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Multimodal Approach to Fibromyalgia Treatment Now Widely Recognized

 Multimodal Approach to Fibromyalgia Treatment Now Widely Recognized

The American College of Rheumatology established guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia in 2010. Last year the Canadians, Israelis published guidelines as well. Their ideas are very much in step with those in America.  In addition, the German medical community came up with guidelines that are also very similar.  

Ideas of note from of these medical guidelines are the following:

  1. Extensive physical examination, complete with number and location of tender points on the body is required for diagnosis.
  2. Multimodal approach to treatment is an important approach. Medications play a role in treatment, but physical activity and self management techniques, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy.
  3. Israeli presenters point out that many drugs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, systemic steroids, benzodiazepines and thyroid hormone) are not recommended for treatment of fibromyalgia. All three guidelines suggest that some of the side effects of medications may actually mimic fibromyalgia symptoms rather than provide relief.
  4. Canadian guidelines put primary care physicians "on the front" lines of patient care.
  5. German guidelines put more emphasis on alternative therapies such as yoga and tai chi. Canadian guidelines agree to some extent to this point.
 What is the take home message from all of this?  
The ideal treatment for fibromyalgia does not come in pill form.  There are some medications that help to some degree, Other forms of therapy, such as water exercise, yoga, mediation--used with medications--or not--can provide much needed relief from the troubling effects of fibromyalgia.  This is becoming a consensus on a global scale!

Source: Pain Medicine News March 2014


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