Sky Lea Ross

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (110675)

Resources for Fibromyalgia

The following are resources that may be helpful for those who suffer from Fibromyalgia. Including educational articles/videos, informative reads, a variety of treatment options that some may find effective, and coping skills that may be helpful in managing the condition. Many of these tips may also be helpful in managing other chronic pain conditions as well. 

Information on potential causes of Fibromyalgia referenced from WebMD

Understanding Fibro - Education & Information

"What is Fibromylagia?" - The American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association

Incredibly informative explanation of what the condition is, a breakdown of symptom categories, and relevant research, including statistics and facts. Great reference for individuals as well as for friends and family members. 

http://www.afsafund.org/fibromyalgia.html

 

University of Michigan's Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center Website: 

https://medicine.umich.edu/dept/chronic-pain-fatigue-research-center

"Chronic Pain, Is it All in Their Head?" - Dr. Daniel J. Clauw

The answer is "yes & no." In this informative lecture by one of the leading specialists in pain management, we learn that Fibromyalgia is a disease of the brain, causing pain reception to be amplified throughout the body. The logistics of the disorder are explained as well as potential treatment options. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0EhNajqkdU

University of Michigan's "FibroGuide" 

Interactive modules and guidance for managing the condition and improving one's quality of life. 

https://fibroguide.med.umich.edu/

"Is Your Fibromyalgia Causing Muscle Spasms?" by Adrienne Dellwo

Written by an author who lives with Fibromyalgia herself and reviewed by a physician, this article discusses some of symptomalogy & potential causes behind the painful muscle spasms you may experience. 

https://www.verywellhealth.com/muscle-spasms-fibromyalgia-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-3972934

 

 

Effective Treatments

*Please Note: The following treatments are merely suggestions based on research that have been effective for some. Please speak to your Doctor or Psychiatrist before starting any new types of medication. 

  • Psychotherapy (talk therapy) &/or Support Groups

    • The symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia are heavily exacerbated by stress. Talking to a professional and establishing a network of like minded individuals who have similar lived experience and understand what living with chronic pain is like is one of the most effective ways of building a support system and alleviating stress, which will in turn minimize symptoms and provide relief in the long run.

  • Acupuncture

    • The ancient art of Eastern medicine in which energy, or "Chi," is redirected to stimulate the body's natural healing processes

  • Massage Therapy

  • Physical Therapy

    • Learning stretches that ease pain and muscle tension can be highly effective for treating Fibro. 

  • Yoga

  • NSAIDs

    • Such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen in low doses can reduce pain and inflammation. Available over the counter or through prescription from a trusted doctor.

  • Muscle Relaxants

    • Such as Flexeril, are suitable for serve muscle spasms. Available through prescription only.

  • Gabapentin

    • In the anti-convulsant class of medications, can be effective in chronic pain management. Available through prescription only. 

  • CBD Oil

    • A concentrate derived from marijuana, used medicinally. Can be applied to painful areas as a balm or salve, or taken orally through edible  products, capsules or tinctures. Available at vitamin shops and local dispensaries. Communicate with your primary care physician before use.

  • BioFreeze

    • A pain relief cream/gel, available over the counter in most drug stores. ​​

  • ​Magnesium Oil
    • When absorbed into skin​, Magnesium oil can help diminish muscle tension and soreness. Available in balms and spray forms. It can also be beneficial to take a Magnesium supplement, however creams and sprays make it possible to apply it directly to the affected area.  
  • Vitamin D
    • It is known that many people who suffer from chronic fatigue and widespread pain/inflammation may have an insufficient amount of Vitamin D in their bodies. Therefore, taking a supplement may improve energy and minimize discomfort. ​
  • Biofeedback

    • A type of treatment through which th​e processes that are normally involuntary (such as heartbeat and breathing, for example) are closely monitored and the participant is trained to properly regulate them. This training, with practice, can be helpful in teaching individuals how to mitigate their own anxiety and pain levels. 

Coping Skills

These are all self-soothing techniques you can try from the comfort of your home and practice over time if you find them helpful. 

  • Mindfulness

    • The art of raising  awareness and acceptance for the present moment. (The here & now.) Bringing attention to your thoughts and feelings and just "being." This can include: 

      • Deep Breathing​

      • Progressive Muscle Relaxation

      • Meditation

  • Alternating Temperature​

    • Applying heating pads or ice packs to painful areas can help relieve pain. ​

  • Light Exercise

    • It is recommended to keep active and implement light physical activity into your schedule to prevent painful flareups and maintain strength. This can include going for a walk or brief workouts​. They don't have to be for too long, only do as much as you feel comfortable, and add time once you build endurance. Can start at 5 minutes if that's what is within your comfort zone, and gradually increase as you see fit, up to 30 mins or more per day or at least a few times a week.

  • Staying Productive

    • Though it may seem difficult, try to adhere to your daily schedule (i.e. at work, school, or in caring for the family, etc.) to the best of your​ ability, or at least set a healthy routine to look forward to each day. 

  • Getting Plenty of Rest

    • Good sleep hygiene is particularly important with chronic conditions like Fibro. Be sure to plan ahead and get as much sleep as possible ​since sleep deprivation will make symptoms worse. 

  • Pacing Yourself

    • It is strongly recommended ​that you evenly distribute your tasks throughout the week as to not over exert yourself. Working too hard, too much, or too fast can amplify symptoms. Take it slow and easy to avoid flareups and exhaustion.