Alternative Treatments For Fibromyalgia

Alternative Treatments For Fibromyalgia

Recently Answered

  • 1 Answer
    A

    The effectiveness of magnet therapy as an additive treatment for fibromyalgia has been assessed in preliminary studies (including the use of magnetic sleep pads). Results of recent research suggest that magnetic fields may not be helpful for this condition. Better study is necessary before a firm conclusion can be drawn.

    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.



    For more information visit https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/

    Copyright © 2014 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.

  • 1 Answer
    A

    There is inconclusive evidence from preliminary research in this area. Additional study is needed before a firm conclusion can be drawn.

    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.



    For more information visit https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/

    Copyright © 2014 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.

  • 1 Answer
    A
    A Dawn Marcus, Neurology, answered
    If you have fibromyalgia, consider adding massage to your treatment program when you're pregnant. This soothing therapy provides modest benefits for fibromyalgia and is best used along with other effective nondrug treatments, such as exercise and behavioral therapies. Studies suggest that once- or twice-weekly massage therapy is optimal for pregnant women with fibromyalgia.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A Dawn Marcus, Neurology, answered
    Relaxation techniques can help reduce pain levels and other symptoms of fibromyalgia. They are most helpful when combined with other pain management techniques, such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

    When you are learning a new relaxation technique, sit in a comfortable chair in a quiet room. Don't cross your arms or legs, and make sure your feet are resting flat on the floor. Close your eyes and begin the exercises. While you are first learning these techniques, practice them once or twice a day for 15-20 minutes, hopefully at a time when your symptoms are mild. Once you have regularly practiced and mastered the techniques, you will be able to achieve deeper states of relaxation during your 15-20-minute sessions. You also will be able to practice mini-relaxation sessions whenever you feel an increase in stress, anxiety, or pain.

    As with any skill, you will need to practice for a while before you feel comfortable with the exercises, and they are consistently helpful when your stress or pain levels are high. Working with a behavioral psychologist can help you master these skills.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A Dawn Marcus, Neurology, answered
    When we have fibromyalgia pain, we often talk about it and moan, grimace, or move our bodies differently. When other people see and hear us, they respond to our pain behaviors. Sometimes, these responses can encourage you to do things that won't really help your symptoms. For example, some people may talk about how bad their own pain is, or encourage you to take extra pain pills, go to bed, or call the doctor. People may also add to your negative thinking by saying such things as, "Your fibromyalgia always interferes with our fun," or, "Every time we try to do something, fibromyalgia gets in the way." Conditioning behavioral therapy trains you to avoid displaying as many pain behaviors. For example:
    • Pay attention to how much you talk about your pain with others and try to shift conversations to more positive topics.
    • Watch how you move and walk when your symptoms are bothering you, and try to move more normally.
    • Catch yourself when you hear yourself moaning or groaning as you move.
    Conditioning behavioral therapy also trains others to encourage you in doing the things your doctor has recommended. Positive behaviors could include:
    • Tell your family and friends, "Let's not talk about my pain. What's new with you?"
    • Let them know that you need encouragement to be active, and request that they suggest activities that keep you moving.
    • Remind family and friends that you want to keep up with your chores, so that they'd don't jump in and finish them for you.
    • Ask them to suggest fun activities to help distract you from your symptoms.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A Dawn Marcus, Neurology, answered
    The most effective psychological treatments for fibromyalgia are cognitive behavioral therapy and conditioning behavioral therapy (also called operant behavioral therapy). Cognitive behavioral therapy changes the way you think about fibromyalgia. It helps you reduce negative thoughts that can make your symptoms worse. Conditioning behavioral therapy can change how you react to pain by helping you reduce behaviors that may increase your pain.

    Cognitive behavioral and conditioning behavioral therapies are among the most effective fibromyalgia treatments. For example, in one well-designed study, 125 people with fibromyalgia were randomly assigned to treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy, conditioning behavioral therapy, or to a control group that received no skills training. Skills were taught in groups of five patients, seen for two-hour sessions once a week for 15 weeks. The control group received general education without any specific training. One year after treatment, people getting either treatment improved more than the control group. In addition:
    • Pain levels dropped by at least half in 45% of those treated with cognitive behavioral therapy and 54% of those who received conditioning behavioral therapy, but in only 5% of the control group.
    • Disability decreased by at least half for 38% treated with cognitive behavioral therapy and for 58% with conditioning behavioral therapy, but for only 8% of the control group.
    • The number of physician visits dropped by 17% after cognitive behavioral therapy and by 56% with conditioning behavioral therapy. In contrast, visits increased by 39% in the control group.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A Dawn Marcus, Neurology, answered
    When people think about working with a psychologist, they often think of psychotherapy, which is sometimes called talk therapy. Psychotherapy focuses on understanding conflicts and problems that contribute to emotional distress -- it enables you to understand why you feel depressed or anxious. Openly sharing your difficulties with a therapist can be a good way to develop insights into personal issues and take an important first step toward recovery. However, this is not what we mean when we discuss using behavioral therapy to help manage fibromyalgia.

    Instead of focusing on understanding the root of a problem, behavioral therapy focuses on changing your behavior to relieve your symptoms. This therapy focuses on learning techniques that can reduce your symptoms, rather than the reasons for your distress. Behavioral therapy skills are among the most effective techniques for reducing a wide range of chronic pain conditions, including fibromyalgia, migraine, and others.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A Dawn Marcus, Neurology, answered
    Nondrug treatments for fibromyalgia, such as behavioral therapies, relaxation, and stress management, are real, biologically based therapies that help change the way the brain experiences, interprets, and sends pain messages. They help you learn to use the power of your brain to change the way it interprets and responds to different nerve signals and blocks pain messages.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A Dawn Marcus, 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.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A Dawn Marcus, Neurology, answered
    Limited research has been done evaluating the benefits of different types of massage for people with fibromyalgia. Each of the massage techniques found to be helpful and that are described below are administered by trained physical therapists.
    • Manual lymph drainage: For this massage, the therapist applies gentle, rhythmic pressure to different parts of the body to massage the lymph vessels, which helps push fluid though the lymph system.
    • Connective tissue massage: Connective tissues are the body's support network that hold all the organs and the body together. For this massage, the therapist stretches connective tissue close to the skin to reduce tension in the autonomic nervous system, which improves circulation, muscle relaxation, and mobility.
    • Myofascial release: "Myo" is the medical term for muscles, and "fascia" are tissues covering muscles. For this massage, the therapist massages and stretches muscles and fascia to reduce muscle tension. These techniques are designed to relax muscles, increase lymph drainage, and improve circulation.
    Potential benefits from other types of massage have not been tested in fibromyalgia patients.