Alternative Ways to Alleviate Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Alternative Ways to Alleviate Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Through the Fog

Options vary in alleviating the different symptoms of fibromyalgia. There are pharmaceutical medications, cannabidiol (CBD) oil, natural and dietary solutions, and more that I’m sure I know nothing about. Let’s explore some of those and perhaps you may find something you can use and/or discuss with your primary caregiver.

I think most of us are familiar with the usual pharmaceutical choices, such as Lyrica, Gabapentin, tramadol, morphine patches, etc. Let’s explore some not-so-traditional ways to help ease our symptoms.

I have no objections at all to taking drugs when needed. I take several. As a certified nutrition consultant, I’ve studied alternative choices for more than 20 years. If there is anything I can use in the realm of natural remedies and diet, then I always go to them first.

I think one of the hardest and most productive changes is what we eat. So many are brought up on processed and fast foods, it seems the normal way to eat. Cutting out sugar, dairy, GMO foods, fast foods, and red meat will make a huge difference. I have noticed a difference in my pain and energy by making these changes. I realize it’s very hard to do, though. Baby steps.

I have a few fibro friends who swear by CBD oil. It does not contain THC. That’s what causes a euphoric high. My understanding is that it helps not only with pain, but also with sleep. It can be smoked or taken in a hemp capsule. I have not tried it, but definitely would be open to it.

Essential oils can be very helpful with so many things. You can put them in capsules. You can put them in a diffuser. You can mix and match them in a roll-on bottle. You can use them on your skin. I enjoy diffusing them in my home. I’ve even noticed that my dentist has diffusers in every room diffusing lavender oil to help his patients relax. I rub lavender oil on my wrists when I have trouble falling asleep. You also can rub it on the bottoms of your feet. You can rub peppermint oil on your temples when you have a headache.

Prayer and/or meditation is a great way to relax and relieve some of the stress associated with chronic pain. One book I recommend, if you like devotionals, is Peace in the Storm: Meditations on Chronic Pain and Illness by Maureen Pratt. Meditation is slowing your breathing and focusing on a word, or scripture verse for five minutes or more. It’s a quiet, private time to reflect. When you relax in that way your body can release stress. When your stress is reduced, your pain should be reduced, too. Deep breathing also is  very helpful in relieving anxiety.

What non-traditional methods work best for you? Please feel free to share. ?

Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.

42 comments

  1. Mandy says:

    I take vitamin supplements (magnesium, b-vitamins, fish oils, vitamin d), see a chiropractor and massage therapist once a week, use roll-on essential oils for sleep and headaches, incorporate hemp hearts, chia seeds, flax meal and cinnamon into my morning meal at least 5 days/week, eat more vegetarian sources of protein, and try to get some exercise (usually walking and stretching) almost everyday. I’ve found these things have helped me to not only cope better with my symptoms, but also lose some weight in the process!

      • Susan Hayden says:

        That’s great…just what I do…also for inflammation I take curcumin…trying to not take so many prescription drugs ?

        • Mandy says:

          Thanks Robin and Susan! I try and do these things most days, although sometimes it doesn’t always happen that way. I only take one prescription drug-Topiramate-which is to help with neck spasms and reduce the occurrence of migraines, but doesn’t actually reduce pain. I only take ibuprofen or acetaminophen when needed for pain because the side effects of the other prescription medications are way too harsh! I prefer to try other natural means to help ease my pain symptoms and relax my muscles. Much healthier in the long run too 🙂

          • Mandy says:

            Robin, I will sometimes take a muscle relaxant, but I use heating pads, stretching and massage therapy to help relax my muscles. I have also found that walking, for me, helps when I start to get stiff and sore. My boyfriend is a wonderful motivator and makes sure I get out for a walk several times a week. He is very understanding and helps me in any way that he can!

    • Kelly Macias says:

      Robin, It sounds like you are getting relief with your regimen. Good for you. After 20 years of being on every medicine known to help Fibromyalgia, I am trying to get relief through vitamins and herbs. I am curious what roll on essential oils you use and where I could purchase them. Also, PLEASE tell me what has helped you lose weight.?

  2. Em says:

    I had to stop taking flax as it was causing more inflammation-we are all wired differently. Essential oils have been beneficial. There are days nothing helps and I want to crawl a way some where and die. Still whining about turning 65 and being blindsided because of my own ignorance.
    I know, move on get over it. Currently my mood is comparable to Granny on the Beverly Hillbilly’s. Not leaving home until attitude feels safe enough to do so.

  3. Chris Creekpaum says:

    I wanted to share a couple of things that give me some relief. One is SoothanolX2. It is sold by Northstar Nutritionals online. Just a few drops on a muscle in spasm and it is ahhhh, sweet instant relief. I have been using it for years and sometimes it does not work but most times yes. It is pricy but they have sales buy 2 get 1 free and you use just a few drops at a time. Another one from the same company is called Sleep Dissolves. I have only taken it for 4 nights but for the 1st time in years slept thru the nite. Don’ know it it will keep working but hopeful.

  4. Susan Hayden says:

    Going gluten and dairy free really helped me with inflammation. I’ll be 65 in 2 wks and hoping to get off the meds I’m taking with the use of oils, supplements and eating clean.

    • Tim Bossie says:

      That’s fantastic Susan! Cutting gluten from your diet is a tremendous help in battling inflammation. Dairy is good too, as long as you also have some supplements for the calcium and vitamin d.

      • Julie says:

        Are there certain foods that you just will not eat? If so what is the alternative? I tried Gluten Free for a year but with no relief. Dairy I’ve only tried for a couple of months but i do think it helped. I know when I start eating really processed foods I do tend to feel worse like right now! O m g….

        • Robin Dix says:

          Julie, I started out with an elimination diet for 30 days and then over a 4 day period I added back in one at a time, one potential trigger food. I eliminated all sugar except a small amount of cane sugar. I do use raw honey and pure maple syrup. Dairy aggravated my IBS, so other than grass fed butter and a little later whole milk, I don’t do dairy. Corn is not good for me and so far neither is wheat. I think it’s difficult to know what affects you without doing an elimination diet first. Does that help?

        • Em says:

          Hey Julie, is your body talking to you? Sacrifices can be difficult and even cost relationships and solitude to those who do not understand and believe we are making things up-try not to listen to the little voices that seem so loud. A mission indeed.

  5. Patricia Hagge says:

    I use supplements, Epsom salt baths, yoga, reflexology appointments but I think meditation has brought the most help in every way. If I can meditate during a flare up I can relax and have a better perspective. Meditating with a group is the most powerful and helpful for me. I now lead meditations and that is also good- It means I have to pull all that energy through me to give to others. I also recommend listening to guided meditations. A good place to start is Yoga Nidra meditations or Tara Brach’s meditations on her podcast.

  6. Bob Levantino says:

    4 months ago I was in bed on morphine, frozen in pain, with tears running down my cheeks from the agony of Fibromyalgia. For the last 4 years I haven’t been able to work more than 30 minutes at a time without having to rest for 2 to 3 hours afterwards. I found an herbal suggestion on an online Fibro blog. I ordered some and gave it a try. It is difficult to talk about my experience without sounding like I’m exaggerating. The truth is that it made me able not only to control the pain without the floating foggy feeling that codeine and morphine give, I am able to work an entire 8 to 10 hour day with focus and joy. Now that I can actually move and work all day my body is getting stronger. Atrophied muscles are beginning to come back. Before if I did physical things, whatever muscles used would hurt for days. I was bed ridden 75% of every day. Nothing else has even come close to affecting the quality of my life than kratom. Over 30 years I’ve tried everything, Lyrica, beta blockers, every narcotic that exists, legal or not, all the natural and alternative options. Kratom is the only thing that I’ve ever found that really works. It’s like turning a light switch on and off. Nothing else is even similar. I recommend anyone interested to research it and stock up before it is made illegal in the US.

    • Chris Creekpaum says:

      Which Kratom do you use? They offer several and all, of course, say “not for human consumption”. What made you try it?

      • Bob Levantino says:

        Hi Chris,

        I use a variety of different strains. It’s better not to take every day in order to avoid tolerance. I’ve been so crippled for the last few years that I decided to be an every day user and deal with the consequences of tolerance. Every one has a different reaction to it. Some people need a lot and others just a little. I use the red strains for the most painful days, white for energy, and the green is a little of both. I originally tried it because I wasn’t really depressed but I was thinking how to get a gun to end my life in the future. I don’t have access to medical care and no family to care for me so there’s not many alternatives available to me. Living curled up frozen in great pain on a bed every day is not a life. The kratom hasn’t cured me in any sense of the word, but now at least I have a life. It has to be labeled “not for human consumption” to avoid FDA and DEA interference. People can get off years of addiction on their own, without stigma and the great expense of clinics and professionals. The companies that produce these pain meds that get people hooked are fighting hard to make kratom illegal.

      • Bob Levantino says:

        I use a variety of strains. Please see my comments above. I’ve tried a few vendors from fb kratom groups, but haven’t found a huge difference in them. I avoid any retail places, they are just rip offs.

  7. Em says:

    I know I have tried to motivate others to exercise rather than vegging in front of their TV and doing little more than complain about how much they are in pain and how their doctor will not give them what they want because they are unwilling to cooperate w/ a physical therapist and do the exercises-a well trained PT knows quickly who is willing to work and which ones are drug seeking.
    I offered to do a Tai Chi class of some very easy moves-no one was interested.
    Their loss.
    A global statement-seems many find it much easier to pop a pill. I KNOW there are some who do need pain meds and there are others-if I may-whom are just plain lazy.
    Dismounting soapbox once again.

  8. Renee Alter says:

    In addition to supplements, I see an Acupuncturist for the Chinese Herbal Powdered Tea she mixes me. Before drinking this tea, my shoulders up into my neck and head were spastic which meant pain. This tea keep everything calmed down. If I forget to drink it for a day, the spasticity returns. 3 months ago, I eliminated all grains, beans, & lentils. l-glutamine powder to help heal my leaky gut, and a number of other supplements, too. Yes, I’ve learned to do deep breathing. Yes, I exercise at Curves. Still, most days my legs hurt like crazy. I recently read the book The Calcium Lie II, and in addition to learning how excess calcium caused so many problems for me, I learned I was vitamin C deficient. Just a few days of added C Complex, oranges, & kiwi’s has helped diminish the pain in both legs on both sides of both knees. I am also exploring doTerra oils.

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