Alternative Treatments For Fibromyalgia

Alternative Treatments For Fibromyalgia

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    Myofascial release therapy can be an effective treatment for fibromyalgia symptoms. It has been shown to be especially effective in reducing pain at tender points, which are a set of exceptionally sensitive spots on the body of a person with fibromyalgia. Research studies have shown that myofascial release therapy has improved physical function and lowered pain levels in people with fibromyalgia symptoms.

    If you are interested in trying myofascial release therapy to treat your fibromyalgia symptoms, talk with your doctor.
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    Hypnosis is an alternative therapy that may be used to help treat fibromyalgia symptoms. A hypnotic procedure uses a state of deep relaxation to promote changes in experiences, perceptions, sensations, or emotions, although researchers are still not sure how hypnosis works. Some people with fibromyalgia find alternative therapies effective for fibromyalgia pain or other symptom relief. Talk with your doctor about the benefits of various alternative therapies for fibromyalgia.
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    Relaxation therapy may help to reduce pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia. There are many different forms of relaxation therapy. Some examples include meditation, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, and self-hypnosis. A common goal of these techniques is to ease emotional stress, which can worsen fibromyalgia symptoms. Relaxation therapy brings on a feeling of calmness, which has other benefits, such as lower blood pressure.
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    Mind-body remedies have not been well studied for treating fibromyalgia, but some research suggests they can help. For example, a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that about half of women with fibromyalgia who learned a mind-body technique called affective self-awareness reported a 30% reduction in their pain severity after six months. Limited evidence suggests that other mind-body therapies, such as biofeedback and hypnotherapy, may help relieve fibromyalgia symptoms, too.
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    One alternative treatment for pain in specific body parts is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). By stimulating the nerves through the skin, TENS may interfere with the transmission of pain signals to the brain and thereby decrease pain in the area being treated (not your whole body). TENS is not painful and is considered safe. Talk with your doctor if you are interested in trying any alternative therapy for your fibromyalgia.
     
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    Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) uses a small device to send electrical pulses through the skin to the nerves. It's thought that these signals may interfere with the transmission of pain signals to the brain and thereby decrease pain in the specific areas treated. Electrodes are taped to your skin where you are experiencing pain. This stimulation does not hurt but may cause a not-unpleasant tingling sensation.

    If you are interested in trying TENS for your fibromyalgia pain, talk with your doctor. Keep in mind that TENS is intended to treat localized pain and likely won't work for all-over pain.
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    It's not clear what benefits you may gain from chiropractic treatment for fibromyalgia. Chiropractors practice a therapy that involves manipulating or adjusting the spine as a way to treat symptoms of various medical conditions. Some people with fibromyalgia find chiropractic therapy to be beneficial. Yet there is too little data from well-designed research studies to say whether chiropractic treatment is generally effective for treating fibromyalgia symptoms. If you are interested in learning about complementary and alternative therapies to help you manage fibromyalgia, talk with your doctor.
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    A , Alternative & Complementary Medicine, answered

    Yes. Spinal manipulation can, at times, make fibromyalgia pain worse. However, that does not exclude chiropractic treatment from these patients. Rather, if you suffer from fibromyalgia, are treated with spinal manipulation by a chiropractor, and feel worse, communicate openly and honestly with him or her. Quite often, this tells the chiropractor to modify the approach. 

    Thankfully, having increased fibromyalgia pain after spinal manipulation is not a permanent or irreversible problem. Bottom line, even though spinal manipulation may aggravate fibromyalgia, it is transient symptom and will give the chiropractor information about how your body handles neurologic inputs.

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    Massage is among the most popular alternative treatments that people with fibromyalgia try. Experts suspect that massage may help to ease pain and other fibromyalgia symptoms by increasing blood circulation and stimulating nerves.

    Certain types of massage therapy may be especially helpful for people with fibromyalgia. For example, trigger point massage focuses on muscle “knots” that may be tender and painful. Another massage technique, called myofascial release, may also benefit people with fibromyalgia. In this treatment, the massage therapist stretches tense, contracted muscles to help them “release” or relax.
     
    If you decide to try massage therapy, tell your therapist if you have fibromyalgia. He or she should apply low pressure and use a gentle touch until you know how your muscles will respond.
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    A , Neurology, answered
    Nondrug treatments are among the most effective therapies for fibromyalgia, and often several are combined -- you might find that you get the best results by using two or three nondrug therapies, or possibly a combination of several nondrug treatments, a prescription medication, and a nutritional supplement.

    Nondrug therapies don't involve taking medication; they change the physiology of brain chemicals and target the muscles, joints, and soft tissues. The changes in brain chemicals produced by using nondrug methods such as relaxation techniques are the same type of changes that you might achieve by taking pain-relieving drugs. The most obvious advantage is that you don't have to worry about medication side effects.

    Nondrug treatments can be divided into two categories:
    1. Physical treatments such as aerobic exercise.
    2. Behavioral treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy.