loving your posts lately! x

    1. Thanks Kirsten, so nice to hear from you. Yes I like escaping into books especially as you go into another world, Thanks for sharing on pinterest too, much appreciated.

  2. It might for a short time. But you with ppl like me with FM, my concentration is crushed because of this.. I could only pay attention to an activity for a short time... and if it's a physical activity, FM people can only stand, sit, for only so long and if you want them to come back the next day.. You better check if they can move.

    1. OH! absintheminded, so agree. I have to move often or I seize up and if I do too many repetitive movements or stand for too long I am worse for the next two days. Walking for about 15 minutes is my good daily exercise ( actually every second day.) I definitely pace my self by reading for about half an hour (distraction) and then doing some housework inbetween. Anything more physical than that is not possible and the house work has deteriorated too much less than before I had Fibromyalgia. How about you?


Thanks for your input