Fibromyalgia is a condition which can be seen in people whom are in their early or middle adulthood and would be characterized by widespread pain and specific tender points in certain regions of the body. The pain can be seen in association with the muscles, tendons and in the ligaments. Apart from the pain and the tenderness, there will be fatigue when doing your day to day activities and there would not be any indication of other illnesses following repeated tests to exclude such manifestations.
According to the American Rheumatologists Association, the diagnosis of fibromyalgia pain should be made in instances where the pain and the tenderness lasted for more than 3 months duration and there are more than 11 tender points or pressure points giving rise to pain out of the 18 possible sites. Apart from that, certain investigations like the Erythrocyte sedimentation rate, full blood count, CRP and other basic investigations should not reveal any other cause or abnormality which would indicate a possibility other than fibromyalgia.
What are the treatment options for fibromyalgia pain?
For many people suffering from fibromyalgia pain a simple analgesic such as acetaminophen would do the trick and would allow them to continue with their day to day activities. But, for the others, this may not be enough and analgesic medications such as tramadol and non steroidal anti inflammatory medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen may be used either alone or in conjunction with acetaminophen.
When there are sleep disturbances along with pains in the night time, making use of antidepressant medications would also be rather useful and in this regard amitryptalin and fluoxetin have played a vital role. At the same time, they will also be benefitted by the use of anti-seizure or anticonvulsive drugs such as gabapentin and pregabalin in reduction of pain as well as the night time disturbances to sleep.
Apart from the medical management of pain, these individuals would have to be counseled in order to relieve their anxiety regarding the pain and cognitive bahavioural therapy can play a major role in some of these fibromyalgia patients. Furthermore, physical exercises should have to be practiced in order to relieve muscle pain and to ease the stiffness which might have occurred from prolonged immobilization in certain instances. At the same time, application of hot or cold compressions would also be beneficial in some of the patients with Fibromyalgia.
In conclusion, use of medications would be the key in managing pain in patients with fibromyalgia although counseling and physical exercises will help in the long term management of the same.