Is Fibromyalgia a disease or a syndrome?

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | July 26th, 2017

Fibromyalgia is a common and chronic disorder.
When a health illness or condition is chronic it means it is long-lasting.

Even though fibromyalgia is frequently referred to as an arthritis-related condition, it does not cause joint damage or inflammation, as arthritis does. Neither does fibromyalgia cause damage to muscle and other tissues. However, it is similar to arthritis because it causes severe pain and tiredness, and can undermine the patient’s ability to go about his daily activities. Fibromyalgia is seen as a rheumatic condition. A rheumatic condition is one that causes joint and soft tissue pain.

Dr Kishore Punjabi: Treatments for fibromyalgia

It is important that the patient’s doctor is trained in treating fibromyalgia, as it is not an easy condition to treat. Fortunately, more and more doctors, including GPs (general practitioners) know what to do. For best results the patient should be treated by the doctor, a physical therapist, and possibly some other health care professionals simultaneously. Patient compliance is crucial for good results. Patient compliance means that the patient is actively involved and does not forget to follow instructions.

Each patient is different and will require individualized treatment. Treatment will usually include some or all of the following:

  • An active exercise program
  • Low-dose anti-depressants
  • Acupuncture
  • Psychotherapy
  • Behavior modification therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Massage
  • Physical therapy (physiotherapy)
  • Behavior modification therapy

This includes learning new coping skills, relaxation exercises and self-hypnosis. Patients have commented that pain perception, which is a very complicated phenomenon, may be altered with experience.

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