Share this:
MENTOR
Kelly, Alumna Mentor
@kdubois

Posts: 290
Joined: Mar 24, 2016

Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia - alternatives to medications?

Posted by @kdubois, Jun 23, 2017

I’m wondering what methods other than medications fellow people here on Connect have used to relieve chronic body pain and pain from fibromyalgia.

As background, I cannot take most medications because I don’t properly-metabolize them due to genetic polymorphisms; this includes all pain medications and medications used to treat fibromyalgia.

Therefore, some of my doctors have suggested the following. (Not all are possible for me though):
• Yoga
• Water exercises in swimming pool – my pharmacists and I are researching to see if I can tolerate chlorine and bromine.
• Hot tub
• Therapeutic massage
• Acupuncture – I started this in January and it has helped with the pain, but I feel as if I have plateaued. Luckily, my lady gives me a rate deduction because my insurance plan doesn’t cover it.
• Tai Chi
• Walking in 30 minute intervals for at least 150 minutes each week.
• Balanced diet avoiding preservatives, emulsifiers, artificial sweeteners, and organically but eat from the local farmers market before buying organic at the grocery store

Any advice on what you have tried and your feedback is greatly appreciated!

REPLY

Great conversation to kick-off, @kdubois! I’m tagging other members who live with fibromyalgia to join the discussion @clownscrytoo @wandamiller @sandytoes14 @jenapower @robbinr @chari978 @irene5 @mchel46 @kayelle @bstephens @basslakeview @2122 @angieh @persist @jamesthee @michiganstressedlady @hmr52 @lucia: what non-drug therapies or activities help you relieve the symptoms and pain of fibro?

Hi, All the alternatives mentioned I find to be helpful when I am able to do them. Tai Chi takes a long time to learn, but it is definitely worth the time spent.
Yoga is available almost anywhere these days, and restorative Yoga is very soothing. Any and all water treatments are wonderful. Acupuncture works, but it is a slow process. Eating right always helps! When you get massage, find someone who actually understands trigger points. Best of Luck. Robbinr

robbinr, Thank you for the suggestion about Tai Chi. I do a lot of yoga and it is wonderful. Acupuncture was not helpful. Good advice about the trigger points and massage! I’ve very interested in so-called complimentary therapies. I have TM and Burning Mouth Syndrome.

For a while, I was having burning mouth, but I was able to knock down the sensation with a daily dose of Nexium. My tongue would swell and burn, and it turned out to be rampant stomach acid. I’m glad you can do Yoga. There is a healing form of Tai Chi, called Wu form. Hard to find an instructor, but well worth it, unless you want the killing forms -} R

@kdubois Kelly,
The treatments you mention are now popular in healthcare as alternative but they are also complementary to medicine. It’s good for folks like you who have genetic reasons which impede the benefit of medicine. And it’s good for folks like me who want to limit the amount of medicine they take, Over the years I have done Massage, Acupuncture, water therapy, and dietary changes. I cannot twist and turn and balance with traditional Yoga so I try to remember Chair Yoga on YouTube .Each has its benefits and drawbacks.

-Water therapy is easy on the body but you need a timer to start slow. I can’t tolerate cold water.
-Acupuncture helped me the most when I had no pain medicine (for neck pain) but did little for fibro. I like massage the best for fibro. My therapist can modify the pressure from one area of the body to the next.
– As far as dietary changes, I felt no difference physically in eating organic as far as fibro pain.

Over the years, I have not been able to walk as far or as fast as I could. Seven years ago, I was hiking to waterfalls and trails all over Oahu, Hawaii. Yes there was pain, but not like now. Today, I need to rely on how I feel before making a trip to the grocery store.
Doctors say fibromyalgia is not a progressive syndrome but I challenge that thinking.

Kelly, one thing you do not mention and I wonder if you have tried bio-feedback?

***NOTE FROM THE COMMUNITY DIRECTOR***
July 2017

Investigation revealed that @rpoucher has a commercial affiliation with the product she claims to be using for various pain and heart health issues. Posting solicitations or advertisements of any kind violates Mayo Clinic Connect’s Terms of Use https://connect.mayoclinic.org/terms-of-use/.

For this reason, this user has been removed from the community and her posts deleted.

Colleen Young
Community Director, Mayo Clinic Connect

@sandytoes14

@kdubois Kelly,
The treatments you mention are now popular in healthcare as alternative but they are also complementary to medicine. It’s good for folks like you who have genetic reasons which impede the benefit of medicine. And it’s good for folks like me who want to limit the amount of medicine they take, Over the years I have done Massage, Acupuncture, water therapy, and dietary changes. I cannot twist and turn and balance with traditional Yoga so I try to remember Chair Yoga on YouTube .Each has its benefits and drawbacks.

-Water therapy is easy on the body but you need a timer to start slow. I can’t tolerate cold water.
-Acupuncture helped me the most when I had no pain medicine (for neck pain) but did little for fibro. I like massage the best for fibro. My therapist can modify the pressure from one area of the body to the next.
– As far as dietary changes, I felt no difference physically in eating organic as far as fibro pain.

Over the years, I have not been able to walk as far or as fast as I could. Seven years ago, I was hiking to waterfalls and trails all over Oahu, Hawaii. Yes there was pain, but not like now. Today, I need to rely on how I feel before making a trip to the grocery store.
Doctors say fibromyalgia is not a progressive syndrome but I challenge that thinking.

Kelly, one thing you do not mention and I wonder if you have tried bio-feedback?

Jump to this post

@sandytoes14 I haven’t tried biofeedback yet. I start cognitive behavioral therapy soon in the hopes that it will help with my brain damage and sleep disorders, so I’ll ask about that.

I think therapeutic massage will help. Are there any certain qualifications I should look for in a massage therapist?

@rpoucher

***NOTE FROM THE COMMUNITY DIRECTOR***
July 2017

Investigation revealed that @rpoucher has a commercial affiliation with the product she claims to be using for various pain and heart health issues. Posting solicitations or advertisements of any kind violates Mayo Clinic Connect’s Terms of Use https://connect.mayoclinic.org/terms-of-use/.

For this reason, this user has been removed from the community and her posts deleted.

Colleen Young
Community Director, Mayo Clinic Connect

Jump to this post

@rpoucher I wonder if this is what’s happening to me, as well, though I am 100% certain that my local weather affects it, as well.

Can you provide more details regarding the supplements you use? I can’t take many of those as well, but I can certainly research them to see.

Hey this is Jennifer, I thought I posted already and it seems my post is not there. I’m losing my marbles too, ha ha. I just decided recently I’m not taking any more opiate pain medicine. I it got it out of my system completely. It’s surprising that now that I am not taking opiates at all, I don’t have as much pain as I did before. I’ve heard this happens but I’ve never really experienced it. I have started massage therapy which is very helpful, and plan to start either Mindfulness my meditation type therapy, acupuncture and try some of that herbal things, I also rely on lidocaine patches which work well for me. I know people were talking this morning about 2 nonnarcotic pain medicine coming out, and supplements, but no one was very specific about what it was. Could somebody post what supplements they get relief with besides Turmerk, started. It’s supposed to help with inflammation. I don’t want to go back on any kind of opiates because they were just causing me so many problems, as someone mentioned takes away your joy for life. I also tended to isolate myself from my friends because I felt like I was a burden and I’m stopping that. I found that my friends are willing to come to my house because they missed me. I really am trying to push through and do my exercises and walking. Trying right frame of mind, I don’t want to continue feeling sorry for myself, which I was doing. Anyway, if anybody could post names of items that they use that would really be helpful. Happy Fourth of July to everybody, have a wonderful weekend. Thank you Jennifer

@jenapower

Hey this is Jennifer, I thought I posted already and it seems my post is not there. I’m losing my marbles too, ha ha. I just decided recently I’m not taking any more opiate pain medicine. I it got it out of my system completely. It’s surprising that now that I am not taking opiates at all, I don’t have as much pain as I did before. I’ve heard this happens but I’ve never really experienced it. I have started massage therapy which is very helpful, and plan to start either Mindfulness my meditation type therapy, acupuncture and try some of that herbal things, I also rely on lidocaine patches which work well for me. I know people were talking this morning about 2 nonnarcotic pain medicine coming out, and supplements, but no one was very specific about what it was. Could somebody post what supplements they get relief with besides Turmerk, started. It’s supposed to help with inflammation. I don’t want to go back on any kind of opiates because they were just causing me so many problems, as someone mentioned takes away your joy for life. I also tended to isolate myself from my friends because I felt like I was a burden and I’m stopping that. I found that my friends are willing to come to my house because they missed me. I really am trying to push through and do my exercises and walking. Trying right frame of mind, I don’t want to continue feeling sorry for myself, which I was doing. Anyway, if anybody could post names of items that they use that would really be helpful. Happy Fourth of July to everybody, have a wonderful weekend. Thank you Jennifer

Jump to this post

@jenapower I recently visited my fibromyalgia specialist, and she stated that pain meds (opiates and prescription pain meds) generally don’t work for fibromyalgia pain. Interestingly, I also still have chronic pain but less since ceasing so many meds. One thing I have done that helps… meeting with friends regularly; it does help!

Keep exercising and walking; it’s not only good for treating the pain, but it’s good for blood pressure, bone density, anxiety/depression, and more.

Rachel,
Thank you I saw the website but I don’t know what to buy. I will try that ASAP and I agree with you that’s probably one of the biggest problems specially after you’ve been on opioids. Thank you so much Jennifer

I am enjoying reading about some of the alternative methods of pain relief. I was diagnosed with Fibro in Rochester ten years ago, failing all 18 pressure points. This year I was diagnosed with stage IV non small cell lung cancer that has metastasized in my abdomen and brain. They are so focused on my cancer that my pain is not even a point of discussion at most appointments. I am going to try some of the mentioned methods and see if they help. I am fatigued from both diseases, so I move less and I see the pain increasing.

@lorinusbaum

I am enjoying reading about some of the alternative methods of pain relief. I was diagnosed with Fibro in Rochester ten years ago, failing all 18 pressure points. This year I was diagnosed with stage IV non small cell lung cancer that has metastasized in my abdomen and brain. They are so focused on my cancer that my pain is not even a point of discussion at most appointments. I am going to try some of the mentioned methods and see if they help. I am fatigued from both diseases, so I move less and I see the pain increasing.

Jump to this post

Your pain needs to be a point of discussion! Nobody with your diagnosis should be in pain!

@irene5 @lorinusbaum @jenapower @kdubois

Earlier today you were corresponding with a newcomer to Connect. Investigation revealed that @rpoucher has a commercial affiliation with the product she claims to be using for various pain and heart health issues. Posting solicitations or advertisements of any kind violates Mayo Clinic Connect’s Terms of Use https://connect.mayoclinic.org/terms-of-use/. Furthermore, these products have not been FDA approved.

For this reason, this user has been removed from the community and her posts deleted.

When considering complementary or alternative treatments, be open-minded yet skeptical. Learn about the potential benefits and risks. Here is an article from Mayo Clinic on evaluating claims made by the producers and/or sellers of supplements, natural products and other alternative medicines. http://mayocl.in/2tGC0Jp

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Colleen Young
Community Director, Mayo Clinic Connect

All information shared by members on the Mayo Clinic Connect, such as messages, images, advice, URLs, and any other material, is for informational purposes only and is not 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 your health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the community.

@colleenyoung

@irene5 @lorinusbaum @jenapower @kdubois

Earlier today you were corresponding with a newcomer to Connect. Investigation revealed that @rpoucher has a commercial affiliation with the product she claims to be using for various pain and heart health issues. Posting solicitations or advertisements of any kind violates Mayo Clinic Connect’s Terms of Use https://connect.mayoclinic.org/terms-of-use/. Furthermore, these products have not been FDA approved.

For this reason, this user has been removed from the community and her posts deleted.

When considering complementary or alternative treatments, be open-minded yet skeptical. Learn about the potential benefits and risks. Here is an article from Mayo Clinic on evaluating claims made by the producers and/or sellers of supplements, natural products and other alternative medicines. http://mayocl.in/2tGC0Jp

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Colleen Young
Community Director, Mayo Clinic Connect

All information shared by members on the Mayo Clinic Connect, such as messages, images, advice, URLs, and any other material, is for informational purposes only and is not 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 your health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the community.

Jump to this post

Oh dear! I was only hoping the lady with lung cancer and fibromyalgia would discuss medically prescribed pain medication with her physician/oncologist, because nobody that has cancer should have to have pain too. I would never advocate an alternative unless I had data or documentation to support it. I only know about legitimate forms of pain relief.
Even my vet warns me to be wary of “alternative treatments” for one of our dear GSD’s who was just diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy. Thank you Colleen for always being alert.

Please login or register to post a reply.