What is involved in patient education for fibromyalgia?

Updated: Nov 14, 2018
  • Author: Chad S Boomershine, MD, PhD, CPI, CPT; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Education is an essential element in fibromyalgia management. It begins with an empathetic manner on the part of the physician, who must affirm the patient's pain, explore social and behavioral variables (both in childhood and current) that influence the illness, and explain to the patient how stress and distress can amplify the severity of symptoms. Scheduling time to provide this education at early visits can save time in subsequent visits.

The patient should be encouraged to foster self-efficacy, and healthcare providers should work to diminish dependence over time. Providers can help by teaching patients about the following:

  • Identifying triggers of flare-ups, so as to avoid and manage them

  • Sleep hygiene

  • Diet

  • Physical activity recommendations including stretching, resistance, and aerobic activity


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