#5 - Treatment overviewAug 25, 2021
When I think about fibromyalgia treatment, I think of three pillars. All three pillars are needed to hold the load properly. The longer you had fibromyalgia, the heavier the load. It is a balancing act to erect and maintain the pillars.
The first pillar of fibro is education. Understanding fibromyalgia is essential to your successful treatment. Fibromyalgia patients are often referred to several specialists and undergo numerous tests before and after the diagnosis. Knowing the fibromyalgia symptoms and their origin helps with stress reduction and treatment plan.
The second pillar is the self-care that needs to be expanded and consistent. Using nutrition to repair digestion, reduce inflammation, and promote a healthy weight is an essential part of fibro treatment. Better quality of sleep and increasing movement improves both fatigue and pain. Eliminating emotional and environmental pain triggers, balancing daily activities and stress is also part of this pillar.
The third pillar is the reduction of chronic pain. Unfortunately, treatment of fibromyalgia pain is not as simple as taking an aspirin. Some patients will benefit from appropriate pain medications and therapies, but they often provide an incomplete response and have side effects. Understanding the neurological pathways involved in fibromyalgia, central sensitization syndrome that creates an overdriven nervous system response is required to manage fibro pain successfully. All pain, regardless of origin, produces a brain response. Cognitive behavior therapy, relaxation techniques, and stress reduction reduce pain and improve the quality of life.
Patients need all three pillars to treat fibro. Focusing on just one of them, only nutrition or only using pain medications to cope with pain, will create a shaky foundation. However, if the three pillars of fibromyalgia treatment are built correctly, they will support the fibromyalgia load. Gradually building all of them, consistently and deliberately, will produce a lasting effect, balanced and supportive, that will improve pain and quality of life.
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