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Fibromyalgia - Other Treatment

Counseling

The pain and other symptoms of fibromyalgia can get worse during stressful times. The good news is that there are a lot of things you can do to lower your stress. For example, research shows that you can change how you think. And how you think affects how you feel.

Here are some techniques you can try on your own or with help from a therapist or counselor trained in muscle relaxation, meditation, biofeedback, or cognitive-behavioral therapy:

Complementary and alternative therapy

Most people who have fibromyalgia try some type of alternative therapy. These therapies may relieve stress, ease muscle tension, and help you feel better and healthier. Some have been shown to work for many people. But for other therapies, such as tender point injections, there is no evidence that they help.

Complementary and alternative treatments that have been used to treat fibromyalgia include:

What to think about

You may find one or more complementary or alternative therapies to be helpful in relieving some of your symptoms. Keep in mind that there is only limited information about how well these treatments (and others you may have heard about) work for treating fibromyalgia.

If you have fibromyalgia and are thinking about trying a complementary therapy, get the facts before you begin. Consider these questions with your doctor:

  • Is it safe? Talk with your doctor about the safety and potential side effects of the treatment. Remember that fibromyalgia doesn't physically harm you or damage your body. A treatment that could be harmful may not be worth the risk, especially when its benefits are unproven. Avoid treatments that may be harmful, such as unusual diets or excessive vitamin or mineral supplements. (A daily multiple vitamin-mineral supplement is okay. Try to avoid taking more than 100% of the recommended daily allowance for any vitamin or mineral unless your doctor prescribes a special supplement.)
  • Does it work? Because the symptoms of fibromyalgia can come and go, you may find it hard to judge whether a certain treatment is really working. Symptoms of fibromyalgia often improve on their own. Or the treatment may be causing a placebo effect that is making you feel better. Keep in mind that when you get better after treatment, the treatment may not be the reason for the improvement. Also remember that a treatment that works for one person may not work for you. It may take time. And you may have to try several different treatments to find an approach that works for you.
  • Will it improve my general health? Even if complementary therapies aren't effective in treating fibromyalgia, many of them are safe, healthy habits that may improve your general well-being and may be worth trying.
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