Older Adults_Bars-Geriatric Pain

FAST FACTS: Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia Pain

 

Fibromyalgia (FM) is characterized by chronic widespread pain and tenderness in muscles, tendons and other soft tissues. Symptoms are debilitating fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, depression, anxiety, and joint stiffness. Some may also report difficulty with swallowing, bowel and bladder abnormalities, numbness, tingling and memory and concentration problems.  People with fibromyalgia tend to wake up with body aches and stiffness. For some, pain improves during the day and gets worse at night, others have pain all the time.

  • What Medical Professional Assess
    • Tender points found in the soft tissue on the back of the neck, shoulders, chest, lower back hips, shins, elbows & knees. Mild to severe pain that spreads from these areas.
    • Tension or migraine headache
    • Pain that may feel like a deep ache, a shooting, or burning pain
    • Pain that feels like is it’s coming from the joints
    • Pain that may get worse with activity, cold or damp weather, anxiety, and stress

  • Possible Interventions
    • Treatments to relieve pain and help a person cope include:
      • Non-Drug Treatments
        • Physical therapy, exercise and fitness programs
        • Stress-relief methods, including light massage and relaxation techniques
        • Cognitive-behavioral therapy, and support groups
        • Acupressure and acupuncture
        • Good sleep routines to improve quality of sleep
      • Medications: used in combination with exercise and behavior therapy
        • Duloxetine (Cymbalta); Pregabalin (Lyrica); Milnacipran (Savella)
        • Other drugs also used to treat FM: pain relievers (opioids & nonopioids); antidepressants; anti-seizure drug, muscle relaxants and sleeping aids
      • Severe cases of FM may require a referral to a pain clinic

  • What You Can Do
    • Write down and share information about your pain with your Healthcare provider
    • Use a Pain Diary to note important information useful to your Healthcare provider
    • Try a non-drug treatment to decrease pain

Revised 3/2020

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