How To Treat Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is often overlooked in men, but if you suffer from the condition, here are a few suggestions on how to treat fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a chronic health condition that produces a constant ache from the muscles. The pain is widespread and affects most of the body.
Doctors don’t know the cause of fibromyalgia, but it may stem from genetics, infections, physical trauma or emotional trauma. According to Mayo Clinic, fibromyalgia occurs in about two percent of the United States population and women are more likely than men to develop the disorder. Here are some popular treatments for fibromyalgia, including medical treatments, alternative therapies and home remedies.
Things you'll need:
- Analgesic medications. Over-the-counter acetaminophen or prescription tramadol are often recommended to ease the pain and stiffness associated with fibromyalgia. Sometimes these pain relievers are more effective when taken together. Doctors often recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs—such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen—in conjunction with other medication.
- Antidepressant medications. In addition to analgesics, a doctor may prescribe antidepressants for treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms. The commonly prescribed antidepressant medications include amitriptyline, fluoxetine, duloxetine and milnacipran. These drugs are known to ease the pain, fatigue and insomnia associated with fibromyalgia.
- Anti-seizure medications. Another fibromyalgia treatment includes anti-seizure medications. The drugs prescribed for epilepsy can also reduce certain types of fibromyalgia pain. Gabapentin and pregabalin are two such drugs.
- Physical therapy. Physical therapy is a popular treatment for fibromyalgia. Special exercises and stretches can restore muscle balance and reduce the pain associated with the condition.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavior therapy is another way to manage fibromyalgia. It provides mental and emotional strength and teaches methods for dealing with stress. Therapy comes through counseling, classes and multi-media sources.
- Lifestyle and self-care. Self-care is essential for managing fibromyalgia. Find ways to relax and reduce stress. Get regular exercise in the form of walking, swimming or biking. Adequate sleep is crucial to combat the characteristic fatigue and exhaustion of fibromyalgia. A healthy diet with limited caffeine is also important.
- Alternative treatments. Many people treat fibromyalgia with alternative or complementary therapies. Meditation and yoga are good for managing pain and stress. Acupuncture, a Chinese medical system for restoring balance, can also relieve fibromyalgia symptoms. Chiropractic care involves spinal adjustment or manipulation to reduce pain and restore function. Massage therapy also uses manipulative techniques to improve circulation, relax muscles and relief stress.