What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain throughout the body. The severity of the disorder can vary between individuals, but most experience pain in their muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The pain is a deep muscular pain that is sometimes described as “throbbing” or “pounding.” Many people with this condition also suffer from fatigue, poor sleep patterns, or other symptoms that can vary between individuals. Women are more likely to have fibromyalgia than men and although it can happen at any age, it’s most common in older adults.
Why Fibromyalgia Pain is Different
The pain that comes from fibromyalgia is not like the pain that comes from a fall or cut. A pain that comes from an injury is the result of a response from healthy nerves. Chronic fibromyalgia pain is neuropathic and involves damaged nerves. Medications that might work for pain from an injury will not work the same for treating symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Oral medications that work on nerve signals and make it easier to sleep are usually tried first. Many of the medications that are usually taken orally can also be made into topical medications at a compounding pharmacy. A fibromyalgia pain cream or gel is used alone or in combination with oral medication to effectively reduce chronic pain and other symptoms of fibromyalgia. The use of a cream or gel to administer medication for pain has multiple benefits, and often patients prefer using medication this way.
Benefits of Using a Fibromyalgia Pain Cream or Gel
- Less systemic effects. Medicated creams and gels can be effective at managing pain locally.
- Can be useful for specific areas of particularly strong pain.
- Fewer side effects than medications taken orally.
- Interactions with other drugs are reduced.
- Good for patients who have difficulty swallowing a pill.
- Topical treatment is often especially useful for older patients who may already be taking multiple oral medications.
Examples of Topical Medications for Fibromyalgia
Gabapentin (Anticonvulsant/Analgesic): Gabapentin was originally developed to treat epilepsy and works by limiting pain communication signals by nerves.
Cyclobenzoprine (Muscle Relaxant): Cyclobenzoprine is a muscle relaxant that works by stopping pain signals sent by muscles to the brain.
A fibromyalgia pain cream or gel can be a great way to get relief from chronic pain. At a compounding pharmacy they can be made in multiple strengths based on each patient’s unique needs. These medications are part of a comprehensive plan for managing fibromyalgia symptoms. In addition to medications it is usually suggested that patients include exercise, a nutritional plan, and stress relief as part of managing their condition.