As with many chronic pain disorders, fibromyalgia can be fairly difficult for physicians to treat. Effectively treating the condition typically requires a team approach that includes a doctor, a physical therapist and possibly other healthcare professionals. Additionally, there are pain clinics that specialize in providing pain relief to patients who are suffering from the condition.
Researchers estimate that the medical condition affects more than five million American adults, the majority of which are women.1 Even though symptoms are typically seen in middle-aged individuals, they can also appear earlier in life in patients with the condition. Besides pain, symptoms of fibromyalgia also include joint stiffness, difficulty sleeping, bowel and bladder abnormalities, and cognitive dysfunction.
Another report concluded that women with fibromyalgia who undergo hyperbaric oxygen treatments can drastically reduce — in some cases even eliminate — pain medications following therapy that exposes patients to pure oxygen at higher-than-atmospheric pressures.
Some even believe staying physically fit can reduce pain levels in patients — particularly women — with fibromyalgia. A higher level of physical fitness is associated with lower levels of pain and pain-related catastrophizing, and higher chronic pain self-efficacy in women with fibromyalgia, according to a study published in Arthritis Care & Research.