Vitamin D as Fibromyalgia Treatment
Both vitamin D and magnesium levels have been found to be low in people with fibromyalgia, but as of yet there is no evidence that taking vitamin supplements are an effective fibromyalgia treatment. Vitamin D, known as the sunshine vitamin, does have some effects on nerve and muscle function, and some studies have suggested that low levels of vitamin D may be associated with chronic pain of fibromyalgia. In a small clinical study published online in the January 2012 issue of Pain Medicine, fibromyalgia symptoms improved in 30 women after 8 weeks of vitamin D supplementation. However, other researchers have failed to find any association between fibromyalgia and vitamin D levels.
Help From Acupuncture
Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of treatment for chronic pain and is based on ancient Chinese medical practices. There have been several studies on the usefulness of acupuncture in treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Three studies support the use of acupuncture combined with a pulsed electric current, a treatment called electroacupuncture. Although this fibromyalgia treatment seems to relieve pain, the results are not long-lasting.
SAMe is a naturally occurring substance throughout the body and involved in many of the body’s processes, its role as a pain reliever has been studied. SAMe has been shown to relieve depression and the chronic pain associated with osteoarthritis. Some studies show that taking SAMe may reduce fibromyalgia symptoms of pain, fatigue, and stiffness. The studies supporting the use of SAMe for fibromyalgia help are small, and not all have found a benefit. More research is needed. SAMe is not found in food, but can be taken as a supplement in the form of a tablet.
Massage therapy is another alternative pain treatment that is one of the most commonly tried for fibromyalgia. The benefits of massage are hard to demonstrate in a clinical study, but it does seem to be helpful for many types of muscle pain, including fibromyalgia. Massage is generally safe. It may certainly relieve tightness and promote relaxation, but it is not likely to provide any long-term fibromyalgia help.
Capsaicin comes from pepper plants and is considered a natural pain reliever. It’s the active ingredient in a variety of over-the-counter sprays and lotions. When applied to a painful area of the body, it stimulates the release of a body chemical called substance P. As substance P is depleted, the pain sensation seems to decrease. Capsaicin has been used for chronic pain in diabetes, cancer, and cluster headaches. It may also temporarily relieve fibromyalgia pain.
Biofeedback is an alternative therapy that uses the mind-body connection to help you learn to control your chronic pain with the power of your mind. The feedback may come in the form of muscle tension, skin temperature, or brain wave measurements. Biofeedback is helpful for many painful conditions when it is used along with other therapies. There are not enough good studies to say for sure whether biofeedback is an effective fibromyalgia treatment yet.
Chiropractic medicine is an alternative form of treatment that uses spinal manipulation and realignment to relieve pain, improve function, and promote natural healing. Chiropractic has been studied in many chronic pain conditions. Most studies suggest it may be effective for relief of back, neck, or headache pain. As far as fibromyalgia help, the National Institutes of Health state there is insufficient evidence to recommend it.
Melatonin is a natural hormone found in the body, thought to be involved in promoting sleep. Melatonin in pill form is often used as a sleep aid, but it has also been used for depression, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia. Again, the experts say there is not enough evidence to support its use for the chronic pain of fibromyalgia. However, many people do get fibromyalgia help from natural and alternative treatments despite the lack of research support. If you want to try one of these fibromyalgia treatments, always check with your doctor first.