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5 Ways to Manage Fibromyalgia in Seniors

By Mary-Frances Walsh, 9:00 am on

Fibromyalgia is common in seniors and is characterized by muscle and joint pain, fatigue, and depression. According to WebMD, women are 10 times more likely to experience this condition than men. If your loved one has fibromyalgia, here is a list of 5 possible treatments, brought to you by the Santa Rosa home care experts at Home Care Assistance.

1. Yoga

A recent study published in the Journal of Pain Research revealed women who practiced yoga for 150 minutes a week could substantially reduce their pain levels. Yoga has also been shown to reduce the amount of cortisol in the blood, which can impact mood and feelings. Introductory yoga classes are a great option for seniors interested in a low-impact and safe form of exercise. 

2. 5-HTP

Seniors with fibromyalgia are often deficient in 5-HTP. This amino acid stimulates the production of the “feel-good” chemical known as serotonin. It can help relieve a number of fibromyalgia symptoms, including fatigue, general pain, anxiety, and stiff joints. 

3. Antidepressants

Much like 5-HTP, antidepressants trigger the production of vital chemicals and hormones. Antidepressants such as duloxetine and citalopram are currently the only FDA approved drugs for fibromyalgia. Before taking any antidepressants, seniors should first speak with their doctors to fully understand the side effects of these drugs. 

4. Acupuncture

This practice has been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of different medical issues ranging from insomnia to inflammation. Recently, researchers have discovered that acupuncture reduces several side effects of fibromyalgia. Short acupuncture sessions are almost painless when carried out by an experienced practitioner, and many insurance policies cover some or all of the costs for acupuncture. 

5. Manual Lymph Drainage

Massages are an excellent way to manage chronic pain, and manual lymph drainage seems to work well on seniors with fibromyalgia. During these treatments, the masseuses attempt to stimulate the lymph nodes to drain toxins. Traditional and manual lymph drainage massages may help alleviate symptoms like IBS, anxiety, and inflamed soft tissue.

In addition to fibromyalgia, there are a variety of other health conditions affecting seniors that require special care. At Home Care Assistance, our holistic approach to home care includes healthy meal preparation, regular exercise, and social stimulation activities to promote health and wellbeing in seniors. If you need help providing care for your loved one, call (707) 843.4368 and hire a reliable and dedicated live-in or respite caregiver in Santa Rosa.