There are many steps you can take to
manage your symptoms. Treatment is focused on
managing pain, fatigue, depression, and other symptoms common in fibromyalgia. The goal is to break the cycle of increased sensitivity to pain and decreased
The treatment you need or want may be based on:
- How bad your symptoms are.
- Whether the condition is disrupting your daily
- What kinds of changes in your life you are willing and able
Getting consistent exercise, especially
cardiovascular exercise, is one of the best ways to manage fibromyalgia. Pool
exercise is a good example.
It's important to build up your exercise program slowly so
you don't get sore muscles that cause you to want to stop exercising. Working
with a physical therapist familiar with fibromyalgia may be helpful.
For more information, see Exercise and Fibromyalgia.
Medicines are part of the long-term treatment of fibromyalgia. Medicines can help you sleep better, relax
your muscles, or relieve muscle and joint pain. Your doctor may suggest
prescription medicines, such as antidepressants, muscle relaxants, and anticonvulsants. Or he or she may suggest nonprescription pain relievers.
Not all people with fibromyalgia will need, want, or benefit from
medicines. You might need to try one medicine before finding
one that works best for you. You may also find that a medicine that has been
helping your symptoms seems to not work as well over time.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy and other
forms of counseling, including relaxation therapy and biofeedback, have been
shown to help people who have fibromyalgia.1
Counseling has been shown to help with the pain of fibromyalgia. It can also help with sleep problems and fatigue. And it can help improve your mood.1
- Chronic Pain: Using Healthy Thinking
Taking care of yourself over time
Taking care of yourself is a vital part of managing
fibromyalgia. For example you can:
- Identify sleep problems, if you have them. Then learn about
ways to get more restful sleep.
pain and stiffness with medicines and heat.
- Identify "triggers"
that seem to make your symptoms worse. Then you can learn to avoid or manage them. Triggers
may be a change in the weather, certain activities, stress, or a lack of
- Talk to your doctor if you have signs of