The Best ways to treat Fibromyalgia without Drugs
A paper by Kundakci et al. (2022) titled "International, multidisciplinary Delphi consensus recommendations on non-pharmacological interventions for fibromyalgia" was published in the journal Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism and provided some excellent recommendations regarding how to treat this challenging pain condition comprehensively without the use of medications. As is often the case, a team approach is likely most effective.
The study aimed to develop a consensus on non-pharmacological interventions for Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and cognitive difficulties.
The research employed a Delphi consensus method, which involves gathering opinions from a panel of experts in the treatment of Fibromyalgia through multiple rounds of questionnaires and feedback.
The panel comprised international experts representing various disciplines, including rheumatology, physiotherapy, psychology, and occupational therapy. These experts provided recommendations based on their clinical experience and available research evidence.
After several rounds of the Delphi process, a consensus was reached on a set of non-pharmacological interventions for Fibromyalgia.
The recommendations included general strategies applicable to all patients and specific interventions tailored to the individual needs of patients with more specific symptoms.
The general recommendations emphasised the importance of patient education, multidisciplinary care, and a holistic approach. It was suggested that healthcare professionals provide patients with accurate information about Fibromyalgia, including its nature, course, and self-management strategies. Multidisciplinary care involving various healthcare providers, including physiotherapists, was also recommended to address the complex and diverse aspects of the condition.
Specific non-pharmacological interventions identified in the consensus included:
- Exercise therapy.
- Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT).
- Mindfulness-based interventions.
- Complementary approaches such as yoga and medical acupuncture.
Exercise therapy, particularly aerobic exercise and strength training, was considered a cornerstone of treatment for Fibromyalgia and can be effectively delivered by musculoskeletal physiotherapy specialists.
CBT was highlighted as an effective psychological intervention for managing pain, coping with symptoms, and improving overall functioning. Mindfulness-based interventions were suggested to enhance self-awareness and promote stress reduction. These complementary approaches were regarded as potential adjunctive therapies to alleviate symptoms and improve well-being.
The Delphi consensus process used in this paper allowed for integrating diverse perspectives from experts across different medical and allied health disciplines and regions, contributing to comprehensive recommendations for non-pharmacological interventions in fibromyalgia management.
The study provides evidence-based consensus recommendations for healthcare professionals in treating fibromyalgia patients, aiming to improve outcomes and quality of life for individuals living with this challenging condition.
If you are struggling with Fibromyalgia symptoms, please get in touch.
Kundakci, B., Hall, M., Atzeni, F., Branco, J., Buskila, D., Clauw, D., ... & Abhishek, A. (2022, December). International, multidisciplinary Delphi consensus recommendations on non-pharmacological interventions for fibromyalgia. In Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism (Vol. 57, p. 152101). WB Saunders.
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