Fibromyalgia Pain Management Techniques

Though fibromyalgia is not life-threatening condition, but sometime it can be painful that can affect sleep and may interfere with the daily activities. Widespread pain is one of major symptoms. It usually affects sites of the body called tender points that include hips, back, neck, shoulders, legs, and arms. However, there are several techniques and ways for fibromyalgia pain management.

The symptoms can vary

Although experts have confirmed some common symptoms of fibromyalgia, but not all patients suffer the same symptoms – this can vary! That’s why the treatment plan is dependent on the symptoms that occur.

Currently, this disease has no cure. But some treatments are available to help manage and ease the symptoms. Fortunately, it does improve over time in many cases.

If you have this disease, the treatment options are focused on the symptoms that are taking the greatest toll on your life. Before finding the most effective treatment, you and your doctor need to work together by trying various medications.

So to get the best treatment that works, there may be a bit of trial & error. It may be slightly difficult to decide the first medication that you should try, but working as a team with your doctor can be an effective strategy.

Medical interventions

If the pain is your major concern, there are some prescription medications that can help. The following are some of the choices.

Antidepressants

As the name suggests, they are commonly used to treat depression. But some of them are also reported can help provide pain relief in people with fibromyalgia, why? One of possible reason is they can help restore the balance of some chemicals in the brain (such as serotonin).

According to some studies (see this section), the level of serotonin in many people with fibromyalgia is relatively lower than average. If you have lack of serotonin, this may affect your pain perception.

image_illustration191There are many antidepressants to choose from. But for fibromyalgia, doctor can prescribe one /some of the following choices:

  1. Elavil and Amitril (tricyclic antidepressants). They can be prescribed at high doses to be effective in treating mood disorders such as anxiety. They are effective to improve sleep, but they are less common choice since the side effects can be bothersome (such as dizziness and weight gain).
  2. Zoloft and Paxil (SSRIs) can help improve sleep and promote overall well-being, according to one study. They can provide pain relief with lesser effects.
  3. Cymbalta (it has been approved by FDA for fibromyalgia) and Effexor – they are new selective SNRIs. They may be the best choice of antidepressant to help ease and improve the symptoms of fibromyalgia. They can work more effectively than SSRIs.

Sometime doctors can prescribe a combination of two or more antidepressants to help improve depression, anxiety, and muscle pain in patients with fibromyalgia.

Anticonvulsants

They are commonly used to help treat seizures, but they also can provide pain relief.

There are some anticonvulsants, one of them is Lyrica. It is the first kind of anticonvulsant approved by FDB for fibromyalgia pain.

Other choices may include Ativan and Neurontin. But these are not confirmed yet whether they work effectively for fibromyalgia treatment – the effectiveness is still being studied.

Pain relievers

There are several choices. These may include Flexeril, Ultracet, and Ultram – ask a doctor for more advice! In general, they can ease pain, improve sleep, and some also can ease muscle spasms.

Another technique is by locally injecting the pain killers at sites of painful-trigger. This can break the cycles of muscle spasm and pain more effectively.

Lifestyle approaches

In line with the prescription treatment plan, some lifestyle changes can be helpful for fibromyalgia pain management. There are several techniques with lifestyle approaches to cope with the problem.

Say no for ‘negative self-talk’!

What you say can affect the pain that you feel, according to one study. Therefore, it’s much better to turn negative self-talk into positive ones to keep motivated.

For instance:

It’s better to say ‘there are lots of thing I can do – I just need to take breaks and pace myself’ than ‘there is nothing I can do due to the symptoms of my fibromyalgia’.

Get some distractions!

Don’t let your mind keep focusing on the pain! Instead, find distractions that can help distract you from the symptom. Try some of the following distractions: