Fibromyalgia Treatment Tips to Know
Fibromyalgia treatment is one of the greatest medical challenges in current medicine. For the moment, its cause is unknown. Therefore, this poses a great limitation in finding treatment.
What we do know is that it causes great inconveniences for those who suffer from it. Fibromyalgia is characterized for causing general and chronic pain, especially musculoskeletal.
So far, science has been able to determine that it’s of rheumatologic origin. It’s also been established that pain from this disorder is caused by a neurotransmitter imbalance. However, all that is really clear about fibromyalgia treatment is that it must involve multiple kinds of action. Discover more in the following article.
General Aspects of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is an illness that sometimes severely incapacitates a person. The most difficult thing to endure is the pain or “myalgia”, which is more intense and prolonged than normal pain. It is also diffused and affects various parts of the body at the same time.
There are huge difficulties in diagnosing fibromyalgia. Up until now, there aren’t any lab tests that allow its identification. What doctors usually depend on to diagnose the illness is the clinical exploration of the patient in regard to 18 body pressure points.
The following symptoms important to consider:
- Sleeping disorders
- Cognitive deterioration
- Depression and anxiety
- Gastrointestinal disorders
Specialists have classified fibromyalgia into four types in order to facilitate Fibromyalgia treatment:
- I: No accompanying illness present
- II: When rheumatic and autoimmune illnesses are simultaneously present
- III: Serious psychopathologic alterations present
- IV: Refers to patients with fibromyalgia due to somatization
Learn more: 7 Misconceptions about Fibromyalgia
This Is Fibromyalgia Treatment
As the following article published by several researchers from the University of Turin states, fibromyalgia treatment doesn’t currently have a curative purpose, it only mitigates. In other words, the final goal is to simply reduce the symptoms. Hence, allowing the patient to maintain normal function and have the best quality of life possible.
It is important to emphasize that fibromyalgia treatment requires various plans of action. Basically, these three aspects are worth considering:
- Pain management
- Increase in functionality
- Psychosocial condition of the patient
One of the most crucial elements of treatment is educating the patient. So, without the full and conscious cooperation of the patient, it is practically impossible for any treatment to actually work. Also, the more committed the patient is to treatment, the greater their possibilities of improving.
Pharmacologic Fibromyalgia Treatment
Fibromyalgia treatment includes a pharmacologic component. In this case, doctors use a dose of analgesics and/or anti-inflammatories. The meds they usually prescribe are Tramadol, Paracetamol, or both.
NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) aren’t so effective in managing pain. They are generally prescribed as a complementary measure and almost always on a short-term basis.
In terms of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ibuprofen, and naproxen have been shown to be no better than placebo.
Other unusual types of medicine include benzodiazepines, muscle relaxants, anti-seizure meds, antidepressants, and steroids, among others. Also, self-medication is highly dangerous in these cases, and that the effectiveness of the medications is always limited.
Keep reading: What’s Fibromyalgia, the Disease that Andrea Levy Has?
Frequent physical activity is an essential component in fibromyalgia treatment. Not only does it benefit the physical capacity of the patient, but it also contributes to reducing the symptoms in a short period of time.
Exercise and the practice of sports should fit each individual’s needs. It is the doctor who should direct those practices, which should increase gradually. The best kind of exercise would be aerobic since it significantly contributes to overall better performance of the body.
Relaxation practices such as tai chi or yoga are also recommended. In addition, research reported in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation showed that swimming and various forms of hydrotherapy have a positive effect on fibromyalgia patients.
“Exercise therapy 3 times a week for 16 weeks in a warm pool could improve most symptoms”
─ Diego Munguía Izquierdo & Alejandro Legaz Arrese ─
Psychotherapy and Other Effective Measures
Of course, it’s very important during fibromyalgia treatment for patients to develop a constructive attitude towards their illness. Also, it is very common for those who suffer from this disorder to be irritable. So, they may fall into strong episodes of sadness or depression. Consequently, this worsens their symptoms.
So, experts recommend cognitive behavioral therapy to counteract these effects. Basically, this will allow the patient to not allow fibromyalgia to isolate them or turn into a factor that affects their interpersonal relationships.
On the other hand, a study published in 2013 by the International Journal of Acupuncture showed that some patients notice improvement after acupuncture, chiropractic, or craniopuncture treatments. However, anyone who resorts to these practices should make sure that a qualified practitioner applies them.
Seek help for fibromyalgia treatment
As you’ve seen, although it’s a disease that is still under investigation, there are several options to combat it. Therefore, we encourage you not to ignore the pain.
Moreover, if you identify any of these symptoms, seek support from a specialist. This way, they can perform the necessary tests and you’ll receive an accurate diagnosis to deal with the problem.