Tags: Arthritis | arthritis | pain | meds | control | fibromyalgia

How Should I Control My Arthritis Pain?

By    |   Friday, 28 March 2014 05:31 PM

Question: I have osteoarthritis of the spine (caused from whiplash when I was 25 years old) and fibromyalgia. I've always been active and am a dance teacher. I'm 76 years old and healthy, except for these terrible flares. Any suggestions on what I can do?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:

Neck pain and fibromyalgia can be uncomfortable at any age. Osteoarthritis does not cause fibromyalgia. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative process that is worse in some than others. Fibromyalgia is a catch-all diagnosis and its symptoms and be associated with cancer and underlying medical disorders.

Your selection of treatments at the age of 76 will depend on your medical evaluation. In particular, we want to know why your fibromyalgia started late in life. Be sure underlying conditions have been evaluated for by your primary care physician or internist, and ask for a referral to a rheumatologist to review treatment options that would best suit you.

While over-the-counter painkillers may be helpful for some, others may need more or less aggressive management depending upon your existing health and frequency of flare-ups. You will likely benefit from an integrated approach that includes prescription medication, behavioral intervention, aerobic exercise, and perhaps consideration for CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy).

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Arthritis and fibromyalgia can be uncomfortable at any age but treatment will depend on the underlying causes.
Friday, 28 March 2014 05:31 PM
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