• Fibromyalgia

    Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic pain syndrome that amplifies pain sensations. People with fibromyalgia experience symptoms of widespread body pain, fatigue and stiffness.

    Most people with fibromyalgia find their symptoms are worse in the morning. Symptoms can be aggravated by stress, physical activity and lack of sleep.

    While the exact causes of fibromyalgia aren’t fully understood by health experts, they believe that it is a neurologic problem related to how the body transmits and interprets pain signals to the brain.

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    Dr. Pamela Squire, MD, CCFP, DCAPM, ISAM, CPE, discusses What is Fibromyalgia.
    Dr. Pamela Squire, MD, CCFP, DCAPM, ISAM, CPE, discusses What is Fibromyalgia.
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    Dr. André Bélanger MD, CFCP, discute Fibromyalgie.
    Dr. André Bélanger MD, CFCP, discute Fibromyalgie.
  • Treatments for Fibromyalgia

    Most fibromyalgia treatments work to relieve specific symptoms. Fibromyalgia treatments include: Some days, you may feel better, while other days you feel extremely fatigued and run down. People tend to overdo it on their good days, which can lead to a fibromyalgia flare. By moderating activity, people may feel consistently better, rather than experiencing such drastic physical ups and downs.

                             

    Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has been shown to be helpful for people with fibromyalgia. Sometimes called talk therapy, it involves teaching patients how to cope with the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia.

    Exercise

    A healthy fitness routine is important if you have fibromyalgia. It’s essential to start slowly and work with your doctor or physiotherapist to ensure you don’t strain yourself. Some examples of exercises that are good for fibromyalgia include walking, swimming and cycling.

    Improved Sleep Hygience

    By getting enough sleep and practicing healthy sleep hygiene, you may find your pain and fatigue is reduced.

    Lifestyle Changes

    Like with many conditions, having a healthy lifestyle makes a huge difference. For patients with fibromyalgia, reducing stress, getting proper nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce pain and improve quality of life.

    Medications

    It’s important for patients with fibromyalgia to understand that no medication can cure the disease. However, the right medications can help to decrease pain and stiffness. Here are some common medications for fibromyalgia:

    Amitriptyline

    One of the most commonly used medications for fibromyalgia is amitriptyline. It belongs to a family of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. Your rheumatologist will prescribe you the lowest dose possible in order to reduce grogginess.

    Analgesics (Pain Relievers)

    These include over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or other anti-inflammatory drugs. If a patient requires a stronger medication, they may benefit from short acting opiates such as codeine or Tylenol 3. You must be careful when taking these narcotics as it’s easy to become dependent on them.

    Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors

    These drugs may reduce fibromyalgia pain, and include Cymbalta (duloxetine) and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor known as Prozac (fluoxetine).

    Muscle Relaxants

    Some patients find relief from stifness and pain with over-the-counter muscle relaxants. Lyrica and Gabapentin These medications work by blunting pain signals in the spinal cord. Presenter: Dr. John Wade, Rheumatologist, Vancouver, BC

    NOw Health Network Local Practitioners: Rheumatologist

Rheumatology Now

Rheumatology Now

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