Proven treatments for JPFS are education about the disease and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Other medication treatments that are proven to work in adults with fibromyalgia are frequently used with success in children, but clinical trials to study the effect of these medicines in children with JPFS are only just beginning.
CBT is a program that helps children learn to decrease their experience of pain by helping them to understand their triggers for pain and how to prevent them. CBT also helps to educate patients on how to respond or cope with their pain. Techniques include relaxation, imagery, positive thinking, and pacing. CBT is best learned from a trained psychologist.
Exercise is an important part of treatment in JPFS and has proven quite successful in clinical trials in adults. The most effective exercise is aerobic exercise, meaning any exercise in which the heart rate is increased. Examples include walking, biking, swimming, running, elliptical trainer, rowing or the stair stepper. Some sports like basketball, soccer, and track provide enough aerobic exercise. Other sports such as baseball, softball and volleyball are not as effective.
Medications that have been shown to help adults with fibromyalgia include amitriptyline (Elavil), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), fluoxetine (Prozac), and venlafaxine (Effexor). Only recently has the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medications for the treatment of adult fibromyalgia. These medicines include: duloxetine (Cymbalta), milnacipran (Savella), and pregabalin (Lyrica). These medications work by changing chemical signaling by the nerves. Clinical drug trials are underway to test the use of these drugs in JPFS. Some of these drugs are also used to treat depression and anxiety. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Aleve) have not been proven effective in the long-term treatment of fibromyalgia but may provide temporary pain relief.
See also: Fibromyalgia Treatments