Alternative Treatments for Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Alternative Treatments for Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Valid investigations are increasingly strengthening the physical rehabilitation pathway for patients with Fibromyalgia syndrome through non-pharmaceutical or less pharmaceutical therapies.


What Is Fibromyalgia Syndrome And What Are Its Symptoms?

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome characterized by sensitization of the central nervous system, which explains the broad range of symptoms. Sufferers, overwhelming majority (75% -90% of patients), suffer from extensive, chronic, unstable pain and a host of other symptoms that unfortunately severely affect and disrupt a person's daily routine.

Environmental, genetic, or even psychological factors may be responsible for its appearance.

Key symptoms include the following, but this list does not actually close, as has been reported by many researchers:

- Deep, pervasive and abnormal muscular pain as well as discomfort after exercise

- First stiffness

- Fract or numbness in the hands and feet

- Severe headaches, migraines

- Constipation, diarrhea

- Foggy thoughts and memory abnormalities

- Main menstruation

- Sleep problems

- Articular sensitivities

- No heart pain in the chest, heart palpitations, difficulty in breathing, intense sweating

- Swollen extremities

- Sensitivity to all senses (loud noises, shining lights, certain foods, smells, etc.)

- Depression and anxiety


Medication - Is It Effective? 

Good contact with the medical practitioner is essential because the doctor is able to listen to, understand the problem and work with the patient to make an effective contribution to the treatment.

However, various testimonies that come from time to time indicate that traditional treatments with anti-inflammatory drugs are usually not as effective and permanent as to make the symptoms of the syndrome bearable. In a study conducted in the United States for two major drugs, Cymbalta (a serotonin and norepinephrine uptake inhibitor) and Lyrica (an antiepileptic drug), 51% and 65.6% respectively were side effects (not very strong) , while as low as 33% and 23% respectively, patients did not have a positive result after regular use, as the doctor suggests.

In addition, research has shown that treatments that combine drugs to treat chronic conditions, for example antidepressants and opioid analgesics, have significant side effects, which is banging scientists for more and deeper research around this issue.

Patients, however, appear to have better and more permanent results through alternative therapies, relaxation techniques, nutritional support as well as through regular exercise.

This is wrong if it is interpreted as interfering with conventional medicine with alternative therapies and other interventions as they can basically be combined effectively and complementarily.


Non-pharmaceutical therapies help in natural recovery

The main therapies and forms of exercise that have been shown to have a positive effect on those who suffer are physiotherapy, healing gestures, acupuncture (especially electroceluria), hydrotherapy, mild aerobics, yoga and tai-chi exercises.

Their key element is that they focus on stimulating the muscles through relaxation while gradually helping against pain.

It is worthwhile to see some therapies in detail, in the light of research and scientists.




This is a method of reflex therapy when stimulated by very fine needles specific skin parts. From there, a message is directed through the nerves to several nervous centers.

What exactly happens? Acupuncture works by inhibiting the system of neurons that take part in the perception of pain, resulting in analgesia.

Acupuncture has shown that it is particularly effective in treating fibromyalgia, not only for analgesia but also for its general mood (stress, anxiety, insomnia, etc.).

It is worthwhile to know that the World Health Organization (WHO) has approved the treatment of 40 diseases with otorhinolaryngology and acupuncture.

OT is found to suppress the hyperactivity of the autonomic nervous system and, in particular, of the sympathetic by the stimulation of the vagus nerve, which is part of the ear's rib. It can also increase serotonin levels, from several studies that have been made in experimental models. With these mechanisms, it can especially help with the treatment of the syndrome.



Homeopathy is another natural way of intervening with particularly positive results.

Research has found that after homeopathy treatment, there have been significant improvements in pain intensity, fatigue, and McGill pain scores. It has also been demonstrated that homeopathy reduced the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and other analgesics, including drugs, in patients with chronic musculo-skeletal disorders.


Nutritional treatment

It is perceived that food is the basis of treatment for every person. But especially for patients with fibromyalgia, proper and customized diet is a serious part of their treatment.

It is necessary to avoid certain substances such as: caffeine, processed sugar, aspartame, saturated fats, red meat (rich in saturated fat, which prevents proper blood circulation, leading to fatigue and pain), excessive alcohol consumption, alcohol generally favors inflammation and increases pain due to toxic metabolites.

There are supplements that have been shown to help reduce the symptoms of the syndrome. These are:

Magnesium / malic acid / vitamin B complex

Ω-3 fatty acids

Vitamins C and E

Coenzyme Q10

Natural vegetable juices, soups, cooked vegetables, green salads, ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander, and garlic seem to have a positive effect on pain reduction.

Vitamin D has a clear effect on the immune system of fibromyalgia patients. When it is at an adequate level in the body the symptoms appear to be reduced.

Taking abundant liquids is of course indispensable and irreplaceable.



Herbal therapy has been shown to help significantly in the treatment of pain through suitable ointments and patches locally as well as herbs with spasmolytic and sedative properties. There is also a wide variety of herbs that can help with anxiety, improve mood and other symptoms. They are always personalized and always with proper medical consideration.



Several studies over the last few years have shown the effectiveness of Yoga against the overall health of the participants, but also with the symptoms of stiffness, anxiety and depression.

Researchers have identified significant improvements in pain, fatigue and morning sensation indicators. The results ranged from moderate to very satisfying, and further research might have led to the introduction of yoga as a standard treatment for fibromyalgia.

Another study, involving 53 women, in an 8-week Yoga of Awareness program - which included gentle yoga postures, meditation, breathing exercises, group discussions and yoga guidelines - showed yoga helped to improve symptoms of the syndrome and to address functional weaknesses.



Psychotherapy & Mindfulness

In the part of purely psychotherapeutic intervention, a number of studies demonstrate the very important role it can play in patients with fibromyalgia.

With regard to Mindfulness's Mindness Reduction, research focusing on the perception, measurement and management of pain in 58 women (approximately 52 years on average) showed that there are great benefits in both pain management and stress of depression. There was also a three-year follow-up of some patients who confirmed the initial conclusion.

Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy is more effective than other intervention groups in terms of pain, general health, functionality, emotional state, sleep and self-efficacy, concludes researcher at the University of Ioannina, Medical School, who examined the results of 15 relevant surveys. GSS seems to have a very good effect on all symptoms of fibromyalgia, the research concluded.

The day of awareness about fibromyalgia is May 12th.



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Walitt, B., Nahin, R. L., Katz, R. S., Bergman, M. J., & Wolfe, F. (2015). The prevalence and characteristics of fibromyalgia in the 2012 National Health Interview Survey. PloS one10(9), e0138024.

National Fibromyalgia Association

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Janet Hennard (2011) A Protocol and Pilot Study for Managing Fibromyalgia with Yoga and Meditation. International Journal of Yoga Therapy: 2011, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 109-121.

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®151(2), 530-539.

Grossman, P., Tiefenthaler-Gilmer, U., Raysz, A., & Kesper, U. (2007). Mindfulness training as an intervention for fibromyalgia: evidence of postintervention and 3-year follow-up benefits in well-being. Psychotherapy and psychosomatics76(4), 226-233.

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By Aggeliki Koskeridou

Holistic Doctor – Counseling Psychotherapist

Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

MSc Health Psychology

insta: dr_aggelikikoskeridou_official 

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