Treating & Managing Fibromyalgia

Woman suffering from fibromyalgia pain in the neckWhile there is no cure for fibromyalgia, there are a range of treatments that can help people manage the symptoms of this syndrome. The most effective treatment strategy for fibromyalgia will incorporate a mix of medications, lifestyle adjustments and perhaps some other alternative forms of therapy.

Due to the complexity of the disease, your primary doctor and rheumatologist will have to work together to develop the most effective treatment strategy.

Most fibromyalgia clinical trials focus on developing modern medicine’s ability to combat the broad range of fibro symptoms, but this isn’t always the best way for patients to self-manage their syndrome. Specialists often recommend the following forms of alternative therapy:

  • Moist heat therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Regular aerobic exercise
  • Relaxation and stress reduction techniques

Don’t feel bad if fibromyalgia doesn’t sound familiar at all to you. The truth is that this medical condition remains widely misunderstood, and it’s one of the reasons why so many people struggle for years against mysterious symptoms without understanding why. Despite the amount of research conducted on fibromyalgia, experts are still unclear about the root cause. All this confusion means that many cases often go undiagnosed.

Medications Prescribed for Fibromyalgia

One of the most well-known indications of fibromyalgia is widespread pain and muscle tenderness. The pain can make it incredibly hard to sleep or complete daily tasks. Doctors often prescribe medications to combat these painful symptoms. Here are some of the drugs which are used for fibromyalgia:

  • Analgesics – These include over-the-counter acetaminophen and Prescription pain relievers like tramadol. This depends greatly on the severity of the patient’s symptoms as well as their medical history.
  • Antidepressants – Fibromyalgia often causes anxiety and depression in patients, so antidepressants like milnacipran and duloxetine have been used to mitigate the effects of depression and even chronic fatigue. Sleep aids may also be prescribed to help patients maintain a regular schedule.
  • Anti-Seizure Medications – These drugs are usually prescribed to people with epilepsy, but studies have shown that they can be used for certain fibro symptoms as well. Pregabalin actually was the first drug the FDA approved for the treatment of fibromyalgia.

Regular Exercise and Self-Management Techniques

Research has also widely supported the benefits of exercise for people struggling with this complex syndrome. It’s not uncommon for fibro patients to avoid regular exercise because of the misconception that it’ll only worsen their pain. Studies have shown that regular aerobic and conditioning workouts can help reduce pain and depression.

Exercising releases endorphins which are the human body’s natural painkillers and mood boosters. If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, we recommend starting off slow and gradually adding on to your workouts as you become more comfortable with your routine.

Self-management is extremely important when it comes to dealing with this medical condition over the long run. Stress is a common problem, but it can lead to a flare-up of your symptoms if it’s not addressed properly. Your doctor and rheumatologist will be able to answer your questions and identify the best therapies based on your given symptoms.