Comprehensive approach to managing fibromyalgia

The precise pathophysiologic basis of fibromyalgia has yet to be clearly and convincingly illustrated. Fibromyalgia is known to be a chronic disorder, which means that there is no "cure" for fibromyalgia. Instead, treatment involves a coordinated management program to alleviate the symptoms.

The goals of a management program should include the following components:

  1. Correct diagnosis of fibromyalgia
  2. Patient education about fibromyalgia
  3. Sleep enhancement for fibromyalgia
  4. Aerobic fitness for fibromyalgia

In addition to the above, effective treatments for fibromyalgia may also include various medications (such as muscle relaxants). Most of these medications have typically been studied in clinical trials and information is available about their efficacy in alleviating the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Other non-medicinal therapies are also sometimes used to manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia. While few clinical trials have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of these therapies, there are some anecdotal reports of improvements for some patients’ symptoms.