Fibromyalgia is a condition where muscle and connective tissue pain is experienced. People with Fibromyalgia generally are sore in specific points around the body which are distinct to this disorder. Patients muscles will often hurt, or they may have intermittent pain that comes and goes depending on levels of activity, stress and sleep. Patients will feel heavy and achy in muscles after exercise which may be delayed as long as 48 hours. Fibromyalgia often goes hand in hand with CFS/ME however there are several possible causes for Fibro.

 

Muscle Pain

 

Note: Always seek advice from a doctor before beginning any listed treatments. Treatments can affect everyone differently.

Muscle pain and connective tissue pain are always associted with Fibromyalgia. Everybody responds to medications and treatments differently and whilst some drugs and strategies may benefit some individuals they are not guaranteed to help others. Always discuss any medications or supplements with your doctor before you begin them.

Medical Treatments

Painkillers for Fibromyalgia:

Such as paracetamol can provide temporary symptom relief.

Trycylic Antidepressants:

Such as Amitriptyline, Cyclobenzaprine and Notriptyline help to relieve pain in some patients.

Low Dose Naltrexone:

LDN may be able to reregulate immune functioning and increase endorphins that may be low in the disorder. LDN’s ability to modulate natural killer cell activity upwards and reduce B-cell activity may help to re-regulate the immune response in CFS and/or Fibromyalgia. It has the potential to reduce the fatigue, pain and other symptoms in some patients.

Other Antidepressants:

Such as Duloxetine and Milnacipran are another option for patients to discuss with their doctor for pain relief.

SSRI Antidepressants:

Such as Citalopram, Fluoxetine and Paroxetine may provide pain relief in some Fibro patients.

​​Anti-seizure medications:

Such as Gabapentin and Pregabalin decrease certain levels of chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters and provide relief for some people with Fibromyalgia

Professional Support:

Working with a trained practitioner can assist you to develop skills to calm anxiety and can also equip you with knowledge to find your next steps towards wellness. Please ensure that you find a practitioner who understands how to navigate the territory of complex chronic health conditions.

Alternative Treatments

Mindfulness for Fibromyalgia:

Mindfulness is a strategy that has many health benefits including controlling pain. Mindfulness is a set of skills for healing, intuition, insight, calmness, focus, resilience and hope that you can develop to counter the stresses that chronic illness brings. You can literally "train your mind to promote healing. Mindfulness has a positive flow on affect into every aspect of a person’s life. Click here

Acupuncture and Hypnosis:

Are methods that have been proven to relieve pain in some individuals with Fibro.

Willow Bark:

A natural painkiller that contains the same active ingredient as aspirin. Avoid if you have an aspirin sensitivity.

Omega 3 Fish Oils:

Help to block inflammatory cytokines, and may give pain relief to some.

Olive Oil for:

Contains similar properties to ibuprofen.

Capsicum Cream for Fibromyalgia:

Can be used for localised joint or muscle pain. Use carefully and avoid broken skin as it can burn.

Yoga:

Several studies suggest that yoga may help ease symptoms of Fibromyalgia.

5-HTP:

According to a review published in Rheumatology International, studies suggest 5-HTP may help improve Fibromyalgia symptoms. It may help relieve pain, morning stiffness, fatigue, and anxiety.

SAMe:

S-Adenosyl may help relieve some symptoms of Fibromyalgia, report researchers in Rheumatology. For example, it may help relieve pain, morning stiffness, and fatigue. Research participants have also reported some mild side effects, such as stomachache and dizziness.

Tai Chi:

may improve pain, sleep quality, depression, and quality of life.

Manual Lymph Drainage Therapy (MLDT) for Fibromyalgia:

is a type of massage. It helps move lymph fluid through your body. Your lymph system helps rid your body of waste and toxins. MLDT and regular massage may reduce pain and improve quality of life.

Vitamin D:

supplementation may reduce pain in individuals that have low levels.

For information on joint pain, refer to our section on Arthritis here

 
 

 

There are no current lab tests to diagnose Fibromyalgia. A diagnosis must take into account your personal and family medical histories and whether any members of your immediate family have ever had similar symptoms or have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. You will need to describe exactly what type of pain you have (for example, whether the pain is dull or sharp) and where you have been feeling pain. It is important to also take into account whether the pain comes and goes, and what provides relief.

Sleep patterns and whether or not fatigue is experienced can also help to diagnose Fibromyalgia. Anxiety and depression increasing alongside symptoms can also be helpful clues for diagnosis.

Your doctor may apply pressure to the tender points on your body as Fibromyalgia patients tend to have common specific tender points. Blood tests may be done to be sure you don’t have one of the other conditions that have symptoms similar to fibromyalgia. It is important for your doctor to rule out anything else that may be causing pain.

 

It may take some time for your doctor to understand all of your symptoms and rule out other health problems so he or she can make an accurate diagnosis. As part of this process, your family doctor may consult with a rheumatologist (a doctor who specializes in pain in the joints and soft tissue).

 

Which medications or supportive therapies have helped your Fibromyalgia?

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Disclaimer: Information and advice shared by Chronic Health Info is of a general nature and is not intended to replace qualified medical advice.

The Towards Wellness Centre does not accept responsibility for any actions or treatments undertaken.