If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, there are many different ways to manage the condition. Since there is no cure, treatment of fibromyalgia is focused on effectively managing the fatigue, pain, depression, or other typical symptoms of the disease. The goal of medication for fibromyalgia is usually focused on breaking the cycle of an increase in pain sensitivity and a decrease in physical activity. The medication for fibromyalgia plan you need or want to follow might depend on your answers to questions like these:
- How bad are your symptoms of fibromyalgia?
- Is your fibromyalgia disrupting or interrupting your daily routine?
- What kinds of changes are you willing or do you have the ability to make in your life?
Medication for Fibromyalgia
Medication for fibromyalgia is the most common form of fibromyalgia treatment. Therapeutic medicines can help relax muscle spasms, help improve your sleep and help relieve pain. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers, or he or she may prescribe medications such as muscle relaxants, antidepressants, or anticonvulsants to help alleviate your symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Not everyone benefits from medication for fibromyalgia. You might need to try more than one medication before finding one that works well for you. You may also discover that over time, a medication for fibromyalgia that used to work well to help relieve your symptoms of fibromyalgia is no longer is effective.
Getting some regular exercise is one of the best approaches to help manage fibromyalgia symptoms. Cardiovascular exercise, an exercise that pushes your heart rate up, is beneficial. Swimming or other forms of water exercise works well for some people with fibromyalgia. Whatever you choose, be sure to start slow and build your endurance gradually. You do not want to end up with aching muscles that make you quit exercising altogether. Another option is to work with a physical therapist knowledgeable about medication for fibromyalgia.
Hypnotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and other types of counseling have been shown to be beneficial to individuals who have fibromyalgia. Trained counselors can teach you effective ways to reduce stress, how to relax, and teach you how to manage your pain and fatigue. Counseling can also help you to function better, and it can improve your mood.
Take care of you
A vital part of coping with fibromyalgia is learning to take care of yourself. For example:
- Identify any problems you have sleeping: If sleeping is a problem for you, learn some ways to get more restful sleep. Sleep is important when you have conditions like fibromyalgia.
- Manage your pain: Find ways that work for you to control the stiffness and pain caused by fibromyalgia.
- Identify “triggers” that aggravate your fibromyalgia: Triggers can be things like changes in the weather, increased stress in relationships or with finances, too little sleep, or specific activities. If you can identify them, you can avoid or learn to manage them and take control of fibromyalgia rather than letting fibromyalgia control you.
- Get support: Talk to your physician if you have symptoms of anxiety or depression.
With some help, you can work through many of these medications for fibromyalgia approaches and set goals for yourself on your own. You might already have a team of healthcare professionals to help you. The symptoms of fibromyalgia are sporadic, so it may be hard to tell if a certain treatment is working or not.
Each individual with fibromyalgia responds in a different way to each fibromyalgia treatment and medication. Many patients with fibromyalgia also have other diseases of their muscles or joints, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. These conditions need treatment, too, and finding treatments that work takes time. You may have to try several different treatment methods to the answer that works best for you.
Unfortunately, preventing fibromyalgia disease is impossible. It can also be a difficult condition to treat, but there are ways you can minimize the effects of fibromyalgia. As much as you can, try to do the following:
- Sleep: Get enough rest. Many people with fibromyalgia do not sleep well. Treating any sleeping problems you have can help with symptoms of fatigue and can help relieve your pain.
- Exercise: Try to be as physically active as you can. Fatigue and pain may slow you down and steal your motivation, but try to do some form of exercise every day, even if it is only some gentle stretches or a short walk. This may help relieve your symptoms of fibromyalgia.
- Make needed changes on the job: Make adjustments in your workspace. Cut down on the overtime or consider working part-time. Check to see if you are eligible for disability benefits due to fibromyalgia.
- Eat well: A healthy diet will improve your energy level, help even out your moods, and it help prevent other problems with your health, even those not related to fibromyalgia.
- Reduce stress: Be kind to yourself. Do not over-extend or over-exert. Set goals that are challenging but reachable. Set aside time for yourself every day to relax.