The Fibromyalgia Fix

By James Keough

Relieving the chronic pain of fibromyalgia may have gotten a little easier, thanks to a study comparing the efficacy of four common self-help approaches: aerobic and flexibility exercises; strength training along with aerobics and stretching; the Fibromyalgia Self-Help Course (topics include managing fatigue, pain, sleep, stress, and emotional issues such as worry, frustration, depression, and loss); and a combination of all four. Each of the exercise regimens—which consisted of increasingly strenuous twice-a-week group sessions and a third at-home workout—produced positive results, but the all-four combo proved the hands-down winner.

That’s welcome news because the first FDA-approved drug for fibromyalgia, Lyrica, has caused concern ever since it hit the market last year. The drug binds to nerve receptors, thus dampening activity in the central nervous system. A few of the side effects? Severe weight gain, edema, and dizziness.