Creating a Treatment Plan
Fibromyalgia is a complicated condition. It has no specific causes and no known cure. Yet for those who have it — as many as one in 50 Americans — the chronic pain, fatigue, and psychological strain of fibromyalgia are all too clear.
Fibromyalgia symptoms are treatable, however. Many experts believe the best treatment is a multifaceted approach that combines medication with lifestyle changes and alternative treatments.
You may need to work with your doctor, a physical therapist, and possibly others to tailor a treatment plan to your needs. Here’s how to get started.
Fibromyalgia Treatment: Start With a Diagnosis
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome– a collection of symptoms, rather than a specific disease. Some of the most recognizable fibromyalgia symptoms are:
- Widespread pain
- Severe fatigue
- Tender points on the body
- Anxiety or depression
Doctors often diagnose fibromyalgia by considering criteria such as how long you’ve had pain and how widespread it is, and by ruling out other causes. This can be tricky, however, because symptoms associated with fibromyalgia can be caused by other conditions. So it’s best to see a doctor who is familiar with fibromyalgia.
There is a blood test that can help diagnose fibromyalgia. The test identifies markers produced by immune systemblood cells in people with fibromyalgia.