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FibromyalgiaFibromyalgia Treatment

Let's Talk About Fibromyalgia Treatment

It can take some trial and error to find relief from this chronic pain condition, but there are multiple strategies that can help you take control of your life again.

    Our Pro PanelFibromyalgia Treatment

    We went to some of the nation’s top experts in fibromyalgia to bring you the most up-to-date information possible.

    Anca Askanase, M.D. headshot.

    Anca Askanase, M.D.Rheumatologist, Director of Rheumatology Clinical Trials

    Columbia University Medical Center
    New York City
    Andrea Nicol, M.D.

    Andrea L. Nicol, M.D.Comprehensive pain management physician, Assistant Professor

    University of Kansas Medical Center
    Kansas City, KS
    Manisha Mittal, M.D.

    Manisha Mittal, M.D.Rheumatologist, rheumatology director, Graduate Medical Education

    St. Agnes Medical Center
    Fresno, CA

    Frequently Asked QuestionsFibromyalgia Treatment

    Are there any medications for fibromyalgia?

    There are currently three drugs that are FDA-approved to treat fibromyalgia. Two are a type of antidepressant known as serotonin-noradrenaline re-uptake inhibitors (SNRIs). These meds increase serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which helps halt pain signals. The third is an antiseizure drug which reduces sensory sensitivity in the brain. Other drugs may be used off-label to treat fibro.

    How does CBT help with fibromyalgia?

    In CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), you learn to challenge thoughts that are counterproductive to your situation and replace them with ones that will help you achieve your goal. That might not seem related to a condition like fibromyalgia, but pain is both an emotional and physical experience, and while you cannot control the physical aspect, you may be able to retrain your brain for how it handles pain on a psychological level.

    Can massage help with fibro pain?

    Yes, several studies suggest regular massage therapy may ease some of the painful symptoms of this condition. What’s more, research shows that massage can reduce feeling of depression—a major symptoms of fibromyalgia.

    What is a fibromyalgia flare?

    People with fibro often experience periods of time when symptoms worsen for days or weeks. This is known as a flare. It may be brought on by stress, anxiety, lack or sleep or another illness. Meds can help control the symptoms.

    Erin L. Boyle

    Erin L. Boyle

    @ErinLBoyle

    Erin L. Boyle, the senior editor at HealthCentral from 2016-2018, is a freelance medical writer and editor.