Treatments

From the Mayo Clinic Website

In general, treatments for fibromyalgia include both medication and self-care. The emphasis is on minimizing symptoms and improving general health.

Medications
Medications can help reduce the pain of fibromyalgia and improve sleep. Common choices include:

  • Analgesics. Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) may ease the pain and stiffness caused by fibromyalgia. However, its effectiveness varies. Tramadol (Ultram) is a prescription pain reliever that may be taken with or without acetaminophen. Your doctor may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) — such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve, others) — in conjunction with other medications. NSAIDs haven’t proved to be as effective in managing the pain in fibromyalgia when taken by themselves.
  • Antidepressants. Your doctor may prescribe amitriptyline to help promote sleep. Fluoxetine (Prozac) in combination with amitriptyline is effective in some people. Duloxetine (Cymbalta) may help ease the pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia. And milnacipran (Savella) was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms.
  • Anti-seizure drugs. Medications designed to treat epilepsy are often useful in reducing certain types of pain. Gabapentin (Neurontin) is sometimes helpful in reducing fibromyalgia symptoms, while pregabalin (Lyrica) is the first drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat fibromyalgia.

Therapy

  • Physical therapy. Specific exercises can help restore muscle balance and may reduce pain. Stretching techniques and the application of hot or cold also may help.
  • Counseling. Cognitive behavioral therapy seeks to strengthen your belief in your abilities and teaches you methods for dealing with stressful situations. Therapy is provided through individual counseling, classes, and with tapes, CDs or DVDs, and may help you manage your fibromyalgia.

2 Responses to Treatments

  1. Jane says:

    I have to say that I don’t agree that Fibromyalgia Physical Therapy is all that effective. Most of the modalities they use such as ultrasound and TENS machines are not really worth paying for when you can do them yourself at home. Techniques to reduce pain can be somewhat helpful, but they’re not enough when you’re in crazy pain. Personally I much prefer Osteopathic treatments that give so much more specialized relief.

  2. A good physical therapy session can help you feel relaxed and refreshed. A good physical therapist should teach you techniques you can use to help avoid pain.

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