Treatments other than medications?

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New member
Jun 17, 2013
I am fairly new to fibro - was diagnosed right at a year ago. I just found you guys yesterday (yay!).

I have struggled tremendously with medications - the side effects on some are horrible, others do nothing for me. I think I have come to the conclusion that I need to stop expecting a miracle in a medicine bottle and start looking into other things that help.

I am starting a VERY low exercise routine - trying to push myself through it, as I understand that is key.

What does everyone else do? Had any successes (or failures)?
As far as exercise goes, I know it's helped my overall pain tremendously. But I'm very seasoned about exercise and for those with fm, ONE thing is extremely important: you MUST listen to your body. Do the exercises your body feels like doing.

For example, I try to go to the gym every day...and I never go with a "plan." But, when I get there, I decide what my body feels like doing....usually it's a cardio sit-down machine, because as you probably know, I think most fm sufferers can't stand for very long especially when it comes to working out.

Then, when I've done as much as I possibly can while still remaining "comfortable." I do weight lifting, again listening to what part of my body can handle it.

Stretching I think is a blanket that helps everthing, for me.

Good luck! Don't give up.
Exercising sounds like a good first step if your body is able to tolerate it. I know that during flares, my friends with fibro say that it's next to impossible. By the same token, they don't want to stir it up by doing too much on the good days, either, so it becomes one of those vicious circles.

The only thing that really comes to mind besides exercising is that one lady I know swears by the massages she gets (check around the forum here for a thread I started about this... there are some suggestions about how to better afford them, etc. I think it's in the alternative treatment section.)

I'm new to this forum. My mother has fibromyalgia. I have been searching for ways to help her. We have decided to start walking everyday. I really hope that helps her to feel better. Typically, the entire day my mother spends in pain. Her legs bring her so much discomfort. I hope that walking actually helps, instead of causing her to be more uncomfortable (especially in the lower region of her body). I will remember to remind her to stretch before we begin taking walks together. I am willing to do whatever I can to help motivate her. She is an amazing person, it's sad to see her struggle with this condition. Hopefully, you will get a few more replies with helpful suggestions.
Has anyone tried water aerobics?

Best Wishes!
I've tried aqua therapy. I found a local PT place that had a small heated pool (96-100 degrees). I found that the water felt amazing, heated water has always seems to soothe me since this mess started, however only a few exercises were tolerable... Some made me worse.... I eventually stopped going because I didn't want to take up pool time when I didn't feel a benefit besides the warm water.... I can use a shower or bath for that..... I know others who have had better results, it just wasn't the best for me..
I think you should take it slow and don't force your body. It's stressed already. You should start light and do whatever makes you feel good.
Thanks for the response.

From doing research I have found that exercise is beneficial but it may be best if done in small spurts. Has anyone had experience with this? My mother and I have discussed creating a workout schedule. The schedule will be a total of 30 minutes which will be broken up into 3 sessions. We will do 5 minutes of stretching and 5 minutes of very light cardio. She is excited about getting started. So in the morning we will work out for 10 minutes which will include stretching. I thought aqua aerobic activities would be a good start. If the exercise becomes too troublesome she will have the comfort of the warm water. Plus, an added benefit is that exercising helps to reduce stress, which we all need.

We will take it slow, I will remind her not to force herself. If her body is telling her "no" then she needs to listen.

Best Wishes
Hello! Im sorry to here about your diagnosis :/ but you'll make it through just like the rest of us! In my struggle against fibromyalgia ive found that diet is the key to relief for me and id like to share list of foods to eat and not to eat, based on your symptoms! I hope i can help!

What to Eat

Lots of fresh, local fruits and veggies, especially the veggies.

They are high in fiber, and are also rich in vitamins, minerals,
antioxidants, and phytochemicals.

Good lean proteins, like fish, chicken, and lean grass fed beef.
These foods that are high in protein, serve our bodies in that they help repair muscle tissue.

Probiotics; yogurts, and other fermented foods.
These replenish positive flora in the stomach remedying symptoms of leaky gut syndrome which is commonly associated with fibromyalgia.

Good healthy fats and omega oils

These have been proven to help tender joints, a study targeted towards
patients with rheumatoid arthritis saw a decrease in general joint pain
with three months of supplementing omega 3 fatty acids into their diets,
good source for omega 3′s are: Flaxseeds, walnuts,salmon, sardines, and soybeans

I’m allergic, but for those who are not they are a great source of proteins and omegas

Try to get that daily dose of vitamin D! Most people suffering from fibromyalgia also have a vitamin D deficiency which simply amplifies your symptoms. If you need, vitamin D supplements suffice.

Bone Broths and Organ meats

This one is tough for some to swallow, but so important, they are high in calcium
and essential minerals.


Because sometimes its so hard to attain everything you need 100% naturally; Magnesium is critical and so are the aforementioned vitamin D supplements, Iron is also great for women!

What not to eat

Wheat, Grains, Cereals, and Gluten
These are all inflammatory to the body.


Most people are lactose intolerant to some extent, however this does not include hard cheeses or cultured dairy.

Caffeine, and Alcohol

Caffeine onsets fatigue by nature of making the body hyperactive for a short period of
time and alcohol provides the body with a high amount of low quality calories that are
exhausted quickly also inducing fatigue.

Refined Sugars

Refined sugars present the same problem as alcohol; excessive low quality calories
(energy) that induce fatigue
Trans fats, Dyes, Preservatives, Fortification, Sulfates, Artificial nitrites

These act as excitoxin molecules which heighten the bodies sensitivity to pain, and for obvious reasons should be avoided

STAY AWAY! These guys cause flareups!
Hi Fibro Diet Diva.

Thank you for your suggestions...

I am going to see a nutritonist on Wed who specifically deals with fibro sufferers. I have heard that there is a link between foods and fibro pain. I can't wait to go and will share what I learn.

One thing I've noticed for sure....I cannot drink brings on a lot of burning that seems to be controlled with my fibro meds. I wasn't a big soda person to begin with (maybe one every other day) but now, i've cut them out completely. Anyone else notice this?
@mweber thanks for your response! Well goodluck on your appointment, please continue to tell us what your nutrionist says! (and how it works for you, but yes in my opinion the link between fibro and food is an intimate one that has the potential to offer a cure for fibro)
I had a really hard time back when I was diagnosed in 2005. I was put on a number of medications that never helped me but instead caused horrible side effects. I was told at the time that some people with fibro have a high sensitivity to medications and some may actually do the opposite of what they are supposed to. Since then I only take Elavil for it. It's an old medication and it treats both depression and fibro. Sometimes I go for massages. It's really relaxing ( I have to tell them to rub lightly because it hurts too much with regular pressure) and it loosens my joints nicely. The only problem I have with it is I tend to feel sick immediately after. I don't feel well and I am EXTREMELY tired. I feel almost drunk just driving home. I don't like that, so I actually don't go as often as I used to. I just listen to my body and rest when I need it. I can feel when I'm overdoing it or having a flare up. I have pain all the time but thankfully I can still function for the most part to get what I need done.
Hi....I strongly agree with listening to your own body and then decide what to do best for yourself....
Someone once said....learn to be your own best friend and confidante....
Although we all have fibro and we are all hurting and suffering....
But everyone has a different threshold for the pain we are bearing with....
Everyone also has meds that work differently from another....
So forget who advocates what or which book dictates whatever....
If you feel that by taking certain meds, you can function more, then by all means....
If you feel that today is a good day or low-pain day, you may decide to walk a mile or do the laundry, then go for it....
You can't prepare yourself for fibro flares, neither can you expect tomorrow is a pain-free day....
It can hit you suddenly anytime when you least expect it....
And when it hits you hard, you will not care what diet is good or bad for you....
You won't be bothered with which exercise or massage will help you....
The only thing you care about is....
When is it going away? How long more have I to suffer? Why? And why me?
So, when you know it's a good day, go out, enjoy the sun, enjoy the walk, enjoy the companionship of your loved ones....
Cause you won't know when this respite will last....until it hits you again....
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