Treating the Symptoms of FMS
Fibromyalgia is, as we know, a very multi-faceted syndrome with symptoms running the gamut from headaches to bowel problems. The proper treatment of this illness requires the input of many disciplines in order to properly address the symptoms. Unfortunately, there is no single cause or even cluster of causes to address, leaving the sufferer and the doctor frustrated. This fact alone has caused delayed diagnosis.
Treatment Options Have Expanded
Thankfully, over the years, fibromyalgia treatments have grown and developed, with options that address chronic pain and fatigue effectively. Treating sleep disorders, one of the main complaints of FMS patients, is tied into treating pain because sleeplessness and pain go together in FMS. Read how progesterone treatment has proven to be effective for women who suffer with insomnia that is related to FM.
For many centuries electrical impulses have been used to treat pain. The TENS treatment, released in 1974, has proven to be very successful in helping those with FMS manage their pain. Currently, testing continues to determine the effectiveness of vagus nerve stimulation to discover if it will be useful in addressing some of the many neurologically related issues people with fibromyalgia encounter. The device used stimulates the vagus nerve in a way that will hopefully change pain information reception as it is relayed to the brain. The potential for improved quality of life is impressive. Yet another recently developed electrical method for pain relief in FMS is frequency microcurrent, which you can read about in this section.
Pain Relief is Primary
The primary objective of treatment for fibromyalgia is most often pain relief. Since the majority of victims of fibromyalgia are women, it is appropriate that specific treatments are geared to the particular needs of a woman. Progesterone treatment for sleep and physiotherapy to address vulvodynia are two therapies that work for women. Of course, there is a specific need for treatment during pregnancy, especially since the use of pain inhibition drugs are not recommended for pregnant women. Guaifenesin, used in cough medicines, is not recommended for pregnant women because it can have a negative impact on the growing baby. It is best to ask the doctor about treatment during this special time in life.
Brain mapping is an effective method of pinpointing specific areas of the brain that may be causing fibromyalgia symptoms. Once the areas are identified, then medications and therapies can be prescribed to address the symptoms. Behavioral therapy helps people modify or eliminate faulty thought patterns that may keep them locked in pain and fatigue. Changing thoughts leads to changing behaviors that are not working.
There are Many Older Methods that Work …
There are many wonderful new technologies and some that are very old but continue to prove effective. Oxygen therapy dates back to the 1600s and is now being used to treat Lyme disease and chronic fatigue syndrome, both of which have many symptoms that mirror fibromyalgia. A recent study in 2010 found that the body produces a capsaicin type compound relative to pain. Now researchers are working to see how to harness this new information.
Hands-on therapies have long been the mainstay of treating FMS. Chiropractic care has kept many sufferers mobile and occupational therapy helps people who have FMS manage in the workplace and at home. The use of trigger point injections to reduce inflammation and referred pain continues to be a viable treatment for muscle pain. Nerve blocks provide immediate relief, but the drug is often an opioid, which means it can also be addictive. Exercise and education, the coupling of weight training, power walking and stretching with an understanding of fibromyalgia and knowledge of how it affects the individual is a powerful combination for managing symptoms.
… and Unconventional Methods that also Work
From the conventional types of treatments, we move to the more unconventional types, like the Jazz drug that contains a form of gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), otherwise known as Ecstasy the party drug. It’s hard to put this along with the use of marijuana for relief of pain in the same sentence as medical treatments, but the fact is that the proper use of certain drugs does help deal with pain. In our article about chronic opioid therapy, we discuss the potential for abuse and how doctors screen patients before prescribing drugs that may be considered “cross-over” from recreational and addictive drugs to medicinal applications. Researchers have also found a link between heavy use of narcotic pain medications and vitamin D deficiency. This has spurred inquiries and investigations into alternative methods of treating chronic pain.
We know that the average period of time for a diagnosis for fibromyalgia is about seven years, in some cases even longer. Read the article about medical treatment tips to be prepared for a visit to ask your doctor about treatment options and to answer questions you may have.
Knowledge is Power
Knowledge is power and we offer you an opportunity to become well acquainted with the syndrome you are dealing with as well as the chance to become informed about the latest methods of fibromyalgia treatments.