Support for Fibromyalgia

At NYU Langone, our doctors offer continued support to help you cope with the chronic pain, problems with sleep, and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia.

Your doctor may suggest regular follow-up appointments every few months to monitor your progress and see how you are adjusting to medications and other recommended treatments.

If you have just started treatment for fibromyalgia, your doctor may want to see you more often; it may take a while to find the right medication, and the dosage may need adjustment. Follow-up appointments also give you the chance to talk with your doctor about new or changing symptoms.

There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but most people can manage painful symptoms through a combination of medications, lifestyle modifications, and physical and pain management therapies. Women with fibromyalgia may receive medical and wellness services at NYU Langone’s Initiative for Women with Disabilities at the Elly and Steve Hammerman Health and Wellness Center.

NYU Langone offers several types of services that can help you to feel better.

Physical Therapy

Symptoms of fibromyalgia can make it difficult to stay active, resulting in stiffness and loss of muscle strength and tone. Physical therapists at NYU Langone can help you to strengthen muscles and improve your endurance.

Our physical therapists are trained in a variety of techniques, including soft-tissue massage and electrical stimulation. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, in which small waves of electricity are applied to painful muscles through electrodes placed on the skin, interrupts pain messages sent from the nerves to the brain.

Another technique known as neuromuscular stimulation helps to identify and treat muscle groups that are dysfunctional and contributing to pain. Massage therapy can also be used for this purpose.

Often, people with fibromyalgia move in a way that favors one set of muscles at the expense of other muscles. One goal of therapy, therefore, is to lessen pain by reintegrating the proper use of muscles. NYU Langone specialists can create a therapeutic exercise program for you and offer guidance on how to perform daily activities without pain.

Pain Management

Pain management specialists at NYU Langone’s Hospital For Joint Diseases are experienced in techniques that can help you cope with chronic pain. The ultimate goal is that you manage symptoms while reducing your reliance on medication.

Our specialists may use relaxation techniques that can help you manage chronic pain, such as hypnotherapy or guided meditation, during an office visit. They can also teach you how to use these techniques on your own.

Biofeedback therapy is another technique our doctors use. During therapy sessions, sensors are attached to the parts of your body where you feel the most pain. These sensors are connected to a computer that measures your skin temperature, heart rate, respiration rate, muscle contractions, and perspiration.

These physical readings can provide clues on your response to pain and which bodily systems and muscles are being overused or underused. You can then be taught specific physical exercises and mental focusing techniques to change these patterns. Over time, these adjustments can help you to control symptoms.

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