Fibromyalgia Treatment

Fibromyalgia Treatment

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    A combination of medication and stretching exercises can be used to treat muscle spasms and fibromyalgia. Often, pain and muscle spasms occur at the same time with fibromyalgia. These spasms usually occur in the parts of your body that you use the most: your neck, shoulders and feet.

    There are medications available to treat muscle spasms. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about options, both prescription and non-prescription, that can help.

    If you experience a sudden muscle spasm, gentle stretching can help. A physical therapist can teach you proper techniques for gentle stretching so that you can practice at home.
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    AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    Could a gentle shock to your system jolt away fibromyalgia symptoms? Some scientists believe that nerve stimulation may be an effective adjunct, or add-on, therapy for fibromyalgia. In this treatment, a doctor uses a special device to deliver a low current of electricity to the vagus nerve. This nerve runs all the way from your brain down to your abdomen. Researchers are studying whether stimulating this nerve can relieve fibromyalgia symptoms. Early results look promising, though it's too soon to say whether nerve stimulation is an effective treatment for fibromyalgia.
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    ACeleste Cooper, Rheumatology, answered

    Currently we do not know for sure what causes fibromyalgia. There are several theories and replicated studies showing the same results are encouraging, but we still have a way to go. Until we know the cause, there cannot be a cure, but there are plenty of disorders that we know the cause and still have no cure. In those cases, like FM, the goal is symptom management.

     

    Knowing what factors, including medication, activity, stress, foods, and comorbid disorders make our symptoms worse is the key to improving the way we feel. By exploring aggravating factors and bringing those we can manage under control, we improve our coping skills.

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    AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered

    Fibromyalgia is a notoriously challenging condition to treat. However, there are a number of therapies to consider, so look for a doctor who understands the condition and can help you develop an effective treatment regimen. Your plan for managing fibromyalgia may include:

    • Medications. There are three drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating fibromyalgia. They are pregabalin (Lyrica), duloxetine (Cymbalta), and milnacipran (Savella). Your doctor may also prescribe antidepressants, which appear to relieve fibromyalgia symptoms even if you aren't depressed. Over-the-counter pain relievers may help, too. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may prescribe other medications, in addition.
    • Sleep aids. Fibromyalgia can really mess up your shut-eye. Some fibromyalgia medications can help you sleep better. Following good sleep habits, such as avoiding caffeine and alcohol late in the day, can help you get some rest, too.
    • Exercise. Some fibromyalgia patients worry that exercise will worsen their symptoms, but research suggests that the opposite is true. Ask your doctor what level of physical activity is right for you.
    • Alternative treatments. With your doctor's consent, trying acupuncture, chiropractic, and dietary supplements may help you to keep pain and other symptoms under control.
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    AJacob Teitelbaum, Integrative Medicine, answered
    Dizziness in the form of disequilibrium is not uncommon in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia. If no vertigo is present (vertigo in CFS is much less common and is where you feel like you or the room is spinning in a circle), the key likely causes are:

    -  Autonomic dysfunction - Increasing salt and water intake and adrenal support are important here (unless one has high blood pressure of heart failure) as would be proper chiropractic adjustment of the atlas area in the neck.
    -  Intermittent drops in blood sugar from low adrenal. If this is the cause, dissolving 1/2-1 teaspoon of sugar under the tongue during an attack should eliminate the attack in under 2 minutes (and usually quicker). The sugar is not a long term solution (though sucking one tic tac during an attack is helpful) but simply tells you to treat for low adrenal issues.
    -  Neck muscle spasm can trigger episodic dizziness.
    -  Have a physician rule out heart problems (abnormal rhythms or valve issues, etc).
    -  Spend a few days at a friend's house and see if the problem resolves. If so, look into a condition called "sick building syndrome."

    In those with vertigo in CFS/FMS (much less common than dizziness), I am likely to presume an infection, such as Lyme, affecting the nerve to the ear and give a trial of long term antibiotics.

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    AJacob Teitelbaum, Integrative Medicine, answered

    Light and sound sensitivity are not uncommon in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia, as it takes energy to sort the pertinent sensory information from the non-pertinent. Adding the medication neurontin (gabapentin) often helps these symptoms. In addition, if taste and smell sensitivity also are present, it is worth looking for carbon monoxide poisoning (from natural gas, gas lights and ovens, etc).

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    For relief from excessive sweating, try some of the following remedies:
    • Before sleep, apply antiperspirant to dry hands and feet.
    • Wear loose, breathable clothing made of natural fibers such as cotton and bamboo. When you exercise, wear clothing made of moisture-wicking material.
    • Botox injections for problem areas, such as hands or feet, can be an effective treatment against excessive sweating. Several injections are usually required, and the treatment can last up to a year. Discuss this option with your doctor.
    • In severe cases, your doctor may recommend surgery, or a treatment called iontophoresis, in which an electric current is sent through water to stun the nerves of the affected area, such as the hands or feet. Multiple treatments are required, but the procedure can be up to 80% effective.
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