Fibromyalgia is a disorder which leads to a widespread of musculoskeletal pain. The pain is accompanied by sleep disorders, memory problems, fatigue, and mood issues. Earlier the diagnosis of fibromyalgia was conducted by doctors by checking 18 specific points on a person’s body to check how many of them pain when pressed firmly. Rather, now a simple diagnosis can be conducted if a person is experiencing widespread pain for more than three months without any medical condition that can cause the pain.
Also, there is no particular lab test to diagnose fibromyalgia. Your doctor may conduct certain tests that will help him to eliminate the other conditions that have similar symptoms. The blood tests that may be conducted by the doctor includes-
- Rheumatoid factor
- Complete blood count
- Thyroid function tests
- Cyclic citrullinated peptide test
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
The treatment of fibromyalgia includes not only medication but also self-care. The treatment cannot eliminate the symptoms, but it can help you manage them. There is no one particular treatment that will help in treating fibromyalgia.
Medications for fibromyalgia
To reduce the pain of fibromyalgia and improve sleep, medications prove to be quite helpful. The common medications that are used for the treatment are –
- Pain relievers
There are many over-the-counter painkillers that are prescribed by the doctor that help relieve pain and reduce symptoms of fibromyalgia. However, narcotics are not advised by the doctor as you tend to depend on them and they may even worsen your symptoms overtime.
Antidepressants are helpful in treating the pain and the tiredness that is associated with fibromyalgia. Your doctor may prescribe these to help you sleep better as well as to relax your muscles.
- Anti-seizure drugs
These medications are designed to treat epilepsy and prove to be quite effective in treating certain types of pain. Hence, they prove to be helpful in reducing the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Also, ensure that you only take the medications that have been prescribed by your doctor. However, all these medications in spite of being helpful, are not entirely enough. Incorporating certain lifestyle changes and therapies is necessary.
Managing fibromyalgia with therapy
There are a variety of therapies that help to reduce the symptoms that cause pain. Some of the effective therapies are-
- Occupational therapy
An occupational therapist will help you manage your work while coping with fibromyalgia. The therapist will ensure that you do your work in a certain manner that causes less stress to your body.
Counselling proves to be effective when it comes to gaining mental strength. This therapy can help you believe in your abilities and provide you mental support. The therapist will also help you to deal with stressful situations by providing effective strategies.
- Physical therapy
Physical therapy is useful for building up your stamina, strength, and flexibility. Especially, water-based exercises prove to be quite effective in developing strength and making you stronger.
Also, along with therapy and medications, you need to practice self-care by incorporating changes in your lifestyle. Getting proper sleep, reducing stress, exercising regularly, following a healthy diet, etc. are some simple changes that you can incorporate into your life to manage fibromyalgia.