TOP ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS FOR FYBROMYALGIA
Fybromyalgia is a very real condition and those that suffer from it carry that burden every day of their lives. It can be frustrating, debilitating, and depressing. Those who treat patients with the syndrome often wish there was a pill they could give to their patients that would make the symptoms go away – but there isn’t any easy solutions for this disorder. It usually takes a lot of time to just receive a proper diagnosis because many doctors are not educated in this field.
But there is a silver lining to this dark cloud. There are several treatments that patients use that seem to help, depending on the symptoms. Although there are medications that can be taken, many patients refuse to be put into a drug regimen. Maybe they have reactions to the drugs or they just don’t want all that medicine running around in their bodies – whatever the reason, they choose alternative treatments over the drug scene. I can’t blame them.
WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES?
There are several treatments that can help with fybromyalgia symptoms. Dietary supplements, acupuncture, massage, and moist heat therapies can provide relief from symptoms if properly followed. Here they are in more detail.
v Dietary Supplements – The idea behind using supplements is to boost levels of certain substances in the body that may reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia. In other words, if there’s a deficiency that can be measured, it makes sense to replace that deficiency. Supplements such as 5-HTP, SAMe, magnesium, melatonin, and St. John’s Wort all have been shown to relieve symptoms of fybromyalgia; mainly pain, sleep problems, and moodiness or depression. Each one has its own set of symptoms for which it helps. However, if you are considering supplements, talk with your doctor. Some supplements can have harmful interactions with prescription medications. Some are unsafe if you have certain medical conditions. Because there is not a lot of research with supplements like there is with drugs, it’s important for a person with fibromyalgia to work with a doctor who is knowledgeable about supplements.
v Acupuncture – For the Chinese, acupuncture was thought to rebalance the flow of energy through one’s body. For modern Western practitioners, it’s a healing method that increases blood flow and production of the body’s natural painkillers. Commonly, acupuncture involves stimulating points on the body by inserting thin needles into the skin. When a slight electric current is run through the needles, it’s known as electroacupuncture. Both methods are used for fibromyalgia. The verdict on whether this method works or not is still undetermined. Some patients say it works, others do not. Most agree that any relief is temporary. Also, it may take several sessions before you feel the effects. You would need to try it yourself to see if the relief it offers is worth the time and money invested.
Massage – Just the word sounds good to me! Most people love to have their backs or shoulders massaged. That is just a normal reaction. For those with fybromyalgia, massage can reduce muscle tension and ease pain in the muscles and soft tissue. It can also improve circulation and range of motion and boost production of natural painkillers. Some studies suggest it can improve your mood and it may help people with fibromyalgia sleep better, too.
Formal studies of the effects of massage on fibromyalgia symptoms are few and results are mixed. However, researchers at the University of Miami’s Touch Research Institute report that just 20 minutes of moderate-pressure massage can lessen the flow of chemicals associated with pain and stress while increasing production of serotonin.
v Moist Heat Therapies – Along with these, try simple and inexpensive home remedies for pain. For example, heat, especially moist heat, can temporarily ease pain and stiffness by boosting blood flow to the places where you hurt. Try applying a moist heating pad, taking a warm shower, or just warming your clothes in the dryer before you put them on. Cold packs can help you feel better too, by reducing the deep muscle pain of fibromyalgia.
Alternative treatments are definitely worth a shot. They provide a natural way to help relieve symptoms of fybromyalgia. Most of them have no real side effects and the ones that do have side effects don’t affect everyone. But before you jump in and try them, always check with your doctor to discuss the possible side effects, outcomes, and other possibilities that come with alternative treatments. Working together, you and your doctor will devise a treatment plan that will work for you.