Chronic pain is a key symptom in fibromyalgia (FM), and its management is still challenging for rheumatologists in daily practice. FM patients show psychological and psychiatric manifestations, going from mood and emotional disorders to depression and alexithymia that negatively impact their quality of life, limiting their daily activities. Since pharmacological strategies have a limited efficacy in FM pain, alternative or complementary non-pharmacological approaches have been introduced in the clinical management of FM.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
This is a retrospective study on FM patients (n=52) treated with a novel integrated postural counseling (PC) rehabilitation program carried out by a counselor physiotherapist.
The clinical impact of PC was evaluated by 1) a semi-structured interview using an ad hoc modified questionnaire McGill Illness Narrative Interview (MINI) 1 to obtain data on pain management by highlighting everyday experience of living with pain and 2) an FM impact questionnaire (FIQ) total score.
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Two main structures of narrative emplotment of FM illness were recognized: 1) the cumulative life narrative structure (46.15%) and 2) the broken life (53.85%) narrative structure. Baseline FIQ score was 77.38±7.77, and it was significantly reduced after PC to 39.12±13.27 (P<0.0001).
Although well-being still requires further definition as outcome in pain management, it is important for FM patients, dealing with pain-related sensations, thoughts and feelings and limiting their daily activities. In our study, 87.5% of interviewed FM patients reported an improvement in their well-being after PC.
Our data suggest that an integrated PC program positively impacts chronic pain and fatigue based on self-management strategies. PC allows FM patients to resume their own life and regenerate their own image. Finally, we propose the introduction of the evaluation of the ability to resume daily activities as the target of rehabilitation programs in FM.
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Source: Galvani C, Caramaschi P, Mura P, Paladini A, Piroli A, Arnaudo E, De Franceschi L, Evangelista M, Pari A, Ongaro G, Finco G, Ciannameo A, Carletto A, Varrassi G, Biasi D. Postural counseling represents a novel option in pain management of fibromyalgia patients. J Pain Res. 2019 Jan 11;12:327-337. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S164714. eCollection 2019.