Fibromyalgia: Patient Education for Fibromyalgia

The foundation of an effective fibromyalgia management program is perhaps patient education. A patient who is well educated about fibromyalgia can have a sense of control and improved ability to manage the condition, which in turn can substantially alleviate symptoms of fibromyalgia.

First, patients should know that fibromyalgia is a common, non-progressive, non-deforming, and non-life threatening condition. Patients should be reassured that physical activity will not harm them and in fact can be helpful. Also, remissions can be expected from time to time 39.

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Modulating factors that may exacerbate or alleviate fibromyalgia patient symptoms should be identified and discussed. These may include:

  • Offending habits such as excessive caffeine, alcohol or nicotine intake should be addressed.
  • Facilitation of stress management techniques and counseling should be incorporated as appropriate.
  • Energy conservation techniques and work simplification principles should be employed under the direction of an occupational therapist, as appropriate.
  • Adjustments in the work or home environment (such as use of lumbar support in a chair) can facilitate maximum social and vocational abilities.