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What are the treatment options for fibromyalgia?

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Quick Answer

Treatments for fibromyalgia include exercise, physical therapy and over-the-counter and prescription medications, states Healthline. Additionally, acupuncture, yoga, vitamin D and cognitive behavioral therapy are effective treatments for fibromyalgia.

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Fibromyalgia is a complex condition that requires a multidisciplinary approach that encompasses lifestyle strategies as well as traditional and alternative medicine. Lifestyle changes, such as reducing stress, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet, have been shown to reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia, reports Mayo Clinic. Getting enough sleep is especially important because sleep reduces daytime fatigue, and fatigue is one of the contributing symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Medication is often a front-line treatment for fibromyalgia, says Healthline. Often, fibromyalgia patients are vitamin-D deficient, and supplementing diet with vitamin-D is effective in reducing fatigue. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, may relieve symptoms, though often prescription medications, such as tramadol or other mild opioids, are the only medications that provide relief. Additionally, research suggests that alternative methods, such as yoga and acupuncture, alleviate pain, improve mood and reduce fatigue.

Doctors commonly order physical therapy for fibromyalgia patients, notes Healthline. Treatments that coincide with physical therapy include the use of a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation device, or TENS unit, that provides temporary relief from muscle aches and helps improve sleep. Physical therapy techniques, such as trigger point injections, biofeedback, whole body cryotherapy and massage, are often effective in reducing pain.

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