What is the role of psychotherapies in the treatment of nonarticular rheumatism/regional pain syndromes?

Updated: Apr 04, 2018
  • Author: T P Sudha Rao, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Other treatment modalities may include the following:

  • Psychotherapy: Fibromyalgia and all chronic tendonitis-bursitis disorders (tension-myalgia syndromes) may be conditions in which patients substitute physical pain for emotional pain, as advocated in the book by John Sarno, MD, The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain. Nancy Selfridge, MD, and Franklynn Peterson wrote Freedom from Fibromyalgia: The 5-Week Program Proven to Conquer Pain, a book using Dr. Sarno's and other techniques that some patients have found helpful.
  • Stress management: In one study, 10 of 15 patients responded to a 14-week cognitive-behavioral and relaxation-training intervention; however, none remained improved after a 4-year follow-up. [40] Stress reduction combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy may be helpful. [46]
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) has been found to be useful in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). [47] Because the pathophysiology of fibromyalgia is similar to that of PTSD [48] , some practitioners have been using EMDR with anecdotal success.

  • Meditation has been shown to be helpful. [49] Recommended is a mindfulness meditation program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness. [50]

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