Better Pain Management Critical for Fibromyalgia Patients, Doctors Say

Better Pain Management Critical for Fibromyalgia Patients, Doctors Say
The nature of the pain experienced by patients with fibromyalgia, how to treat it, and the importance of exercise and tailored patient care were the focus of two talks at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR)/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP) Annual Meeting, in Washington, D.C. In his presentation, Daniel J. Clauw, MD, a rheumatologist and professor of anesthesiology and medicine and director of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan, focused on the nature of pain and how clinicians can help patients. Three pain categories were emphasized during his talk: peripheral pain, peripheral neuropathy, and centralized pain. "Fibromyalgia is the poster child for this third category of pain," Clauw said, according to a news release. However, disagreement still exists among the medical community about how to name and categorize centralized pain. But Clauw said that clinicians should be focused on evaluating patients individually, instead of categorizing their disease state. "You find evidence of peripheral pain, you treat that," Clauw said. "If you find evidence of neuropathic pain, you treat that. Then find the evidence of centralized pain and treat that." "Instead of thinking of it as one disease, think about the factors that impact individual patients — sleep disorder, fatigue, various kinds of pain, depression, trouble concentrating," he added. “It is also important to remember that fibromyalgia may be the
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