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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    Nerve stimulation can sometimes be used to relieve pain, but it isn't very effective for treating fibromyalgia. Nerve stimulation involves using tiny electrical bursts to stimulate your nerves. This is more specifically referred to as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS. While this treatment can be very effective at treating a specific area of your body for pain, it isn't nearly as effective for a condition like fibromyalgia that tends to cause pain in a large majority of your body. Talk to your doctor about finding the right treatment plan for your fibromyalgia.

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    AJacob Teitelbaum, Integrative Medicine, answered

    The good news is that chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia are very treatable. The bad news is that most physicians are not yet trained in proper treatment. Because of this, you want to see a physician who knows how to help you, beyond simply using the few FDA approved medications.

    Our published research has shown that 91% of patients can improve, with an average 90% increase in quality of life, by treating with the ”SHINE Protocol”. SHINE stands for Sleep, Hormonal support, Infections, Nutritional support, and Exercise as able. This requires a comprehensive approach. To find a physician who knows how to treat you, I recommend the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers nationally. In addition, there is a free "Symptom Analysis" that can analyze your symptoms (and, if available, even analyze your lab testing) to determine what is causing your CFS/fibromyalgia. It will then tailor a treatment protocol to your specific case using a mix of natural and prescription therapies. You can then work with your local physician using this protocol.

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    General: There is no cure for fibromyalgia. However, some treatments are effective in reducing symptoms, such as medications, behavioral interventions, support groups, patient education, and exercise. In mild cases, a reduction in stress and certain lifestyle changes may be enough to manage the disease. These changes may include: participation in counseling, regular exercise, physical therapy, healthy sleep habits, and stress reduction.

    U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three drugs for the management of fibromyalgia: duloxetine (Cymbalta®), milnacipran (Savella®), and pregabalin (Lyrica®). Other types of medications may also be prescribed to manage symptoms or co-existing conditions. Such drugs may include: antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, benzodiazepines, muscle relaxants, and pain relievers. In order to properly manage pain, individuals should take their medications as prescribed by their healthcare providers. Patients should also tell their healthcare providers if they are taking any herbs, dietary supplements, or other drugs (prescription or over-the-counter), because they may interfere with treatment.

    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.



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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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