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Fibromyalgia Pain Relief

Finding What Works for You

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Updated August 16, 2010

Adam Crowley/Getty Images
Adam Crowley/Getty Images

Fibromyalgia Pain Relief

For people with fibromyalgia, pain relief is generally a top priority. Our pain limits what we can do, lowers our quality of life, and can make us desperate for effective treatments.

Because fibromyalgia varies greatly from one person to another, so far there's no single treatment that works well for everyone. Studies show that we get the best results when we combine multiple kinds of treatments, which can include:

  • Prescription medications: A handful of drugs are FDA approved for treating fibromyalgia, and doctors prescribe dozens more off-label. Read more about fibromyalgia drugs.

  • Complementary & alternative treatments: Acupuncture, several types of massage and other bodywork, chiropractic, hypnotherapy, biofeedback, and cognitive behavioral therapy all help provide fibromyalgia pain relief for some people. Read more about complementary/alternative treatments.

  • Nutritional supplements: Limited scientific evidence shows supplements to be effective against fibromyalgia pain and other symptoms, but many people report significant success with them. Read more about supplements.

  • Regulating brain chemistry: A lot of fibromyalgia treatments are aimed at correcting abnormal brain chemistry (also called neurotransmitter dysregulation.) Knowing the symptoms linked to different neurotransmitters can help you identify which treatments may be right for you. Read more about brain chemistry.

  • Dietary changes: Many people are able to ease their fibromyalgia symptoms through changes to their diet. That can include identifying food sensitivities, which are common in people with fibromyalgia. Read more about dietary changes.

  • Gentle, moderate exercises: While exercise may seem impossible at times, consistent exercise can help ease symptoms and keep you functional when approached correctly. Read more about exercise.

  • Sleep problems: Sleep disorders and irregularities are extremely common in fibromyalgia, and improving sleep quality and duration can lead to pain relief. Read more about sleep problems.

  • Experimental protocols: While researching online, you'll likely come across several experimental protocols, which are treatment protocols that are not scientifically proven. Some are developed by doctors or researchers, while others were designed by people with no medical training whatsoever. It pays to thoroughly research these protocols before you try them. Read about some experimental protocols..

Expect to spend some time experimenting with different treatments before you find a regimen that works for you. While the trial-and-error process can be difficult, time consuming and expensive, it's generally necessary for finding what's effective.

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