Find out the Best Treatment for Fibromyalgia

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It can be confusing and frustrating to find the best treatment for your fibromyalgia. Often, some treatments don't work, while others only work partially and don't address all of your symptoms. Is there a best treatment for fibromyalgia?

With the treatments that are available, there's no way to say which single fibromyalgia treatment is "the best." One of the few things doctors tend to agree on is that they need to use several types of treatments and that the treatment regimen has to be tailored to each individual case.

Customizing Fibromyalgia Treatment

The big problem here is that fibromyalgia isn't a one-size-fits-all condition. Each person has their own unique blend of symptoms and symptom triggers. Most researchers believe that fibromyalgia actually consists of several subgroups, and once subgroups are properly identified, it will help your doctor recommend which treatments are most likely to help you.

Until then, each person has to go through a process of experimentation to identify which treatments are right for them. Don't expect a miracle from any single thing, but look for worthwhile improvement from several that, hopefully, will eventually amount to a significant change in how you feel. If you try a drug or supplement that improves several symptoms by 5 percent, consider it a victory and look for other treatments to add to it.

What are Your Treatment Options?

We have a lot of options available when it comes to treatment.

  • Prescription drugs: Three drugs are FDA-approved for fibromyalgia, but doctors prescribe many others as well. They work for some of us but not for all, and side effects can be a problem.
  • Supplements: Some are well researched and others are not, but people with this condition take a wide array of supplements. While they can be effective, it's important that you watch for side effects, as well.
  • Dietary changes: Some people have food sensitivities, which can cause a lot of problems. It's important to eat a healthy diet and see how different foods affect you.
  • Appropriate exercise/activity levels: You've probably found that overexerting yourself makes you much, much worse. Many wonder how exercise could possibly help. The key is making it appropriate for you.
  • Acupuncture: This alternative treatment is gaining more acceptance for fibromyalgia. It's not for everyone, but it helps some.
  • Massage and Other Bodywork: A lot of different forms of bodywork are available, and some of them show promise for managing fibromyalgia symptoms.
  • Myofascial release: Some research shows problems with our fascia (a body-wide network of connective tissues.) This treatment focuses on fixing fascial problems.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: This psychological treatment helps with myriad physiological illnesses, especially for those who need help making positive lifestyle changes and coping with chronic illness.
  • Stress management: Stress makes us worse, so learning beneficial ways to deal with it is essential.
  • Lifestyle changes: This is a big category that can be overwhelming to tackle, so try taking it one thing at a time.

    You may need to use things from multiple categories to find substantial relief.

    The experimentation process can take a long time, a lot of energy, and, sometimes, a lot of money. You have to expect setbacks along the way, too. The pay off for all of that, though, can be reducing your symptoms enough to improve how you feel, how well you function, and your quality of life.

    Sources:

    Goldenberg DL. Using multidisciplinary care to treat fibromyalgia. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2009 May;70(5):e13.

    Marcus DA, et al. Including a range of outcome targets offers a broader view of fibromyalgia treatment outcome: results from a retrspective review of multidisplinary treatment. Musculoskeletal care. 2013 Jul 23. [Epub ahead of print.]

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