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Treatments Available for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a complex medical condition which can produce symptoms similar to arthritis, tendinitis, and bursitis. For that reason, it can be quite difficult to diagnose this syndrome. However, when these other conditions are present, the pain they cause is mostly localized to specific area, while fibromyalgia tends to cause widespread muscle pain, painful tender points, and morning stiffness. Unfortunately, this can make it very difficult to exercise or stay active.

For the most part, the treatment of fibromyalgia can include both prescribed medications and healthy lifestyle management. The primary goal of the modern fibromyalgia treatment plan is to minimize the patients symptoms and improve their overall health.

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Fibro Medications

There are a variety of medications which can help reduce the widespread pain that is associated with fibromyalgia, and allow for patients to get some sleep. Unfortunately, there are many fibro patients who must contend with chronic sleep issues or insomnia. Doctors may recommend any of the following for this medical condition:

  • Analgesics: Acetaminophen (including Tylenol and others) can help to ease the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Unfortunately, this might be helpful for some patients, and completely ineffective for others. Thus, there are prescription pain relievers like tramadol (Ultram) which can be taken with or without acetaminophen. Doctors may also recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – such as naproxen sodium (Aleve) or ibuprofen (Motrin and Advil) – to be taken in with other forms of treatment.
  • Anti-seizure Drugs: Certain types of medications which were designed to treat epilepsy are often helpful in managing fibro related pain. Gabapentin (Neurontin) can be applied on occasion for easing fibromyalgia symptoms. On the other hand, pregabalin (Lyrica) was the first drug approved by the FDA for the treatment of fibromyalgia.
  • Antidepressants: Drugs like milnacipran (Savella) and duloxetine (Cymbalta) can combat chronic pain and fatigue brought on as a result of fibromyalgia. In order to promote better sleep, your doctor could prescribe fluoxetine (Prozac) or amitriptyline.

Physical Therapy for Fibromyalgia

The symptoms of fibromyalgia can also be managed through regular physical therapy. Routine visits to a licensed physical therapist can improve one’s exercise capacity, range of motion, and lower overall stress levels which can complicate fibro symptoms. Physical therapy helps facilitate positive muscle memory formation and neuroendocrine alterations which allow debilitated muscles recuperate.

Working with therapists and counselors can be quite beneficial for the long term management of fibromyalgia. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this medical condition, which means effective treatment is essential for preserving a better quality of life.