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Fibromyalgia

Ways to Manage Pain Due to Fibromyalgia

It is important to engage in appropriate pain management techniques when dealing with fibromyalgia to prevent further physical and psychological implications from this often debilitating syndrome. Managing painful symptoms can take a variety of courses, many of which can be combined for optimal benefit depending upon individual patient needs.

Drug Therapy

In addition to both prescription and over-the-counter pain management medications, there are other types of prescription medicines that are beneficial for treating both physical and psychological symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. Medications such as antidepressants, muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety medicines, and even anticonvulsants have been shown to be beneficial in treating pain, irritability, tension, mood problems, sleep disturbances, and other issues faced by patients.

Exercise

While engaging in forced activity may seem counterproductive to helping reduce painful symptoms, certain types of exercise have been shown to help reduce pain and stiffness, improve mood, and increase quality of sleep. One study, with results published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that fibromyalgia sufferers showed a clinically significant improvement in symptoms by engaging in regular t'ai chi exercises. A study performed by Oregon Health & Science University showed that fibromyalgia symptoms improved in those who engaged in low to moderate activity levels on a consistent basis. Even those who participate in gentle stretching activities show improvement of symptoms. However, high impact activities actually caused more pain.

Physical Therapy and Other Treatment Measures

Physical therapy may be helpful to help regain flexibility and movement that may be limited due to the painful symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. There are several types of electrotherapy that may be performed by a physical therapist that can help with the range of symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. Electrical stimulation of muscles and nerves can reduce pain and improve mood and sleep. Hydrotherapy, or water therapy, has been shown to be beneficial as well. Water may be warmed or contain minerals, and may be used for massage or exercise type therapies, depending on individual needs.

Finding a Doctor to Help Reduce Symptoms

It is important to choose a physician that is qualified to treat fibromyalgia. In some larger areas, you may find clinics, such as the Fibromyalgia Treatment Centers of America, that specialize in pain and other issues related to fibromyalgia.

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