Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that affects muscles and their surrounding soft tissues resulting in chronic, consistent muscle pain, body fatigue and painful areas that are sensitive to touch throughout the body. Fibromyalgia is not a curable condition, so managing symptoms with treatment and medications is an ideal way to alleviate the severity of the condition. Fibromyalgia is sometimes misinterpreted as a condition that patients just have to live with however, living with this condition can be doable in so long as the treatment and medications available effectively alleviate symptoms.
Fibromyalgia: Treatment and Medications
A combination of treatment approaches and medications will need to be tailored to address individual symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. Since symptoms can change and become increasingly dynamic to the time of day they increase or subside, a variety of treatment options will be most beneficial in resuming and supporting normal life-style activities.
Fortunately, there are numerous treatment options available to those that suffer from fibromyalgia including:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT
- Physiotherapy; and
- Psychological support
Support groups and therapy programs are beneficial when establishing treatment to cope with fibromyalgia. Therapy helps focus and provide perspective for understanding thoughts and feelings as well as teaching patients relaxation techniques that can physically improve severity of symptoms and manage pain.
Enjoyable treatment options like swimming, hydrotherapy sessions or individually designed exercise programs can help patients maintain an active lifestyle and incorporate exercise into their daily routine while contributing to symptom management.
Medications Available for Fibromyalgia
Medication such as antidepressants and painkillers will address symptoms such as anxiety, sleep deprivation and regulate brain chemicals, these neurotransmitters, help regulate messages from the brain including those that deliver pain and sensitivity to tender points associated with fibromyalgia. Medications used in the treatment of fibromyalgia include antidepressants and painkillers such as:
- SSRIs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
- SNRIs, serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Codeine; and
In addition to antidepressants and painkillers, there are additional medications like:
- Sleep-aid medication
- Muscle relaxants
- Anticonvulsants; and
- Antipsychotics, or neuroleptics
A combination of these medications will beneficial in short-term and long-term fibromyalgia pain management because some deliver immediate relief while others create a foundation for maintaining and supporting optimal range of motion, alleviating muscle stiffness and creating an acceptable level of pain for patients to manage comfortably.
Medication like SSRIs are a type of antidepressant that helps alleviate depression and anxiety by increasing extra cellular levels of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that biochemically allows individuals to feel happiness and experience the state of well-being. Painkiller classified medications on the other hand, may remedy a variety of tangible symptoms like painful touch points, migraine level headaches and severe muscle, joint and back pain. Since fibromyalgia is a disorder that results in widespread pain, a combination of pain medication may often be requested and prescribed to help address a laundry list of symptoms impacting and impeding upon daily routine activity.
To name one type of pain medication, Tylenol, works by delivering acetaminophen, a powerful pain reducer quickly throughout the body allowing the body to find relief from muscle aches and body pain. Muscle relaxers work by depressing the central nervous system and improving chronic pain and tension.
Combining traditional treatments, medication and incorporating alternative treatments like:
- Acupuncture; and
Each contribute to relaxation, stress relief and overall management of symptoms long-term. Aromatherapy is popular because it incorporates, aromatically, the compounds from plants that when used as treatment can improve health. Aromatherapy supports relaxation and makes patients feel better. This treatment ranges from topical oil application to inhaling relaxing smells from herbs and essential oil compounds. Acupuncture helps to promote healing by establishing internal balance and managing overall body energy while osteopathy is an alternative medicine treatment that helps muscles, soft tissues and bone function smoothly and cohesively. Moving, stretching and joint or muscle massage performed in osteopathy allows the body to self-heal and rejuvenate.
Overall, treatment and medication options for those suffering from fibromyalgia can be combined, tailored and established to best suit the individual and relieve symptoms and pain associated with this ailment successfully. Alternative approaches that utilize essential oils and herbs help patients manifest internal balance and relieve signs of stress and pain so while unconventional, these approaches continue to gain endorsement on behalf of their effectiveness. Nevertheless, fibromyalgia natural treatments are as diverse as the condition itself.