While there is no known cure for FMS, there are many different treatments for
fibromyalgia that can help you to be more active and comfortable, and minimize your pain.
Treatment for fibromyalgia will generally focus on reducing muscle pain and improving
your sleep pattern. Exercise and physical therapy may also be helpful in reducing muscle
pain and tension. Your doctor will work with you to develop a specific treatment plan,
tailored to your condition and the severity of your symptoms of fibromyalgia. This may
include a combination of medication, exercise, and physical therapy.
Drugs used for Fibromyalgia Treatments
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are generally not very helpful in treating the
muscle pain associated with fibromyalgia. Small amounts of aspirin or ibuprofen may help
to alleviate some of your muscle pain, however.
Because sleep is often affected and lack of sleep aggravates the neuromuscular symptoms
of FMS, drugs may be given to promote deeper sleep, so that you can get as much rest as
possible. These include amitriptyline, or elavil, and cyclobenzaprine, or flexeril. These
are used in larger doses to treat depression, but your doctor will use them here to help
you sleep and to help reduce some of your pain. These drugs can have unpleasant side
effects, such as sometimes actually acting as stimulants, rather than promoting sleep. You
should inform your doctor about any such side effects.
Certain classes of antidepressant medications are sometimes prescribed for the
disorder. Studies show that antidepressants in low doses can decrease depression, relax
craniofacial and skeletal muscles, improve sleep quality, and release pain-killing
Exercise and Fibromyalgia Treatments
Exercise can be helpful in reducing muscle soreness. In addition to improving strength
and circulation, exercise can help increase your range of motion. It is important to
stretch thoroughly, both before and after exercise to keep your muscles loose. Generally,
low-impact exercise, such as water aerobics or walking are recommended for patients with
Physical therapy modalities also can be helpful in alleviating your symptoms. Physical
therapists may use massage, heat or cold, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, or any
combination of the above, to help reduce your muscle soreness. In addition, physical or
occupational therapists may work on your posture or gait to help improve your ongoing
Exercise is important in the treatment of FMS. While you may be feeling run down and
not up to exercising, moderate regular aerobic activity can be helpful in raising your
energy level and reducing discomfort. It is important that you work with your doctor or
physical therapist to develop an exercise program that is appropriate to your condition.
Be sure to always warm up and stretch before and after exercise. This will help to protect
your muscles from injury. Try to exercise in the afternoon or early evening, but not
before bedtime, as this can interfere with sleep. It is probably best if you can set aside
time daily for exercise, even if you have to start with only five minutes per day. You can
work slowly up to more time.
Natural Fibromyalgia treatment options
Eating a well-balanced diet, and avoiding caffeine may help with problems sleeping, and
may help reduce the severity of the symptoms. Lifestyle measures to improve the quality of
sleep can be effective for fibromyalgia.
Some reports indicate that fish oil, magnesium/malic acid combinations, or vitamins may
be effective. Reducing stress and improving coping skills may also help reduce painful
Many fibromyalgia patients find supplements such as Cetyl
Myristoleate and SAM-E helpful.
Massage therapy can be helpful, especially when a family member is instructed on
specific massage techniques to manage episodes of increased symptoms.
Treating Fibromyalgia through life style changes
You should take care to avoid taking any other medications that may interfere with
sleep, including alcohol and caffeine. Other forms of therapy such as massage or
relaxation techniques are also helpful for some people suffering from FMS.
Because some patients with fibromyalgia also have problems with depression or anxiety,
treatment with a combination of drugs and therapy may be recommended. Your doctor may
refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist to help you deal with these symptoms.
For more severe cases of fibromyalgia, patients may need to make significant
adjustments to their work or other daily activities. In some cases, patients may need to
receive some kind of disability assistance, though this is often difficult to obtain. As
with any chronic condition, it is important to be educated about your condition and to
keep a positive attitude throughout your treatment program. You and your doctor should
work together to try and make living with FMS more bearable.