Are there any alternative treatments for fibromyalgia I should avoid?

Complementary therapies can be very beneficial for people with fibromyalgia (FM). These include: physical therapy, therapeutic massage, myofascial release therapy, water therapy, light aerobics, acupressure, application of heat or cold, acupuncture, yoga, relaxation exercises, breathing techniques, aromatherapy, cognitive behavior therapy, biofeedback, herbs, nutritional supplements and osteopathic or chiropractic manipulation.

One of the most important factors in improving the symptoms of FM is for the person to recognize the need for lifestyle adaptation. Most people are resistant to change because it implies adjustment, discomfort and effort. However, in the case of FM, change can bring about recognizable improvement in function and quality of life. Becoming educated about FM gives the person more potential for improvement.

An empathetic doctor who is knowledgeable about the diagnosis and treatment of FM and who will listen to and work with the person is an important component of treatment. It may be a family practitioner, an internist or a specialist (rheumatologist or neurologist, for example). Conventional medical intervention may be only part of a potential treatment program. Alternative treatments, nutrition, relaxation techniques and exercise play an important role in FM treatment as well. Each person should, with the input of a healthcare practitioner, establish a multifaceted and individualized approach that works for them.
Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner
Many people with fibromyalgia try alternative treatments for relief. If you are considering an alternative therapy for fibromyalgia, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can help you understand the risks and likely effectiveness of each therapy and may be able to recommend a practitioner. Be especially sure to talk to your doctor before trying any dietary supplements or herbal treatments. Some may cause serious side effects when mixed with certain medications.

Watch out for any diets that claim to treat fibromyalgia. There is no one diet that's been found to be effective for fibromyalgia.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)
Be wary of fibromyalgia "cures" you see advertised on the Internet. If it sounds too good to be true, it may be a scam. Be especially cautious when it comes to dietary supplements; they can have unwanted effects and may interfere with medicines you take. Talk to your doctor before trying any supplements for your fibromyalgia.

Some alternative approaches are probably safe to try and may (or may not) provide some relief. These include hypnotherapy, acupuncture, and biofeedback.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.