Therapies to Reduce Fibromyalgia Symptoms

23 May, 2020
Fibromyalgia is characterized by a generalized musculoskeletal pain. Although it needs medical treatment, there are some natural therapies that can help alleviate the symptoms.

Treatments to reduce fibromyalgia symptoms normally include analgesics, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants. These options, which are usually prescribed by a doctor, are used to minimize pain and other related symptoms.

Patients with fibromyalgia have prolonged chronic pain in their muscles and bones, in addition to sensitive spots, tiredness, problems with concentration, and other symptoms that significantly affect their quality of life.

While it’s essential to follow your doctor’s recommendations to control this disease, you should also consider a series of natural therapies to help alleviate some symptoms. In this article we’ll share with you 5 good alternatives you should try.

What is fibromyalgia?

Before learning about the remedies to reduce fibromyalgia symptoms, it’s important to briefly review the disease. Patients with this disorder have prolonged or chronic musculoskeletal pain, constant fatigue, weakness, and problems sleeping.

These symptoms are classified as subjective and can’t be measured by tests. Because of this, establishing their cause is very complicated and, often, makes diagnosis difficult. However, thanks to research, every day we understand the disease a little better.

So, some studies suggest it could be caused by genetics, infections, constant stress, trauma, and environmental factors. Likewise, a current hypothesis is that the brain and nervous system misinterpret pain signals, exaggerating them. It could be caused by an imbalance in brain chemicals.

Read also: What You Need to Know About Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia symptoms

Woman with back pain, one of the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
People with fibromyalgia live with constant muscle pain and tiredness in their body.

Fibromyalgia is related to sensitive points that produce intense pain, even with light pressure. Until recently, these points were key for diagnosis. However, currently, they are rarely taken into account, since doctors have other key criteria to identify the disease.

A constant dull pain that affects many areas of your body for more than 3 months is an indicator of this disorder. However, a medical professional should also keep in mind other symptoms, like:

  • Prolonged tiredness or chronic fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sleeping for long periods without feeling rested
  • Constant headaches
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Problems concentrating
  • Pain in the lower abdomen

Natural therapies to reduce fibromyalgia symptoms

Some patients aren’t able to reduce their fibromyalgia symptoms with conventional pharmacological treatments. Because of this, natural pain-relieving therapies have been popular for some time. We’ll share the most important ones with you below.

Yoga

Woman doing yoga to reduce fibromyalgia symptoms.
Some studies have shown the beneficial role of yoga in reducing fibromyalgia symptoms.

Yoga is one of the best complementary treatments to reduce fibromyalgia symptoms. In fact, its benefits have been proven through various studies. This discipline helps to improve your mood and minimize symptoms like pain and fatigue.

Because of this, we recommend you practice easy postures to increase muscle strength and reduce rigidity. It’s also helpful to include meditation and breathing exercises, since they will increase the benefits.

Acupuncture

Another popular therapy to control this disease is acupuncture. It’s an ancient form of traditional Chinese medicine, in which they insert fine needles into your skin, distributed at different points on your body. The objectives include:

  • Promoting natural self-healing
  • Stimulating a change in blood-flow
  • Diminishing chronic pain
  • Causing a change in your brain’s neurotransmitters

If you can’t stand needles, then you can try acupressureThe most important thing is to verify that your therapy is being done by a licensed professional, since malpractice can cause serious consequences.

Discover: 5 Benefits of Acupuncture that You Should Know

Meditation

Meditation is a natural therapy that has spread across the world. It’s known for its effects on your physical and mental health, since it helps control imbalances that influence pain.

Due to this, it’s a popular treatment to complement your doctor’s advice and reduce fibromyalgia symptoms, especially when these are accompanied by stress, anxiety, and depression.

Tai Chi

Man practicing tai chi for fibromyalgia.
This ancient technique seems to provide benefits to those with fatigue and chronic pain.

Tai chi is an ancient practice in traditional Chinese medicine. As you might know, it consists of moving the body slowly through a series of poses. It makes up a part of the therapies for chronic pain and fibromyalgia, since its benefits include pain reduction, better sleep quality, and control of depression.

Manual lymphatic drainage therapy

Manual lymphatic drainage therapy is a type of massage whose objective is to stimulate the elimination of toxins. This treatment helps to improve the movement of lymphatic fluid through the body. Attending various sessions can also reduce tiredness and anxiety. Because of this, it can even have a positive effect on alleviating pain and rigidity.

Do you suffer from fibromyalgia symptoms? If so, you might want to try these natural therapies. Of course, make sure you do them with a professional to guarantee their effectiveness.

  • Hawkins, R. (2013). Fibromyalgia: A Clinical Update. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2013.034
  • Ablin, J. N., & Buskila, D. (2015). Update on the genetics of the fibromyalgia syndrome. Best Practice and Research: Clinical Rheumatology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.berh.2015.04.018
  • Carson, J. W., Carson, K. M., Jones, K. D., Bennett, R. M., Wright, C. L., & Mist, S. D. (2010). A pilot randomized controlled trial of the Yoga of Awareness program in the management of fibromyalgia. Pain. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pain.2010.08.020
  • Curtis, K., Osadchuk, A., & Katz, J. (2011). An eight-week yoga intervention is associated with improvements in pain, psychological functioning and mindfulness, and changes in cortisol levels in women with fibromyalgia. Journal of Pain Research. https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S22761
  • Deare, J. C., Zheng, Z., Xue, C. C. L., Liu, J. P., Shang, J., Scott, S. W., & Littlejohn, G. (2013). Acupuncture for treating fibromyalgia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD007070.pub2
  • Vickers, A. J., & Linde, K. (2014). Acupuncture for chronic pain. JAMA – Journal of the American Medical Association. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2013.285478
  • Sigl-Erkel, T. (2010). A randomized trial of Tai Chi for fibromyalgia. Deutsche Zeitschrift Fur Akupunktur. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dza.2010.10.003
  • Ekici, G., Bakar, Y., Akbayrak, T., & Yuksel, I. (2009). Comparison of Manual Lymph Drainage Therapy and Connective Tissue Massage in Women With Fibromyalgia: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmpt.2008.12.001
  • Cadenas-Sánchez, C., y Ruiz-Ruiz, J. (2014). Efecto de un programa de actividad física en pacientes con fibromialgia: revisión sistemática. Medicina Clínica, 143 (12), 548–553. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.medcli.2013.12.010.