June 17, 2024
Fibromyalgia Treatment

Managing Fibromyalgia Symptoms A Comprehensive Guide to Treatment Options and Lifestyle Strategies

Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body. It’s typically diagnosed based on a person experiencing widespread musculoskeletal pain for at least 3 months and tenderness in 11 or more of 18 specific points on the body. While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, several treatment options exist to help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. This article explores some of the main treatment approaches used for fibromyalgia.

Lifestyle Changes and Stress Management

Making lifestyle changes is one of the foundation treatments for fibromyalgia. Adopting healthy habits and reducing stress levels can help alleviate pain and fatigue symptoms. Getting sufficient sleep, exercising regularly, eating a nutritious diet, and practicing relaxation techniques are impactful non-drug approaches.

Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night is extremely important, as poor sleep exacerbates fibromyalgia pain. Gentle physical activity like walking, yoga, swimming or aqua therapy provides both physical and mental benefits. A balanced diet full of lean protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals fuels the body and eases discomfort. Stress management tools such as meditation, deep breathing, journaling and spending time outdoors serve to calm the nervous system.

Medications

Several prescription and over-the-counter medications are commonly used for fibromyalgia symptom management. The classes of drugs most frequently prescribed by doctors include pain relievers, antidepressants and anticonvulsants.

Fibromyalgia Treatment Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen help reduce pain and swelling. However, long-term NSAID use increases risk of stomach bleeding and kidney problems. Opioid painkillers are generally avoided due to safety risks and limited efficacy. Tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors are often prescribed not just for mood but for their pain-relieving abilities as well. Anticonvulsant drugs gabapentin and pregabalin are useful non-narcotic options to ease muscle and nerve pain.

Physical Therapy and Alternative Treatments
In addition to lifestyle changes and medications, physical therapy provides benefits for fibromyalgia. Water-based programs, massage, acupuncture, and myofascial release techniques address muscle tightness and tenderness. Heat therapy, such as moist heating pads, warms muscles and eases fibromyalgia pain. Chiropractic care and massage also complement standard fibromyalgia treatment plans.

Nutritional supplements are frequently tried as natural remedies. Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, malic acid (found in fruits), S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), vitamin D and probiotics are some supplements thought to counter inflammation and provide symptom relief. Low-level laser therapy and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation machines offer drug-free pain management.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

While fibromyalgia primarily causes physical distress, it also contributes to depression, anxiety and poor quality of life. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) effectively targets a person’s negative thought patterns, coping skills and stress responses that exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms.

CBT helps individuals identify and change unhelpful thinking, gives coping strategies for chronic pain, improves sleep, relaxes muscles and boosts mood. Support groups and individual or group CBT sessions delivered by a psychologist aid in fibromyalgia self-management. Psychological approaches paired with holistic medical treatments achieve the most complete symptom relief.

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1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it