Fibromyalgia is a chronic and relatively common condition that has a variety of symptoms, ranging from pain to sleeping difficulties to memory problems to stiffness. Patients who carry this diagnosis generally see a rheumatologist – a doctor who handles conditions that affect the joints or soft tissues in the body. Frequently these health care professionals recommend drugs to control symptoms. However, there is a wide range of alternative options that can be incorporated into treatment plans. Some people are even able to control it without any medications.
Alternative Treatment Options
If you have fibromyalgia, you may have been prescribed painkillers, antidepressants, or anti-seizure medications. If these solutions are not working for you, the following methods could be put into your plan.
- Physicality: Studies indicate that regular yoga practice of as little as 150 minutes a week can reduce pain levels. Similarly, two tai chi classes a week caused patients to demonstrate reduced levels of pain and depression.
- Supplements: 5-HTP and SAMe are natural amino acids that help the body produce more serotonin; they have been shown to reduce pain, anxiety, fatigue, and stiffness.
- Acupuncture: This treatment uses thin needles at meridian points to reduce pain and inflammation. Research has shown this to be effective for people suffering from fibromyalgia.
- Lymph Drainage: This form of massage increases flow of blood and lymph fluids through the body. These fluids help the body remove waste and toxins from the system.
- Diet: Including antioxidant rich foods and omega-3 fats into a patient’s diet plan can have an anti-inflammatory impact. Additionally, removing gluten from the diet is often recommended to reduce stress on the body.
- TENS: Often, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is employed to treat pain. Electrodes are placed on the skin and low-level electric impulses are delivered into the painful areas. This interferes with pain signals and prevents them from reaching the brain. Patients who have fibromyalgia frequently benefit from the use of these devices.
Research indicates that these methods can ease the symptoms of fibromyalgia. If your symptoms are not fully controlled, consider adding some of these methods to your treatment plan.