Treatment Options for Those with Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that may prove to be as disabling as rheumatoid
arthritis. Treatment should have the goal of improving the symptoms so the quality of life can be improved.
Self-help may include those things that cut down on the pain and stiffness
There are several treatments that can be offered to the individual who suffers from fibromyalgia.
The treatment plan can include a combination of therapies, medications and is designed by both patient and
doctor based on symptoms.
Common components of fibromyalgia treatment plan include sleep-aids, anti-depressants, pain relievers, muscle
relaxants and anti-epileptics.
Other treatment methods may include physical therapy, injections of lidocaine, occupational therapy,
acupuncture, relaxation techniques and biofeedback techniques. The patient may also take part in a gentle exercise
program, therapeutic massage or chiropractic care.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that may prove to be as disabling as rheumatoid arthritis. Treatment should
have the goal of improving the symptoms so the quality of life can be improved.
Self-help may include those things that cut down on the pain and stiffness by doing simple tasks that may
improve the symptoms such as using a hot tub or sauna to ease the pain and stiffness in your muscles.
Anything that relaxes you at bedtime can help you to sleep. Hot packs or moist warm wraps have been used with
success when applied to sore muscles.
Individuals have used all sorts of self-help methods to deal with the pain including using self-hypnosis
techniques to achieve real restfulness.
Sometimes keeping a pain journal allows you to record your daily pain describing the amount of pain, type of
pain and duration of pain as well as what pain relief methods were tried and how well they worked.
June of 2007 saw the drug Lyrica (pregabalin) being approved by the FDA for treatment of those suffering from
fibromyalgia. Cymbalta (duloxetine) is another drug approved for use by fibromyalgia patients. It was approved in
June of 2008.
Another drug milnacipran is an antidepressant that is similar to cymbalta, as of September 2008 it was in phase
III of drug trial leading to hopeful approval by the FDA.
Other antidepressants used to treat fibromyalgia are dual reuptake inhibitors such as venlafaxine and
nefazodone; tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline, doxepin and nortriptyline; and also selective
serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine, paroxetine and sertraline.
Trigger-point injections are another treatment option for those suffering from the tight, ropy bands of muscle
that are difficult to relax and are commonly experienced by those with fibromyalgia.
Trigger-point injections (TPIs) are given by inserting a small needle directly into the trigger point and the
patient is given either lidocaine or procaine. Sometimes doctors use corticosteroids.
These trigger-point injections can bring lasting relief from pain felt in these trigger-points.
Besides medications each patient should investigate other approaches such as seeing a rheumatologist, a medical
psychologist, physical therapist, massage therapist or an exercise physiologist.
These medical professionals can assist the patient in other alternative methods for pain relief, for relaxation
techniques or to discover exercises that can help to bring relief for the symptoms they are experiencing related to
Sometimes besides pain relief medications, the doctor treating the patient prescribes medications such as
relaxants, antidepressants or vitamins and other supplements.