Fibromyalgia Treatment

Fibromyalgia Treatment

Fibromyalgia Treatment
Because no underlying disease process is known, doctors aim to treat the symptoms of fibromyalgia. A healthy diet and getting regular, low-impact exercise like yoga, walking or water aerobics are key to maintain your health with fibromyalgia. Your doctor may also prescribe pain medication and recommend support groups or counseling.

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    A , Neurology, answered
    When you leave each appointment, make sure you can answer all of these questions:
    • Which of my symptoms are caused by fibromyalgia?
    • What nondrug treatments do I need to focus on?
    • How should I take my medication?
    • How long should the medicine take to work?
    • What side effects should I watch for?
    • When is my next office visit?
    Don't be afraid to say you don't understand why something was prescribed for you. If you don't understand why a treatment is prescribed, you probably won't use it carefully or consistently. Your doctor should be able to clearly explain the reason for a specific treatment.

    Also, if you're interested in hearing about a specific therapy and maybe trying it, ask whether it might be appropriate for you. Most doctors are eager to consider every treatment that might help you get better, so don't feel as if you might be embarrassing her by asking about different treatments.
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    A , Neurology, answered
    As with most medical conditions, men with fibromyalgia typically delay seeing a physician until their fibromyalgia symptoms are serious and disability has developed. The good news for men with fibromyalgia is that, when they do finally see a doctor, they can expect the same positive results from nondrug treatments as can women. While most medications also are similarly effective for men and women, the antidepressant duloxetine (Cymbalta) has shown good effectiveness for women but not for men.
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    A , Neurology, answered
    Many different types of physicians treat patients with fibromyalgia, including:
    • Primary care doctors (family physicians or internists)
    • Rheumatologists
    • Physiatrists (rehabilitation specialists)
    • Neurologists
    • Pain management specialists
    Rheumatologists are sometimes considered arthritis specialists. Although fibromyalgia is not a disease of the joints or a type of arthritis, rheumatologists often also specialize in treating it. In many cases, primary care physicians, including family doctors or internists, can effectively manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia. If your primary care doctor has failed to achieve good results, you may wish to see a rheumatologist or other fibromyalgia or pain specialist.

    In many cases, you might also work with other healthcare professionals who offer effective fibromyalgia treatments. These might include:
    • Behavioral psychologists -- to teach you specific pain management skills.
    • Physical therapists or exercise trainers -- to develop and monitor exercise programs and address additional muscle or joint problems.
    • Occupational therapists -- to address scheduling, problems with getting tasks done, or issues at work.
    • Nutritionists -- to address diet, weight management, and the use of herbs and supplements.
    Don't forget that you are the most important member of your healthcare treatment team. Your healthcare providers can give you the tools you need to help reduce your fibromyalgia symptoms and the impact these symptoms have on your life, but the success of your treatment depends on your commitment and motivation to incorporate the treatments into your daily life.
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    A answered

    A multivitamin may be a good idea for people with fibromyalgia, especially one with vitamins C, E and D. Vitamins C and E are powerful antioxidants that appeared to quell oxidative stress and subdue pain in a small study of fibromyalgia patients. Some studies have found that a significant number of fibromyalgia patients are deficient in vitamin D -- and that boosting levels may help improve fibromyalgia-induced anxiety and depression. Similar studies suggest a connection between chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain and low levels of vitamin D. Some research has shown that certain amino acid supplements may help with everything from mood to pain.

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    Numerous studies report that this form of low-impact exercise -- especially when done in warm water -- can help reduce fibromyalgia pain and stiffness, as well as fatigue and depression in many people with fibromyalgia. There are a variety of fun, get-wet workouts to choose from, including music-based aqua aerobics, underwater walking or jogging, strength training, stretching and water-based relaxation therapies like yoga, tai chi and Watsu.

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    A answered

    Research suggests that mildly to moderately intense walking may dial down fibromyalgia pain and fatigue. How much patients benefit will depend on several factors, including age, fitness and activity levels, the severity of the fibromyalgia symptoms and whether the activity worsens or improves fibro pain and fatigue. Patients should keep in mind that it’s probably best to do mini walks here and there rather than to take one long walk.

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    A , Emergency Medicine, answered
    About 10% to 25% of people with nerve pain, such as those with fibromyalgia, will have pain intensity reduced by 50% or more by taking pregabalin. Most people will experience no significant pain relief. 

    This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor. 
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    A , Emergency Medicine, answered
    Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant drug that works through its effects on brain chemicals. It is used to treat depression. It can also reduce pain and fatigue and improve sleep. Amitriptyline is considered first-line treatment for fibromyalgia, but is not FDA-approved for this use.

    This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.