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Treatment Options for Seniors with Fibromyalgia

By Beth Brown, 9:00 am on

Though it is less common to develop fibromyalgia past middle age, this chronic widespread body pain can still emerge in the senior years. There is no way to effectively prevent this condition, but there are a variety of options that can help treat it. Palm Beach elderly care experts have put together a list of treatments your senior loved one’s doctor might recommend.

Exercise

Physical activity stimulates the body’s production of serotonin. This neurotransmitter is a natural mood-booster that can help alleviate the depression common with fibromyalgia. Exercise relieves stress, reducing the risk of a fibromyalgia flare-up, and it also increases blood flow to the muscles, which can alleviate the stiffness and muscle tenderness that accompanies fibromyalgia.

Meditation

Meditation helps restore the connection between the mind and the body. It focuses on breathing techniques and creating a state of mindfulness to promote relaxation and cognition. This calming focus can help alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms like pain, depression, and anxiety.

Antidepressants

Antidepressants work by balancing levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters affecting mood and pain perception. Even if your loved one is not depressed, these medications may help relieve pain and enhance sleep quality. At this time, the FDA has approved 3 antidepressants for the treatment of fibromyalgia, which include venlafaxine, milnacipran, and duloxetine.

Anticonvulsants

Although originally developed to treat seizure disorders like epilepsy, anticonvulsants can also help relieve neuropathic pain. Pregabalin and gabapentin are two of the first medications specifically approved to treat fibromyalgia.

Muscle Relaxers and Pain Relievers

Tramadol and tramadol/acetaminophen combination tablets can be beneficial in relieving flare-ups and breakthrough pain of fibromyalgia. Muscle relaxants like cyclobenzaprine can reduce stiffness, which can enhance sleep quality, and steroid injections at trigger points can help relieve muscle spasms caused by fibromyalgia.

Sleep Aids

Without deep, restorative sleep, the body cannot recover from stress. A lack of sleep is a common cause of fibromyalgia flare-ups. Prescription sleep medications like zolpidem and eszopiclone can help seniors with fibromyalgia get to sleep quicker and stay asleep longer.

Managing fibromyalgia can be challenging for seniors, but the right assistance can help your loved one live a healthier and happier life. At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers can assist with exercise, provide reminders to take doctor-prescribed medications, and help with many other important tasks. We also offer comprehensive dementia, Alzheimer’s, and stroke home care Palm Beach families can rely on. To learn more and to schedule a free in-home consultation, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 561.429.8292 today.