Fibromyalgia or fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic pain condition that affects up to one in 25 people. FMS makes simple tasks much more difficult for affected individuals, who often struggle to have a social life, work and even relax in their free time.
Though there is no known cure for FMS, there are treatment options available to ease the symptoms. As the condition is relatively common, it’s good to be aware of the different ways we can approach treatment.
Lifestyle changes can be very beneficial for people with FMS, though it can be a difficult step for someone with FMS to exert themselves. Exercise programs are recommended for this, as it gives the affected a routine to follow, along with support to keep them motivated.
Guided relaxation techniques can also be helpful. While many of us take relaxation for granted, people with FMS are often too uncomfortable to truly relax. These techniques can give people with FMS more control and teach them medically approved techniques for relaxation and stress relief.
There are a number of medically approved therapeutic methods used to help people with FMS.
Talk therapy, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has been increasingly demonstrated to help people with FMS to manage their condition. Although the symptoms are physical, the power of changing one’s mindset cannot be understated. CBT helps people with FMS to overcome feelings of hopelessness and change their own behaviour if it negatively affects their physical health.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) focuses on mindfulness and helps the affected person to focus on living in the moment and manage the anxiety and fear that comes with many chronic pain conditions, improving their quality of life.
Physical therapy such as massage therapy may also be used to combat pain, anxiety and depression. In massage therapy, a variety of different massage techniques are used, though deeper massages are avoided. These different techniques focus pressure on pain points to reduce the pain felt in those areas, which in turn typically also improves mental symptoms.
Similarly to therapy, much of the medication used for FMS focuses on the mental aspects of the condition. This includes SSRIs, SSNRIs and anti-anxiety medication. Again, similarly to therapy, this aids the affected person in managing their condition in a healthier way, which can help to reduce many of the symptoms that accompany the pain.
Despite the difficulties it brings, many people with Fibromyalgia are able to live fulfilling, independent lives – especially when they receive the care they need.
At Synergy Complex Care, we understand the toll a chronic pain condition like FMS can take on someone’s life, and the importance of helping them manage their condition. Our services encourage building independence, with optional holistic support as and when it’s needed.
If you would like to contact us about our care plans for yourself or a loved one, please get in touch.