Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that is usually hard to manage and treat. People with fibromyalgia symptoms generally react best to a combination of multiple approaches to treatment that incorporate various strategies. Such strategies include pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic methods like physical therapy, rehabilitation, and mental health programs.
The general goal of treatment is focused on reducing major symptoms, such as chronic pain, fatigue, and other cognitive dysfunction. Nonpharmacologic treatment interventions are vital in managing pain associated with fibromyalgia and shown to benefit people with this chronic health condition. Some people with fibromyalgia respond very well to physical therapy and other rehabilitation approaches and thus avoid drug therapy.
Several studies suggest that participation in supervised physical therapy exercise programs are shown to promote better pain management as well as an overall improvement in physical functioning. Similarly, aquatic therapy and swimming have also proven to be an effective method of treatment. In some countries, immersion in warm mineral baths is used to treat people with fibromyalgia to further assist in reducing muscular and body stress. In a meta-analysis from 2017, the authors found that exercise training showed mental and cognitive improvement responses, especially in reducing anxiety levels. Resistance training can also promote pain reduction and control symptoms. Other exercise platforms that have been shown to benefit people with fibromyalgia include interventions such as yoga and tai chi.
The practice of yoga was shown to be an excellent example of developing adequate coping strategies to manage symptoms of fibromyalgia. In a study of 53 fibromyalgia patients, those who followed a yoga program also showed greater improvement in pain coping skills, fatigue, mood, and other associated fitness benefits.
Yoga is a great workout that not only combines physical abilities but also teaches breathing techniques. Joints and musculoskeletal alignment is desired; the body is able to achieve a sense of homeostasis, which is the stage of acquiring full balance or stable equilibrium. Such therapeutic health effects can be achieved through yoga by developing a high quality of body awareness and building physical strength.
1) Child’s Pose
2) Thunderbolt Posture
3) Tree Pose
4) Cow-Faced Pose
5) Warrior I
6) Extended Side Angle Pose
Thai chi is a practice that combines mind and body along with a gentle flowing movement. In a study that examined 226 patients with fibromyalgia, the effect of tai chi was similar or even more efficient for improving symptomatic conditions than aerobic exercise. In another study, involving 101 patients, many in the study also received benefits from tai chi. Thus, tai chi may provide long term improvement in common fibromyalgia symptoms; such improvements can include better pain management and increased physical mobility.
In a study of 148 adults with fibromyalgia, 74 participants received 8 weeks of meditation and awareness training while the remaining 74 were assigned to the control group. Pre-testing and post-testing results were evaluated, and a retention/follow-up test was done 6 months after the training was over.
The results of the study showed significant improvement in pain perception, sleep quality, and psychological distress in the meditation group compared to the control group. Also, it was suggested that meditation could be a suitable treatment platform for people with fibromyalgia.