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What are the Different Kinds of Fibromyalgia Treatment?

By Lori Smith
Updated May 17, 2024
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Fibromyalgia treatment frequently incorporates various methods of pain management, including medication, physical therapy and massage. Cognitive therapy and support groups may also prove helpful to ease stress and develop coping strategies for dealing with the condition. Healthy living, such as exercise and dietary changes, may decrease the severity of symptoms. Alternative forms of healing, like acupuncture, can also have a positive effect for some people. Several methods of care are often combined for maximum success in fibromyalgia treatment.

As a result of muscle soreness and tenderness, doctors frequently recommend over-the-counter pain medication to treat discomfort. Acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen or ibuprofen, can be helpful in some cases when mild discomfort is present. If an individual is suffering from severe or debilitating pain, prescription-strength medicine can be prescribed.

Low-dose anti-depressant medications, such as Fluoxetine or Duloxetine, may be recommended as part of a person’s fibromyalgia treatment plan. The drugs generally alter the brain’s perception of pain. In many cases, anti-depressants can be taken concurrently with other medications. Since many people who suffer from fibromyalgia also experience insomnia, sleeping pills are frequently prescribed to ensure affected individuals receive adequate rest.

Pharmaceuticals are generally administered in conjunction with other types of treatment, such as physical therapy. Patients who receive regularly scheduled massages often find additional relief. Deep tissue massage by a licensed therapist can ease muscle pain and stiffness. Some people find that soaking in a hot tub also reduces tension and relaxes the muscles and joints.

Exercise, such as swimming, brisk-walking and low-impact aerobics, is usually recommended as part of a complete fibromyalgia treatment plan. Some people find that strength training improves symptoms. Since each situation is different, a physician’s recommendation should be sought before any new work-out plan is implemented.

Fibromyalgia treatment is usually geared toward improving symptoms, as well as identifying triggers that may prompt pain and discomfort. For example, some allergies and sensitivity to certain foods have the potential to make people feel worse. Some individuals find that eliminating specific products from their diet, like wheat and dairy, reduce occurrences of pain. Others have adverse reactions to soy or citrus. To discover which items exacerbate symptoms, individuals can create a food diary to record the products consumed and the pain levels that follow. This often facilitates discovery about the products that affects individuals the most.

Fibromyalgia symptoms often elevate during periods of extreme stress. When tension builds, muscles tighten and the pain can increase. At the same time, whenever pain is present in the body, the potential for physical and mental tension rises and so the cycle becomes difficult to manage. Therefore, patients are often encouraged to get plenty of rest and work on developing stress management techniques to aid in successful fibromyalgia treatment.

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