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Fibromyositis; Fibrositis; Myofascial pain syndrome
Fibromyalgia is a mysterious condition. Its causes are still largely unknown, as is how it inflicts damage. No strong evidence indicates that any single treatment (or combination of treatments) has any significant effect for most patients.
However, in 2007 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved pregabalin (Lyrica) as the first drug treatment for fibromyalgia after a study showed the medicine reduced fibromyalgia pain in 63% of patients. A year later, the FDA approved the drug duloxetine (Cymbalta) for fibromyalgia. Cymbalta has been shown to reduce fibromyalgia pain by more than 30%.
Many patients with fibromyalgia are treated first with medication; however, the American Pain Society Fibromyalgia Panel recommends a combined approach using cognitive-behavioral therapy, education, medication, and exercise. Treatment usually involves not only relieving symptoms, but also changing a patient's attitude about the disease. Treatment should also teach patients behaviors that help them cope.
Treatments usually involve trial and error:
A combination of non-drug therapies appears to work just as well as drug therapy in improving pain, depression, and disability. This combination includes exercise, stress management, massage, and diet.
Patients must have realistic expectations about the long-term outlook of their condition, and their own individual abilities. It is important to understand that fibromyalgia can be managed, and patients can live a full life. The following tips may be helpful when starting a treatment program for fibromyalgia:
The definition of improvement is personal. For example, some patients are pleased with only a 10% reduction in pain and other symptoms.
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