Fibromyalgia is a condition where your brain processes pain stimuli in a way that you feel it a lot more, even when an apparent stimulus is absent. It is a debilitating condition where allied effects like fatigue, sleep issues, memory loss and irregular moods can also develop. Since there is no curing fibromyalgia, treatment is focused around dealing with the symptoms so that a patient can continue to live as normal a life as possible.
Medication is usually used for pain relief and better sleep. This is true of many diseases where treating and managing symptoms is the primary goal.
- Painkillers like ibuprofen, naproxen and acetaminophen are prescribed to reduce pain for patients. These medicines can become an easy go-to solution for patients, and in this sense, they can get addictive. This may become a problem in the long run since effectiveness reduces as you take painkillers more regularly.
- Local anesthesia is sometimes used by doctors to relieve extreme pain. Anesthetics such as Marcaine or Lidocaine can be injected to get the desired effect around muscle groups and joints.
- Antidepressants can work by relaxing muscles or by reducing effects of pain by increasing the activity of noradrenergic antinociceptive pathways. Some other medicines like milnacipran and duloxetine can also work by reducing muscle fatigue and pain.
- Anti-seizure medication is usually used in epilepsy treatments, the medical constituents like pregablin and gabapentin can reduce fibromyalgia symptoms.
Living with fibromyalgia can cause severe anxiety and depression due to the difficulty involved in day to day activities. It can also be difficult to deal with the fact that fibromyalgia does not have any permanent cure. Under such circumstances getting professional help for the stresses a patient suffers is advisable. Fibromyalgia patients have been known to benefit from cognitive behavior therapy, which works in the following ways:
- Set targets and goals
- Find activities the patient enjoys
- Recognize triggers
- Keep a diary
- Better deal with negative thoughts
Exercise helps regular people avoid chronic trouble and keep in overall good health, and this is more important for fibromyalgia patients. Low-intensity exercises like swimming, cycling, and jogging can be great for musculoskeletal pains. Healthy muscles will reduce the possible stimuli for pain receptors and help fibromyalgia symptoms in the long run. It is best to get in touch with a physical therapist who can gradually ease you into exercise and progressively dial up the intensity.
Such alternative treatments may work for some patients who may want to avoid taking pills or medication as far as possible. If they don’t work the patient can soon enough return to more scientifically backed methods.