Complementary or Alternative Therapies
Some people use non-medical therapies to treat their fibromyalgia. Science has not yet confirmed the effectiveness of many such approaches, but some appear to offer benefits. Again, talk with your doctor before starting these therapies.
These therapies include:
- Acupuncture. In this treatment, needles are inserted into target points of the body to provide pain relief and improve sleep patterns. Although controversial, some studies show significant benefits to using acupuncture to treat fibromyalgia.
- Chiropractic or osteopathic treatments. A chiropractor may manipulate a the spine to reduce pain and motion restrictions associated with fibromyalgia. Osteopathic doctors (who study and train in a method similar to medical doctors) also may use manipulation of joints and the spine to treat fibromyalgia. However, experts warn that manipulation treatments carry risks unless performed by well-trained practitioners.
- Hypnotherapy. Hypnosis may be used to induce a trance-like state of altered awareness and perception during which there may be heightened responsiveness to suggestions to manage stress. People are brought to a state of deep relaxation and reduced muscle pain.
- Massage therapy. Massage therapy involves manipulating the body's muscles and soft tissues to improve blood circulation. This helps increase the flow of nutrients into the tissues while also getting rid of waste products. Massage that progresses slowly during deep muscle work produces sometimes produces lasting results for people with fibromyalgia.
Reviewed By Vikas Garg, M.D., MSA