What Are the Treatments for Fibromyalgia?

Medically Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on August 12, 2019

Fibromyalgia causes pain, soreness, and fatigue, often in the joints and muscles. 

Some people who have it have other symptoms, too, like sleep problems, headaches, digestive issues, mood issues, sensitivity to light or sound, and memory loss.

Doctors aren’t sure what causes it, and there’s no cure, but your doctor can help you manage your symptoms with medication, exercise, and lifestyle changes.


If you have fibromyalgia, your doctor may give you pain relievers, antidepressants, muscle relaxers, or drugs that help you sleep, depending on your symptoms.

The FDA has approved three prescription medications to help treat fibromyalgia pain:

Some other drugs used to treat depression or other conditions may also help with fibromyalgia symptoms. Ask your doctor if any of those might work for you.

Over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen may help ease some of the pain. But doctors don’t recommend opioid painkillers, like oxycodone or hydrocodone, for fibromyalgia. These powerful medications don’t work as well for that condition as they do for other problems, and there’s a chance you might start to depend on them.

Physical Therapy

If you have fibromyalgia, regular exercise is an important part of managing your symptoms. A physical therapist can teach you ways to get stronger and more flexible.

While pain and fatigue can make exercise hard, you can begin with something like a little extra walking. Once you’re comfortable with that, you can move on to things like aerobics, yoga, or swimming. Gyms or community centers often have classes that may help get you started.

An occupational therapist may help you find ways to work and do things around the house that are less stressful on your body.

Take Care of Yourself

You can do a few other things to make living with fibromyalgia easier:

  • Stress can make your symptoms worse. Better sleep and relaxation techniques can help with that. Try to get 7 to 8 hours each night, and take time to relax every day.
  • Massage therapy may relax your muscles, lower your heart rate, and ease stress.
  • A support group can help you learn more about your condition and connect with other people who are going through the same thing.
  • If you feel sad or anxious, a counselor or therapist may help you deal with those emotions.
WebMD Medical Reference



American College of Rheumatology: “Fibromyalgia.”

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: “Questions and Answers about Fibromyalgia.”

The Arthritis Foundation: “Fibromyalgia Treatment.”

National Fibromyalgia Association: “Treatment.”

FDA: “Living with Fibromyalgia.”

The Mayo Clinic: “Fibromyalgia.”

CDC: “Fibromyalgia Fact Sheet.”

© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Click to view privacy policy and trust info