How Can You Treat and Manage Fibromyalgia?

“Doctors are still unsure about what causes Fibromyalgia, a condition where a person feels pain despite having no signs of physical injuries or inflammation. However, there is a wide range of natural & medical treatments available that may help with the symptoms” [1]. To that end, booking an appointment with an experienced Pain Specialist, is the first step towards geting your life back on track…

Pain Medication & Drugs for Fibromyalgia

While some suffers opt to take aspirin and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as Naproxen, to help lessen their pain; others require a stronger form of medication [1]. Three of the main drugs which Pain Specialsits prescribe for Fibromyalgia comprise:

• Pregabalin (Lyrica), which is designed to calm overactive nerves

• Duloxetine (Cymbalta), which acts on the hormones/neurotransmitters: serotonin and norepinephrine, in order to decrease pain signals

• Milnacipran (Savella), which also works to lessen pain by its impact on serotonin and norepinephrine [1].

Of note, you may need to test out various doses and several different drugs in order to reach an optimum combination for your personal requirements. Your Pain Specialist will ask you to monitor the effects, so keeping a ‘Pain Dairy’ that can be shown on your appointments is a good strategy. Further, if you are having trouble sleeping, your doctor may prescribe sleeping pills.

“Research shows that low levels of serotonin make people more vulnerable to Fibromyalgia. SSRIs, which increase serotonin levels, may help with some Fibromyalgia symptoms.
Living with Fibromyalgia can lead to depression & anxiety, & some individuals find that taking antidepressants improves their mood, & helps them manage pain better” [1]

Narcotic Pain Medication

Opioids (a class of drugs which include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids, and pain relievers which can be prescribes by your doctor), alter the way in which our brains respond to pain. They can ameliorate various pain conditions, however, their effectiveness for fibromyalgia pain has not yet been established. Of note: as opioids can be addictive, they should not be your first choice [1].

Talking Therapies

One research project indicated that both online and in-person CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) sessions may ameliorate symptom-linked distress and depression. Further, this form of therapy could help Fibromyalgia sufferers moderate their pain though its relaxation techniques. Of note, the study showed that only in-person therapy improved daily functioning [1].

Other Modalities

Getting regular exercise is paramount to preventing the muscle stiffness and wasting that can make Fibromyalgia pain worse. Further, anecdotal evidence indicates that a broad range of diets could help ameliorate symptoms. For example, as fibromyalgia in connected to patients who have long-term inflammation, switching to anti-inflammatory diet could be beneficial [1]. Such options will be explained in detail by your Pain Specialist.


[1]. Villines, Z. (2018). “How to relieve fibromyalgia pain.”