Treatment for Fibromyalgia
Treatment for fibromyalgia attempts to relieve some of your symptoms and improve your quality of life, but there is currently no cure.
Your GP will play an important role in your treatment and care. They can help you decide what is best for you based on what you prefer and what treatments are available.
In some cases, several different health professionals may be involved in your care, such as:
Rheumatologist – a specialist in diseases that affect muscles and joints
Neurologist – a specialist in ailments of the central nervous system
Psychologist – a specialist in mental diseases and psychological healing
Fibromyalgia has numerous symptoms, which means that no single treatment will work for all of them.
Treatments that are effective for some people may not certainly work for others.
You may need to try different treatments to find a combination that works for you.
This is usually a combination of medication and lifestyle changes.
You may need to take several types of medicines for fibromyalgia, including pain relievers and antidepressants.
Regular pain killers available over the counter at a pharmacy, such as paracetamol, can from time to time help relieve pain accompanying fibromyalgia.
But these aren’t for everyone, so be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions that come with the medicine before using them.
If over-the-counter pain relievers don’t work, your GP (or another healthcare professional who treats you) may prescribe a stronger pain reliever, such as codeine or tramadol.
But these pain relievers can be addictive and their effect tends to wane over time.
This means that your dose may need to be increased gradually and you may experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking them.
Other side effects include diarrhea and extreme fatigue (fatigue).
If regular pain killers don’t help, you may need to get some prescription types of drugs for fibromyalgia, including painkillers and antidepressants.
Antidepressant medication can also help relieve the pain of some people with fibromyalgia.
They increase the levels of certain chemicals that carry messages to and from the brain, known as neurotransmitters.
Low levels of neurotransmitters can be a factor in fibromyalgia, and it is believed that increasing levels can alleviate the generalized pain associated with the disease.
There are different types of antidepressants. The choice of medication depends largely on the severity of your symptoms and any side effects that the medication may cause.
Antidepressants used to treat fibromyalgia include:
- tricyclic antidepressants, such as Elavil, Endep, Vanatrip, amitriptyline, Effexor, Effexor XR,
- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and paroxetine
A medication called pramipexole, which is not an antidepressant, but also affects the levels of neurotransmitters, is also sometimes used.A medication called pramipexole, which is not an antidepressant but also affects the levels of neurotransmitters, is sometimes used as well.
Antidepressants can lead to a variety of side effects, including:
- the bad state of health
- dry mouth
- feeling excited, shaky, or anxious
- weight gain
Information on the side effects of a particular drug can be found in the patient information leaflet that accompanies it. For information on the side effects of your particular medication, check the patient information leaflet that comes with it.
Medication to help you sleep
Since fibromyalgia can affect your sleep patterns, you may need medications to help you sleep.
If you sleep better, you may find that other symptoms are less severe.
Talk to your GP if you think this medication might help you.
They may recommend over-the-counter medication or prescribe a shorter course of stronger medication.
Some antidepressants can also improve sleep quality.
Read more about treating insomnia to learn about good sleep techniques and medications to help you sleep.
If you have muscle stiffness or cramps (when the muscles contract painfully) due to fibromyalgia, your doctor may prescribe brief treatment with a muscle relaxant such as diazepam.
These drugs can also help you sleep better, as they can have a calming (sleep-inducing) effect.
You may also be prescribed an anticonvulsant (anti-seizure) medicine, as these can be effective for those with fibromyalgia.
The most frequently used anticonvulsants for fibromyalgia are pregabalin and gabapentin.
These are usually used to treat epilepsy. However, research has shown that it can relieve the pain associated with fibromyalgia in some people.
Some common side effects of pregabalin and gabapentin are:
- Swelling of your hands and feet (edema)
- weight gain
An anticonvulsant medication (an anticonvulsant drug) may also be prescribed as these may be effective in patients with fibromyalgia.
Antipsychotics, also called neuroleptics, are sometimes used to relieve long-term pain.
Research has shown that these drugs can help with conditions like fibromyalgia, but more research is needed to confirm this.
Possible side effects include:
- tremors (tremors)
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that affects about 5 million Americans. Doctors diagnose fibromyalgia based on a patient’s symptoms and physical exam. Patients experience pain and stiffness in the muscles, but there are no measurable findings on X-rays or most lab tests. While fibromyalgia does not damage the joints or organs, constant aches and fatigue can have a significant impact on daily life.
Fibromyalgia is a condition which is characterized by acute pain in the muscles and tendons of the body. The diseased condition is accompanied by many other symptoms in both men and women. It is mostly associated with an increased sensation of pain and women are the worst sufferers of this condition.
About 20% of men may account for the total cases of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is accompanied by musculoskeletal pain, soft tissue tenderness, and sleep disturbances. It affects mostly the neck, back, shoulder, and pelvic girdle.
Fibromyalgia is a physical problem and can be relieved with the help of proper treatment. Natural treatment of fibromyalgia is very effective in giving relief from the pain associated with fibromyalgia. These natural treatments for fibromyalgia can also give relief from fatigue and normalize the person’s ability to carry on daily activities, as a part of fibromyalgia treatment.
Note: Fibromyalgia is a non-contagious disorder. It is also not life-threatening. Nevertheless, it can affect different parts or body systems either one after the other or all at the same time. Symptoms of fibromyalgia manifest themselves in the respiratory, central nervous system, digestive, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, and muscular systems.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia:
The most common symptoms of fibromyalgia are:
- Pain all over, fatigue, and sleep difficulties
- Morning stiffness, cramping, and weakness
- Digestive system disorders, headaches, and migraines
- Balance problems, itchy and burning skin
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia in Women
- Most women with fibromyalgia encounter the problem of an aching body and the pain can be a muscular ache or burning sensation across the body.
- Common tender points of pain can be found in between the shoulder blades, upper chest, back of the head, inner knees, and front sides of the neck.
- Falling asleep as well as staying asleep can be difficult for such men suffering from fibromyalgia.
- Another fibromyalgia symptom is jaw pain and also causes pain in the face and head.
- Problems related to memory can also be some important fibromyalgia symptoms in men.
- Morning stiffness, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic headaches, and palpitations are also other related symptoms
Causes of Fibromyalgia:
The exact causes of fibromyalgia are not known and it is suspected that certain persons can have a genetic predisposition to develop this condition.
Listed below are possible causes of fibromyalgia:
- Stress plays a very important role and it is considered an aggravating factor for fibromyalgia.
- The pain sensation is regulated by several neurotransmitters and fibromyalgia may be related to the abnormalities in the levels of neurotransmitters.
- Some other factors that can induce an outbreak of fibromyalgia are hormonal fluctuations, weather changes, depression, and lack of sleep.
Natural treatment for fibromyalgia
Treating fibromyalgia can be difficult because no one is sure what causes it. As there is no root cause to treat, it is often necessary to simply manage the symptoms. However, Natural treatment of fibromyalgia has been proven to be very effective in giving relief from the pain associated with fibromyalgia.
Listed below are Natural treatment for fibromyalgia
Exercise for fibromyalgia – essential natural treatment for fibromyalgia
Exercise is an effective natural remedy for fibromyalgia that helps to combat tiredness and improve your energy levels. Exercise increases the brain’s production of endorphins, improves sleep, and reduces depression.
Exercise for fibromyalgia includes walking, biking, and swimming. For some, getting started is difficult with widespread pain; start slow and increase gradually.
Diet for fibromyalgia most important part of any Natural treatment for fibromyalgia
One of the most helpful changes that can be made to suit the diet for fibromyalgia is to increase the level of essential fatty acids. Fish such as halibut, salmon, cod, trout, and mackerel, and flaxseed and flaxseed oil all contain high levels of the essential fatty acid omega-3alpha-linolenic acid. This acid contains substances that the body requires to create further substances that can greatly assist with the ease of arthritic style pain, such as is present in fibromyalgia.
Another helpful diet for fibromyalgia that can often assist with generalized pain relief is willow extract. If you suffer mainly from weakness or stiffness, a mild analgesic such as willow extract can help alleviate this problem. Willow extract is a natural remedy for fibromyalgia that is preferred by many due to pain relief properties and thereby suited for ongoing chronic conditions. Ginger can also assist with easing pain in some sufferers, and additionally assists with keeping the circulation in good condition. This can be a useful dietary supplement for those experiencing numbness in the extremities and therefore is suited has a diet for fibromyalgia.
One of the most responsive moves you can make in the new diet is to remove the consumption of certain beverages. Carbonated drinks such as soda pop, coffee, and caffeine enhanced sports drinks, chocolate drinks and alcohol should all be cut out completely from a diet for fibromyalgia. Additionally, artificial sweeteners and sugar should be eradicated. If you find it necessary to continue to sweeten your drinks, honey is the best option for sufferers. Honey is additionally beneficial dietary wise, providing you with a naturally relaxing, antiseptic, and energizing ingredient.
As with many other diets, a diet for fibromyalgia should decrease or eliminate processed and artificial foods as much as possible. Removing sugar and white flour, MSG, and salt have all been proven to assist fibromyalgia sufferers. Foods that should be taken in abundance include leafy greens, vegetables that are both cooked and raw, fruits, grains, proteins. Attention should be given to increasing the amount of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables that are taken on a diet for fibromyalgia. Magnesium-rich foods can help some fibromyalgia sufferers and may also be of use to you. Magnesium can often be found in vitamin supplements if you do not enjoy many foods that contain them. These recommendations should assist when planning a diet for fibromyalgia.
Yoga for fibromyalgia – ancient Indian natural treatment for fibromyalgia
Yoga is a natural remedy for fibromyalgia that has been proven to be an effective tool in pain management. Yoga for fibromyalgia is one of the recommended treatments for fibromyalgia. It can be a good, gentle way to stretch your body and loosen up tight muscles and joints. It also helps with balance and strength, and, as you become more advanced, it can provide you with a cardiovascular workout as well.
The first thing to do before you can start yoga for fibromyalgia is to see your doctor to make sure it is safe for you. Once you get the official deal, it is best to go very slowly. Try a simple pose or two a day and pay close attention to how you feel. Once you are sure that this does not make your symptoms worse, you can start adding more slowly.
Because you are starting so slowly, you will likely want to do it alone or with a personal instructor. If you are doing a self-guided program make sure you understand the poses before trying them out and start with simple poses that allow you to sit or lie on the floor. A video or book with good pictures can help.
When adding standing poses, keep in mind that fibromyalgia is prone to dizziness, especially when standing. Focusing mainly on lying, sitting, or standing positions in a very stable position can prevent a problem.
Massage for fibromyalgia – most popular natural treatment for fibromyalgia
Massage is a Natural treatment of fibromyalgia that has been proven to reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Massage for fibromyalgia reduces pain and tension, improves your ability to sleep, and energizes your entire body since it can increase your circulation.
Massage for fibromyalgia is ideal for helping you to relax and reduce your stress levels. It also directly impacts what seems to be the underlying cause of fibromyalgia: the production of your brain’s chemical messengers.
Some researchers also believe that massage for fibromyalgia increases the production of neurotransmitters (i.e. endorphins). These block the feelings of pain. The Touch Research Institutes in Miami, Florida has also found that massage therapy also leads to the reduction of substance P (a chemical messenger), which is responsible for pain. Whenever the brain’s chemistry is improved patients reported that they were in a better mental state and that they were able to reach a deeper state of sleep.
Note: All forms of massage are beneficial for fibromyalgia because they help your body release toxins, improve its blood flow, relieve pain, and improve your mental wellbeing. It is important to find a therapist who knows about fibromyalgia and has experience treating patients with this syndrome.
Herbs for fibromyalgia – popular natural treatment for fibromyalgia
Herbs for fibromyalgia are a form of Natural treatment for fibromyalgia that help address the symptoms of this syndrome, which cause so many people to become debilitated.
There are a lot of reasons why herbs for fibromyalgia are effective
- Conventional medications are used to bring about the relief that may be effective at first they will not increase wellness. As such, they are not effective for long-term relief. On the other hand, herbs for fibromyalgia can return your body to a state of balance.
- Prescription drugs have negative side effects.
- While herbs for fibromyalgia may not be instantly effective they will create deeper healing and greater relief over time. This is because herbs won’t hide your symptoms, they will heal them instead.
One of the best ways to take herbs is in the form of tea (a.k.a. infusion). To make tea you will need two teaspoons of dried herbs and one cup of boiled water. Allow the herbs to be infused in the water for 10 minutes. It is important to note here that herbs don’t need to be taken separately since they are usually more effective whenever they are used together. With this in mind, here are some of the different types of herbs for fibromyalgia:
- Black Cohosh or Meadowsweet: ease stiffness and joint pain
- Burdock Root, Red Clover, Bogbean, or Dandelion: remove toxins from your body
- Chamomile: relieves muscle tension
- Ginger or Prickly ash: increases blood circulation
- Skullcap, Jamaican dogwood, Passionflower, or Valerian: relieves pain.
Note: Herbs for fibromyalgia work best when taken daily. Given some time they will bring your body back to a healthy, harmonized state wherein your fibromyalgia symptoms are reduced. This type of result should be seen within three months if you drink the tea regularly.
Homeopathy for fibromyalgia – #1 natural treatment for fibromyalgia
Homeopathy Fibromyalgia is a natural remedy for fibromyalgia that contains homeopathic ingredients, such as Rhus Tox, Arnica Montana, and Kali Phos, for the temporary relief of fatigue, muscle pain, cutting, crampy pain with numbness, hypersensitivity, and sleeplessness.
Homeopathy has an excellent scope in managing fibromyalgia and relieving the symptoms from their aches and pains when everything else simply fails to help. Listed below are homeopathy remedies for fibromyalgia
- Rhus Tox is the top listed homeopathic remedy for fibromyalgia. It is indicated in cases where there is widespread pain in the body. The pain is present in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments and can be tearing, shooting, stitching in nature. It is seen to get worse with exertion and during the night. The sleep gets disturbed, and there is marked stiffness in the body. Back pain is very prominent, and it gets better with motion. Rhus Tox is also indicated for numbness and a prickling sensation in the limbs.
- Arnica is a popular homeopathic remedy for fibromyalgia
prepared from the Leopard’s Bane plant. It belongs to the family Composite. It is primarily used in cases of fibromyalgia where there are sore, bruised pains in the body. The body feels lame and sore as if beaten. It is sensitive to touch, and the person feels afraid to touch the painful parts. Fatigue, numbness, and tingling of limbs may be present. A history of injuries is usually present in people needing this medicine.
This homeopathic remedy for fibromyalgia is a natural remedy for fibromyalgia used to treat marked fatigue and sleep issues in cases of fibromyalgia. There is an intense weakness, tiredness, and the whole system feels drained out. The affected person gets easily fatigued and has body aches. Exertion worsens the condition. Sleeplessness is another major issue that is treated well with this medicine. A prickling sensation in the hands and feet and fibromyalgia linked with stress are also indicative of this remedy.
Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia – ancient oriental natural treatment for fibromyalgia
Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia gives some relief to patients, making it an efficient method of managing fibromyalgia symptoms because it plays a helpful role. Also, due to the unavailability of medical treatment for the cure of fibromyalgia, Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia as an alternative natural treatment for fibromyalgia, complementary medicine helps to give patients some respite when diagnosed early and administered. Acupuncture is notable for reducing different forms of chronic pain, and this explains why it is a popular treatment for people with fibromyalgia of whom 5 million are estimated to be Americans, and a larger percentage are women. Fibromyalgia is a rheumatic condition that impairs soft tissue and joints.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia vary in individuals, but one factor common to all is the pain. Other symptoms include a headache, muscle stiffness, sensitivity to bright light, sounds and temperature, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The exact causative factor of fibromyalgia is not yet known, but the hypothesis suggests numerous injuries and stressful lifestyles over a considerable length of time. Some other research work links it to rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, but the underlining fact is that it can be difficult to diagnose if other forms of the disorder are not first ruled out. This calls for urgent medical diagnoses to start treatment in earnest.
History of natural treatment for fibromyalgia in general and acupuncture for fibromyalgia in particular
The practice of acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that has been for thousands of years. Acupuncture was used for many ailments as the treatment for pain relief. The traditional Chinese practice of acupuncture strategically inserts needles into the skin with the knowledge that it balances the energy in the body known as qi which pronounced as chee. Correction of the energy imbalance brings the required healing the body requires from pains and other ailments.
The acupuncture practice and its advantages went unrecognized by Western medicine for many years until recent times when studies show the effectiveness of the practice. One such research showed that acupuncture is almost twice effective for the treatment of a headache and arthritis as traditional drugs. Also, a study conducted on Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia shows an alleviation of debilitating symptoms in patients for an extended period of months.
Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia– the modern form of ancient medicine – the natural treatment for fibromyalgia
Managing fibromyalgia requires a combination of treatments that will eventually control the symptoms.
Due to the not yet discovered medical treatment for fibromyalgia, patients turn to complementary medicine such as massage, hydrotherapy, and acupuncture. 1 out of 5 patients turns to acupuncture for relief. Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia works early in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia and it worth trying to relieve you of your pain. Fibromyalgia patients enjoy the following as a result of undertaking acupuncture treatment such as reduced pain, improved sleep, body relaxation better, and boosted body immunity. Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia is a better alternative to the use of antidepressants which in the long run alters the chemistry of the brain. Why not go the natural way?
Acupuncture for fibromyalgia – How it works
Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia procedure involves the use of very fine needles inserted into the strategic point of the body at various depths. These needles are left for 20 minutes or more depending on what is needed. These needles are sometimes stimulated with heat or electricity, and the procedure is safe when carried out by a well-trained practitioner. Needles are used on the pressure points, back, neck, shoulder, and other affected body area and the body go through its self-healing ability. This happens by gently twisting these needles which in turn releases endorphins (body’s natural opioids) into the blood. The acupuncture practitioner believes that this procedure removes energy block in the affected areas causing a free flow of energy along the meridians.
The result of single acupuncture for fibromyalgia treatment could last weeks in some patients bringing major relief from chronic pains and thereby improving their quality of life.
Can Acupuncture help Fibromyalgia?
Before you undergo acupuncture for fibromyalgia, endeavor to do the following
- Seek the service of a qualified acupuncture practitioner.
- It is safer and proper to make a list of all your major life events from your past. This saves your practitioner time he spends asking for background information from you.
- List all symptoms of chronic pains you experience in your body to make diagnosis accurate and for later reference to the piece of valuable information.
- Come along with a list of all drugs you use whether related to the pain you are experiencing or other ailments including supplements you take. Some drugs you currently use or in recent times might be responsible for the symptoms you are experiencing in your body.
- Start wearing loose clothing as tight clothes might hinder the ease of energy flow the acupuncture procedure is trying to achieve in your body.
- Avoid alcohol, sugar, and caffeine before you embark on the treatment. This abstinence should be maintained after treatment for a healthy lifestyle.
Natural treatment for fibromyalgia in Philadelphia
You can also add natural remedies for fibromyalgia to your acupuncture treatment that may increase effectiveness and relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia such as sleep, rest, diet and supplements, reducing stress, massage, yoga, and tai chi.
At the Philadelphia Acupuncture Clinic Victor Tsan, MD, Shunwey Wang, LAc, Yelena Galanter, LAc, and Adam Waldhorn, LAc successfully treat fibromyalgia and in the majority of cases, the remission after treatment lasts for a year or longer.
Visit our Book Appointment page to schedule your consultation and treatment or contact us and we will assist you.