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.

Article continues below

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.