What is fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a rheumatic pathology that is still poorly understood and recently discovered in 1977 by two Canadian authors, Smythe and Moldofsky.

The existence of chronic pain states, without an identified cause, has however been known for a long time.

This syndrome combines chronic diffuse pain, often intense fatigue and sleep disorders. Other manifestations may be variably associated.

The clinical examination inconstantly identifies painful points on pressure.

These manifestations have to date no pathophysiological explanations and are not accompanied by biological abnormalities.

This syndrome mainly affects women between the ages of 30 and 50.

Many works have been devoted to it since its description in 1977. Since 2006, fibromyalgia has been identified as an autonomous entity in the International Classification of Diseases – 10th revision (ICD10) of the World Health Organization (WHO)

Chronic pain is the main symptom. It is singular: diffuse, persistent, variable. “The pain, which is always extensive and diffuse, can start in the neck and shoulders, then spread to the rest of the body, in particular the back, chest, arms and legs. It is permanent but aggravated by effort, cold, humidity, emotions and lack of sleep, and is accompanied by morning stiffness.

At the level of these diffuse pains, some authors consider that the pains must extend to at least 11 localizations out of the 18 classically affected to retain the diagnosis.

Pain, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, attention disorders, fatigue lead to difficulties in activities of daily living.

Family and social repercussions, with difficulties in maintaining employment, withdrawal, isolation and reduced quality of life have been reported by patients.

The report of the National Academy of Medicine recalls that the intense and/or prolonged painful states or the wandering of patients in the care system often end up leading to depressive reactions, and that chronic pain patients, when they are evaluated by the depression scales, are rated at a pathological level. The disorders expressed by people with fibromyalgia syndrome (fatigue, sleep disorders, headache, cognitive slowing) evoke the symptoms of a depressive syndrome

Fibromyalgia care

Fibromyalgia syndrome is not a disease on the list of long-term conditions (ALD), although patients diagnosed with "fibromyalgia" are listed under various categories that are impossible to identify in the current information system.

The general practitioner is on the front line. However, in France, there are no recommendations for good professional practice concerning the diagnosis, the definition of the modalities for the management of fibromyalgia syndrome, the indications for non-drug and drug treatments, the evaluation of their effects, whereas the context of the emergence of the fibromyalgia syndrome, the interests of multiple actors (health professionals, patients, pharmaceutical industry in particular), the recognition of the syndrome by the WHO have allowed since the end of the 90s the development and dissemination of consensus overseas professionals.

Drug prescription

Patients with fibromyalgia syndrome have a prescription from a general practitioner in more than 80% of cases

Whatever the data sources, we note that the therapeutic classes most prescribed by general practitioners and other specialists (particularly private rheumatologists) are in order of frequency: first analgesics and antidepressants, then antiepileptics and anxiolytics-hypnotics

Non-Drug Prescribing: A Holistic Approach

Non-drug treatments are to be addressed as a priority and are of fundamental importance in the treatment of fibromyalgia. It is a multidisciplinary care that the patient must put in place on his own.

Even if psychological support is one of the pillars of fibromyalgia care,

Sophrology, hypnosis, relaxation, yoga ... can greatly contribute to non-drug management of the anxiety-depressive syndromes of fibromyalgia and are therefore of great interest in the overall approach to treatment.


Sometimes there is a need for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which will allow the brain to better process and process the pain and altered messages it receives.

CBTs have shown their effectiveness in terms of pain, function, fatigue and mood.

The best responses were observed in patients with high levels of stress and disability and also in those suffering for a shorter time.

Place of spa treatment in the management of fibromyalgia at the thermal baths of Saubusse

For patients with fibromyalgia, the Saubusse spa offers two levels of care: classic rheumatologically oriented cure care which has a proven beneficial effect on fibromyalgia pathology, but also a special fibromyalgia program with more specific care. of this pathology.

The Classic Fibromyalgia "Rheumatology Orientation" Care Program

The rheumatology-oriented spa treatment is a natural alternative that has demonstrated its effectiveness in the management of fibromyalgia.

True global care for 3 weeks, the Saubusse spa is a relaxing place allowing spa guests to discuss their own experiences and feelings while benefiting from the benefits of mineral thermal water drawn from Saubusse.

Slowly, patients manage to move on and no longer feel isolated in this daily struggle.

The Saubusse thermal cure, through its multidisciplinary care based on the many virtues of the thermal waters of Saubusse (soothing, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, relaxing), allows spa guests to improve their quality of life.

We will distinguish:

  • Des soins à base de boue thermale (pélothérapie). Sous forme de cataplasmes, directement sur la peau ou en bain, la boue thermale est utilisée pour réduire les douleurs articulaires et décontracter les muscles.


  • Des soins à base d’eau thermale (hydrothérapie). Ses eaux ont des vertus antalgiques qui aident à soulager les douleurs articulaires, à réduire le stress et l’anxiété. On le retrouvera sous forme de bains, piscine, douche locale, douche aux jets et massages.

The special fibromyalgia program in Saubusse

There is also a special Fibromyalgia program in the Saubusse spa resort which can occur in addition to a cure in Rheumatology.

This special Fibromyalgia program includes:



The long infrared rays have an anti-pain action thanks to a mechanism of evacuation of toxins on contact. The tendons and the connective tissues are warmed up to the deep tissues which participates in a local anti-inflammatory action.

Long infrared rays can also have a slimming effect by reducing fat mass and overweight.

6 sessions of HUBER 360:


The Huber 360 multi-axis platform contributes to the toning of the deep muscles thanks to personalized vibratory and oscillatory movements.


6 sessions of SATISFORM:


The satisform table is an oscillation table, and pull-ups for preventive and curative purposes with proven results in fibromyalgia pathology (fight against stiffness, gentle mobilizations, gain in amplitudes, etc.)

The benefits of thermal medicine on patients with fibromyalgia are now clearly demonstrated in the medical field.

The global and multidisciplinary management (physiotherapy massages, hydrojets, local mud illutations, mobilization in the swimming pool, etc.) as well as more specific treatments (infrared dome, Huber 360, Satisform oscillating table) of the Saubusse spa treatment not only allows a reduction in the intensity of pain but also in a decrease in the state of stress and anxiety. The patient will also find a better quality of his sleep while reducing the intake of hypnotics, analgesics and anxiolytics.

Here is a video of spa treatment benefits for fibromyalgia patients :

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