PROS AND CONS OF 10 FIBROMYALGIA TREATMENTS
Fibromyalgia is a chronic musculoskeletal pain disorder that affects people of all ages, including children and adults and both sexes. It is found to be more rampant in female than male. There is still no particular cure for this disorder but some medications and non-medication methods have been proven to be effective in relieving fibromyalgia symptoms. Here, we will be looking at 10 out of these treatments in terms of their usefulness and disadvantages.
- Aerobic exercise
Pros: Aerobic exercise can improve overall function and quality of life for people with fibromyalgia. Biking, walking and swimming are the best aerobic exercises for fibromyalgia treatment. It gives the body back its normal active form with time.
Cons: It takes time before it can be effective. It increases the pain at first because the muscles are subjected to thorough stretching. The pain may get worse before it gets better.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is training and nurturing of minds. It is a type of counseling that focuses on changing the way people react to life circumstances. In the case of fibromyalgia, it includes how people respond to pain and other triggers.
Pros: CBT can help improve sleep, overall function and coping skills. CBT has also been found to reduce depression.
Cons: It takes a very long term to see effective changes. Cognitive Behavioral Therapists are sometimes scarce and not readily available. Some therapists do not have the experience of treating fibromyalgia patients.
This fibromyalgia treatment help in control of body processes such as heart rate or blood pressure in circulation process.
Pros: Biofeedback eases pain and morning fitness. It helps in relaxation of muscles. It also controls tension headaches among other fibromyalgia symptoms.
Cons: When biofeedback is used singlehandedly in treating fibromyalgia, it is observed to evidently ineffective. It must be done with Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT). It can be very expensive to the extent that insurance won’t foot the bill. It takes very lengthy sessions before it starts to be effective.
- Duloxetine (Depression medication)
This is an antidepressant drug that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, FDA, for the treatment of fibromyalgia. It controls the activity pain of neurotransmitters reaching the brain by increasing the activity of serotonin and noradrenaline.
Pros: This relieves coexisting depression and fatigue symptoms. There is 30-40% pain reduction in 50% of people with fibromyalgia.
Cons: It doesn’t appear to help much in the other fifty percent and pain reduction may not happen in some people. Side effects of this drug include nausea, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, headache and insomnia (inability to sleep)
- Milnacipran (Savella)
This is also an antidepressant drug and the most recent drug to be approved by the FDA for fibromyalgia treatment.
Pros: It reduces depression. It relieves fibromyalgia pain.
Cons: Side effects may include nausea, insomnia, constipation, headache, diarrhea and fatigue. Effectiveness of this antidepressant varies in individuals. Pain reduction is not meaningfully complete.
- Physical therapy
Physical therapy is a great way to learn how to greatly work those muscles to reduce pain.
Pros: Physical therapy can improve strength and range of motion and teach you ways to relieve muscle pain. You will also learn pace activities to avoid making pain and fatigue worse.
Cons: It is highly therapist-dependent. If the physical therapist is not familiar with fibromyalgia, it could make the pain worse, especially early on. It is imperative to be sure you have a therapist who is familiar with fibromyalgia symptoms before you go them.
Sometimes, seizure drugs help with fibromyalgia.
Pros: FDA approved for fibromyalgia, pregabalin (medications) reduces the release of pain signals from nerves, and may also benefit sleep quality.
Cons: Pregabalin is not effective in everyone, and when it does work, it often reduces pain by only 30% to 40%. Side effects may include dizziness, sleepiness, headache, dry mouth, difficulty concentrating, nausea, and vomiting.
- Tai Chi
This ancient form a martial arts is marked by slow, gentle movements and deep breathing.
Pros: Tia Chi was recently reported to reduce fibromyalgia pain, depression, and anxiety, and improve sleep quality.
Cons: There are no known side effects of Tai chi. However, not everyone is motivated to try this exercise and finding an experienced teacher can be a challenge. It also isn’t helpful for everyone who tries it. A small 2010 study found that Tai chi improved fibromyalgia symptoms in about 80% of patients. This is an improvement, though, compared with 50% of patients who did only stretching exercises.
The treatments for fibromyalgia are varied. Not everyone is helped by each treatment and they have their benefits and drawbacks. Talk to your doctor and try different treatments to find the ones that will benefit you.
- Tricyclic antidepressants
Pros: This class of drugs is usually given for sleep problems, and they may also help with pain and depression.
Cons: These drugs—which include amitriptyline, cyclobenzaprine, and nortriptyline—are not FDA approved for fibromyalgia. They are not as selective as drugs like Cymbalta and Savella, meaning they can affect a number of neurotransmitters, Dr. Arnold says. They are also associated with different side effects, including drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness, fast heart rate, constipation, and weight gain. They can lose effectiveness after just one month.
Pros: Downward Dog, Child’s Pose, and other gentle yoga positions may help people with fibromyalgia. A two-hour weekly class—which included meditation and group therapy and was specifically geared for fibromyalgia patients—cut symptoms like pain, fatigue, and stiffness by 30% in about half of people who tried it for a year, a 2010 study found.
Cons: Yoga has few, if any, side effects, but it can be difficult to stay motivated if you’re in pain, or you may fear that yoga postures will worsen pain. It can be tricky to find an instructor who has experience working with pain patients.