Expert: Nondrug Therapies May Be Most Effective Treatments for Fibro Pain

PALM SPRINGS, CALIF.—Given that fibromyalgia pain stems primarily from the central nervous system (CNS), nonpharmacologic therapies may provide greater benefits than opioids and narcotic analgesics, according to a presenter at the 2015 American Pain Society Annual Scientific Meeting…

The condition is believed to be associated with how the brain processes pain and other sensory information, so opioids and narcotic analgesics are usually not effective because they do not reduce the neurotransmitter activity in the brain, according to Dr. Clauw.

“These drugs have never been shown to be effective in fibromyalgia patients, and there is evidence that opioids might even worsen fibromyalgia and other centralized pain states,” he said.

Dr. Clauw recommended a combination of pharmacologic treatments (e.g., gabapentinoids, tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and nonpharmacologic approaches (e.g., cognitive-behavioral therapy, exercise and stress reduction).

“Sometimes the magnitude of treatment response for simple and inexpensive nondrug therapies exceeds that for pharmaceuticals,” said Dr. Clauw. “The greatest benefit is improved function, which should be the main treatment goal for any chronic pain condition. The majority of patients with fibromyalgia can see improvement in their symptoms and lead normal lives with the right medications and extensive use of non drug therapies.”

The greatest benefit is improved function?  Shouldn’t the greatest benefit be a reduction in pain, which leads to improved function?

Opioids have never been show to effectively manage fibro?  Has it been shown that the “right” medications to treat fibro are antidepressants?  And this guy is supposed to be an “expert”?

No mention of cannabis?  So the only choices for fibro patients are antidepressants or nothing?

4 thoughts on “Expert: Nondrug Therapies May Be Most Effective Treatments for Fibro Pain

  1. I’m always amazed that some people really do get relief from the drugs mentioned because they do nothing but create horrible side effects for me.

    We’re all just so darn different it looks to me like we should be allowed to choose whatever,works best for us. But the paternalistic medical industry doesn’t operate on letting patients choose their care – it’s something dictated from up above, and that’s causing people with pain disorders horrible problems.

    Liked by 1 person

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