Skip to content

Fibromyalgia Health Center

Alternative Therapies for Fibromyalgia

Font Size
A
A
A

At some point during your fibromyalgia treatment, you may decide to try a complementary or alternative fibromyalgia treatment. Herbal remedies and dietary supplements are some of the many complementary and alternative treatments people use to try to relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Herbs and supplements as fibromyalgia treatments may not work for everyone, although some people find them effective. If you decide to try an herb or supplement as a fibromyalgia treatment, be sure to talk with your doctor first to make sure it’s safe for you. Even though they're often labeled as "natural" products, herbs and supplements can cause serious side effects and interact with other drugs you may already be taking. Unlike drugs, herbs and supplements don’t have to receive FDA approval for safety or effectiveness before they can be sold. In addition to talking with your doctor, it’s important to learn as much as you can about any alternative therapy before using one.

Recommended Related to Fibromyalgia

Savella for Fibromyalgia Treatment

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition. It can cause a range of troubling symptoms, from pain to fatigue. In the past, few options were available to manage this condition. Now, new medications such as Savella (milnacipran HCI) are providing renewed hope. Savella is the third medication approved to help manage fibromyalgia.

Read the Savella for Fibromyalgia Treatment article > >

Although studies about the effectiveness of herbs and supplements are limited and overall evidence has been inconclusive, researchers are beginning to research them more. Some small studies have been promising, but many study results have been mixed. In most cases, larger and controlled studies are needed.

Research is ongoing, but here are just a few of the herbs and supplements that people have tried to relieve fibromyalgia symptoms:

Anthocyanidin. This supplement is a type of flavonoid found in red-blue fruits like red cherries, blueberries, raspberries, and purple grapes that has been used to treat other types of chronic diseases. In one small study of people with fibromyalgia, researchers found that anthocyanidins helped improve participants’ quality of sleep. Researchers found no improvement in the patients’ pain or fatigue. The side effects were minor, but can include nausea, indigestion, and nasal congestion. Not a lot is known about the safety of anthocyanidins

Capsaicin. Capsaicin is an extract of chili peppers that is applied to the skin in a cream. In a small study, capsaicin was found to significantly relieve tenderness in patients with fibromyalgia. However, it didn’t help improve pain or quality of sleep. Side effects can include redness and slight stinging or burning on the skin.

Today on WebMD

instructor training woman with dumbbells
Can it help your fibromyalgia flare-ups?
woman painting
It’s hard, but we’ve got tips.
 
woman at desk rubbing shoulder
Tips to modify your workspace is one step.
Woman rubbing her upper back
Get treatment options and coping skills.
 
Fatigue or Something More
Slideshow
Woman with stressed, fatigue
Article
 
woman in pain
Article
69x75_thumbnail_woman_applying_pressure_to_forehea
Article
 
woman eating apple
Article
Sex Advice for Single Women
Article
 
Your Symptoms
Article
Uncomfortable mature woman
Article