Nonpharmacologic treatment for fibromyalgia: patient education, cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques, and complementary and alternative medicine

Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2009 May;35(2):393-407. doi: 10.1016/j.rdc.2009.05.003.


Because of the dynamic and complex nature of chronic pain, successful treatment usually requires addressing behavioral, cognitive, and affective processes. Many adjunctive interventions have been implemented in fibromyalgia (FM) treatment, but few are supported by controlled trials. Herein, some of the more commonly used nonpharmacologic interventions for FM are described and the evidence for efficacy is presented. Clinical observations and suggestions are also offered, including using the principles outlined in the acronym ExPRESS to organize a comprehensive nonpharmacologic pain management approach.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Fibromyalgia / psychology*
  • Fibromyalgia / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Relaxation Therapy*