Fibromyalgia Pain Management
How to Tame Fibromyalgia Pain
The widespread muscle pain and tenderness that characterizes fibromyalgia can disrupt an afflicted individual’s life to the extent that they are no longer able to perform activities of daily living. In fact, the symptoms of fibromyalgia can become so severe that some people qualify for disability assistance due to the fact that this disease can be so crippling.
Clearly, pain management for fibromyalgia is of the utmost importance for people who live with this disease. Although this condition is not fully understood, rheumatologists and other doctors have discovered methods that help to reduce the severity of pain and improve the life of their patients.
Medication for Managing Fibromyalgia Discomfort
The goal of any medication treatment is to improve the functioning and overall quality of life for people with fibromyalgia. There are 5 classifications of pharmaceuticals that are prescribed to help people cope with pain. These are:
- Narcolepsy drugs
- Pain relievers
- Sleep aids
Oftentimes, a fibromyalgia patient will take more than 1 category of drugs in order to effectively address their pain and fatigue. Antidepressants help to improve mood and sleep, while pain relievers and anti-convulsants help to reduce muscle pain and tension. Sleep medications are an important part of helping an individual with fibromyalgia get enough quality sleep.
Exercise for Fibromyalgia Pain Relief
Aerobic exercise has been shown to be greatly beneficial in helping to improve the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Exercise renders the following benefits:
- Decrease of fibromyalgia related fatigue
- Improves sleep
- Builds muscle
- Builds bone mass
- Reduces stress by precipitating the release of endorphins and other feel-good neurotransmitters
- Increases flexibility
- Fights weight gain, a common symptom of this illness
Unfortunately, one of the hallmarks of this disorder is an intolerance for exercise due to muscle pain and weakness. Doctors often recommend low-impact exercises for people with fibromyalgia, such as:
- Water aerobics
- Weight training
As with any exercise regimen, it is important to consult a doctor before starting. People with fibromyalgia should start slowly and gently, increasing time and intensity as their endurance allows.
People with fibromyalgia can live a fulfilled and happy life. Working with a team of doctors to find the best prescription regimen that controls pain is important, and staying active can help to build strength and endurance. Other options to help reduce pain include:
- Eating a balanced diet
- Making work changes, if needed
- Getting enough rest