There is a vast array of symptoms associated fibromyalgia. Medically treating such a vast array of symptoms can be challenging. Treating an individual with fibromyalgia is often a team effort between the primary medical doctor, a chiropractor, occupational and physical therapists, physiotherapists and psychiatrists, neurologists and pain specialists.
The treatment plan that medical professionals follow for fibromyalgia should have the goal of minimizing the symptoms and improving the overall health of the individual who has fibromyalgia.
Brain mapping is often used at the onset of the condition in order to understand where the areas of the brain are that are affected by the condition. Brain mapping is like giving the medical professionals a roadmap to the symptoms that the person is experiencing.
The treatment plan should cover all symptoms that are experienced and any unique associated medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, depression, or sleep disorders. The treatment plan should encompass the entire person (physical, emotional and mental) well being.
It is important for the patient to have an active role in establishing and managing the treatment plan. Keeping the doctor and other medical professional aware of the symptoms you are experiencing, any changes in symptoms as well as how you are managing your condition in terms of your emotional and mental state are all important bits of information that are vital to designing a treatment plan that is specific to your needs.
Ask your Doctor
Part of patient participation in designing the treatment plan is the ability of the patient to ask questions of the medical team. Receiving valid answers to these questions can steer medical staff in the right direction when it comes to being responsive to the needs of the patient.
Because the treatment plan is suppose to address the medical, emotional and mental needs of the patient addressing the questions asked can be a very important part of designing a treatment plan that will accomplish the goals of the plan (to minimize symptoms and facilitate an improved quality of life).
Questions the patient should ask of the medical team:
- How do I know my diagnosis is correct?
What medications will benefit my symptoms with a minimal amount of side effects and what if any are the risks associated with these medications?
What medications or supplements should I avoid while being treated for my fibromyalgia (OTCs)?
What types of exercises and physical activity can I participate in that won’t aggravate my symptoms?
What if any foods should I avoid that may aggravate my symptoms?
What foods can I consume that may improve my symptoms?
Are there any alternative methods that I can do that will avoid medications or surgery?
How do I explain to my family, friends and co-workers what fibromyalgia is and how they may be impacted by my condition?
How do I manage the stress I am feeling and will be encountering as I deal with fibromyalgia in the future?
Are there any local fibromyalgia support groups?