Skip to main content

Expert: Non Drug Therapies Probably Most Effective Way to Treat Fibromyalgia Pain

Each year, the American Pain Society sponsors a scientific meeting. It is the place where researchers in pain management and health care practitioners converge to share "the latest" in their respective areas of expertise.  This year's meeting included a session on fibromyalgia which was presented by Daniel Clauw, MD who is a professor of anesthesiology at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

During his presentation, Dr. Clauw made some very interesting points about this poorly understood disorder.  It is the second most common rheumatic disorder after osteoarthritis--and tends to stay with a patient for a lifetime. Patients with fibromyalgia experience higher levels of pain than other individuals, even at the slightest touch. It is believed that a mechanism in the brain and spinal cord that seems to be responsible for this exaggerated pain sensation. Dr. Clauw suggested to his fellow physicians that fibromyalgia should be suspected in patients with lifelong histories of pain that is multifocal and cannot be explained by injury or inflammation.

Dr. Clauw went on to say that, while many drugs have been used in the treatment of this condition, none of them seem to be really effective.  It appears that the best approach is  combination of some antidepressants and anticonvulsant drugs, combined with exercise, psychotherapy, and stress reduction. "The greatest benefit is improved function, which should be the main treatment goal for any chronic pain condition.  The majority of patients with fibromyalgia can see improvement in their symptoms and lead normal lives with the right medications and extensive use of non-drug therapies" he says.

Sources: Pain Medicine News; Pixabay


Popular posts from this blog

Living with Chronic pain hits the big screen!

Been to the movies lately?  Jennifer Aniston is on the big screen in a recent release titled "Cake."
Her character, Claire is a victim of chronic pain...she belongs to a support group, where all of the members are coming to terms with the suicide of one of their members.  Of course, she also takes pain medication and addiction is another of her problems...and of course there's more!

I guess I am writing this post just to bring readers' attention to the fact that Hollywood has become aware of the crisis that is chronic pain.  This movie is a testament to that. People that don't have to live with this kind of pain don't fully understand the whole story.  Maybe this movie will shed some light on the issues.

Here is the official trailer for the movie:

Sources: prweb;;YouTube

Herpes As A Helper?

If you've ever had shingles, or known anyone that has experienced it, you probably know that chronic pain can persist following the initial attack (post herpetic neuralgia).  This is because the herpes virus seems to have an affinity for nerve cells.  And while it's not fun to have shingles or post herpetic neuralgia, the herpes virus may be a key in future development of delivery systems for pain management treatments.

Here's the deal--since Herpes simplex has an affinity for nerve cells, researchers are looking a genetically modified, safer version of the virus to deliver genetic material to damaged nerves.  In simple terms, once the genetic material reaches these nerve cells, it will hopefully encode these nerves to ultimately inhibit pain signals.  Animal studies and clinical trials in cancer patients have been encouraging thus far.

This is one of those developments that makes me believe that there is hope for those in chronic pain. Along with so many other exciting d…

The Knee Bone's Connected To The Leg Bone....

Two recent studies have brought a not-so-novel concept into the limelight-the concept being that people who present with knee pain often develop pain in other parts of their bodies.  These studies, known as the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST) and the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI), were assessed by a Clinical Epidemiology Team as Boston University School of Medicine in an effort to find preventive strategies to combat this trend.

The authors suggest that knee pain may cause individuals to alter their gait in an effort to compensate for their discomfort. In doing so, the alignment of other body joints is altered, and this may be the cause of secondary joint pain, especially hips and ankles. The authors go on to say that the pain in these secondary sites is not necessarily osteoarthritis--perhaps bursitis or some other injury.

Osteoarthritis is a result of wear and tear in the joints.  We may not be able to completely eliminate osteoarthritis from occurring, but some common se…