Pain relief is of paramount concern for those suffering with fibromyalgia, as pain is one of the primary and most debilitating symptoms. Fibromyalgia pain relief can be found thorough doctor-prescribed pain relievers, mild exercise, and even by holistic or herbal medicine, in some cases. Anti-depressants can also aid in pain relief, since depression can accompany fibromyalgia, and pain can be a symptom of depression.
Fibromyalgia often causes pain similar to that of arthritis or tendinitis. However, deep muscle pain can also be present, along with localized areas of high sensitivity. For mild to moderate pain, acetaminophen is most often recommended. Capsaicin, derived from hot peppers, may also hold some value for fibromyalgia pain relief. For more severe pain, patients and their doctors may consider the use of opioids. These drugs are sometimes controversial, because of the risk of tolerance or dependence.
Opioids are also commonly known as narcotics, and many are derived from natural opium, which was discovered hundreds of years ago. When first developed, it was so much more effective for pain relief than anything else, that it earned the nickname “God’s own medicine.” It was among the first drugs for pain relief and to this day, opium-derived pain relievers are the strongest available. Some opioids used in fibromyalgia pain relief include fentanyl, oxycodone, and morphine. However, because of the potential for addiction that comes with anything made from opium, it can sometimes be difficult for fibromyalgia sufferers to obtain prescriptions for these drugs, and some doctors altogether refuse to prescribe them.
Aside from pain-relieving drugs, one of the best sources of fibromyalgia pain relief is low-impact aerobic exercise. Swimming and water aerobics are ideal, as well as stationary bicycling and similar exercises. These are helpful in a variety of ways, including as a release of the muscle tension that often comes with pain and can make it worse. It may be necessary to begin with only a small amount of daily exercise, such as five minutes, and gradually build up to longer workouts. Exercising for 30 to 60 minutes several times a week can go a long way toward reducing stress and relieving chronic pain.
The avoidance of alcohol and caffeine in the evening is also critical, because it is important to get as much sleep as possible. Sleep reduces stress which otherwise gives chronic pain a foothold to becoming worse. Herbs and natural supplements also provide fibromyalgia pain relief for some patients. The supplement 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), a component of serotonin, is one example. This can be effective because the level of serotonin in the brain can significantly influence fibromyalgia pain. Anecdotal evidence also suggests the effectiveness of essential oils such as peppermint oil, and the oils from basil and marjoram, when used as topical pain relievers.