The Role of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Treatments in Fibromyalgia: a Comprehensive Review

Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2019 Mar 4;21(5):14. doi: 10.1007/s11926-019-0814-0.


Purpose of review: Fibromyalgia is a complex chronic pain syndrome that can have debilitating consequences for affected patients. When compared to the general population, patients with fibromyalgia experience lowered mechanical and thermal pain thresholds, altered temporal summation of painful stimuli, and higher than normal pain ratings for known noxious stimuli.

Recent findings: There is no definitive cure for fibromyalgia and treatment primarily focuses on both symptom management and improving patient quality of life. This treatment strategy involves a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach consisting of lifestyle modifications, pharmacologic measures, and other complementary approaches including but not limited to acupuncture, yoga, tai chi, and meditation. This manuscript will discuss the diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia, as well as complementary and alternative therapies that should be considered by healthcare providers.

Keywords: Alternative therapy; Complementary therapy; Fibromyalgia; Fibromyalgia treatments; Pain; Symptom management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Fibromyalgia / psychology
  • Fibromyalgia / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life / psychology*