Over the course of 10 years living with fibromyalgia, I’ve tried so many different treatments. As I reviewed my treatments on one site I was able to easily review at least 50 different treatments, and I’ve probably tried (and forgotten) more than that. This got me thinking about what fibromyalgia treatments have helped me most.
So, what fibromyalgia treatments work for me? Here are the ones that I’ve found most helpful and continue to use regularly.
- Gluten-free diet – I switched to a gluten-free diet about two years after I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and I wish I’d done it sooner, much sooner. At that point I’d tried probably 20 different medications and most of them just made me feel worse. This was really the first treatment I tried that actually made me feel better. Changing my diet resulted in a drastic reduction in pain
- Mindfulness Based Stress Relief (MBSR)– aka meditation, although it’s really more than that. MBSR is a combination of meditation, meditative movement, and body awareness. It’s about learning to listen to your body and to give yourself assigned times to really focus on what is going on with your body, as well as find ways to focus away from particularly troublesome spots. Regular meditation helps improve my focus and decreases fibro fog.
- Stretching / Movement – When I first got sick I couldn’t imagine how moving more would help, but it does. That said it’s not about just any movement and I’m not about to go run a marathon (but if that’s your thing, go for it).What I found works best for me is focusing on mindful movement by way of stretching and regular movement in the form of either walking or dancing. The movement gets my blood flowing, increasing oxygenation and decreasing pain and stretching keeps my muscles lengthened so they are less likely to tighten up. Stretching regularly results in less pain and tightness, plus better movement.
- Magnesium – Adding magnesium supplementation and regular Epson salt baths was a game-changer for me in regards to muscle spasms and twitches. Obviously less spasms = fewer cramps = less pain.
- Fish Oil – One of my early symptoms was sharp pain in my eye along with really dry eyes. I struggled with this issue and tried several prescription medications that didn’t really help. What finally helped was taking fish oil on a daily basis. I started taking it on recommendation from a psychiatrist I was seeing at the time as he said it would help with depression. I’m not sure if it did anything for that, but it did resolved the eye dryness and pain. Lately, I’ve been using the Krill Oil from Vital Plan.
- CBD Oil – CBD Oil was the first non-pharmaceutical treatment I found that actually improved my sleep. I saw a difference almost immediately as I went from lying in bed for up to two hours before falling asleep to falling asleep within about 15 minutes after laying down. I also found that I stayed asleep through the night and woke up feeling more refreshed than I had in years.Unlike other treatments I’d tried it continued to work months later. I’ve changed brands a few times and I have found that the brand and level of CBD in the tincture matters. These days I’m using the Vital Plan Select CBD oil.
- Vital Plan Restore Kit – The Vital Plan Restore Kit contains four different supplement blends designed to help improve the various symptoms that come with fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, and CFS/ME.I’d taken it for a few months before I realized it was helping me and it wasn’t until I had to stop taking it prior to a surgery that I really realized how much. Instead of going out on Friday night and having to stay in on Saturday to recover, I was able to go out multiple nights in a row with no downtime.
- Fibro-focused muli-vitamin – FibroAid is a fibromyalgia-focused multi-vitamin that contains a specific blend of vitamins and herbs that have been proven to help symptoms of fibromyalgia. I was already taking most of these separately so it was awesome to find one pill to rule them all. This biggest improvement with this is that it has Tumeric and Magnesium, both of which decrease my pain.
- CBD-based lotions – I started out using the lotions from Fay Farm, but have since switched over to the products from Resonant Botanicals. They are similar and it’s really just a matter of preference. The Qi of Calm lotion from Resonant Botanical has been awesome for the burning pain I get in my feet and hands around bedtime. It calms this down so it’s not distracting me from relaxing into sleep. Invigorate works really well for both migraine and tension headache pain, as well as general fibro aches and pains.
- CBD Muscle Rub – While the lotions are great for certain things, when it’s a deep muscle pain or tightness that’s bothering me, I find the CBD Muscle & Joint Rub from Vital Plan Select works best. It comes in an easy to apply stick, so you don’t end up with it coating your fingers.
- Pulse Electromagnetic Frequency (PEMF) – PEMF provided by my Oska Pulse was something that seriously changed my life. Prior to my introduction to the Oska Pulse I had been dealing with major shoulder pain for about three years. This pain kept me from doing most things I enjoy.However, just a few months of sporadically using the Oska Pulse and I was able to move again and not only take part in activities I enjoyed, but do other things like home improvement projects. BTW, you can save $55 when you purchase Oska Pulse using the links in this post.
- Therespecs glasses – Theraspecs were created to help block the blue light waves that can cause migraines, but light sensivity isn’t just an issue with migraine. I find that when I have migraines it often feels a lot like a fibro flare. Theraspecs has greatly reduced the number of migraines I experience, taking me out of the chronic migraine range. As a result, my fibromyalgia symptoms have also decreased.
What fibromyalgia treatments have helped you the most? Share your experiences in the comments below.
Dino Govender says
I have been diagnosed with Fibromalgia after seven years. I do not sleep for days. I was prescribed with Dopaquel which is having side effects. Tried 5 HTP and effects hypertension which originated with fibromalgia. Does CDB oil effect hypertension medication?
I really can’t say if CBD oil will interact with your medications. I’d suggest talking to your doctor or pharmacist before adding any supplements.
D Govender says
Sorry for spelling errors. I had to correct my spellings and would appreciate a reply on following::
I did not realize that I have had Fibromalgia until yesterday. I have been to various doctors and none could diagnose as I have had insomnia and hypertension started at the sametime(seven years ago).I do not sleep for days Can you suggest the best treatment , especially having hypertension at the sametime. Does CBD aggreviate hypertension?
D Govender(South Africa)
Unfortunately, we are all different and your combination of symptoms will affect what the best treatment will be. I’m not a doctor and can only share my experiences and whatever research I find. I’d suggest talking with your doctor before adding any supplements to your treatment plan.
April Leonard says
Thank you for this list. I’m always looking for supplements that can improve my health in any way. I appreciate your blog and all the information you provide.
Keep us informed. I can use advise.
I’ve had fibromyalgia 16 yrs also.
Just now have the red burning hands and feet.
Seems so much comes with this.
I did stop migraines.
I seen a lady with a ear piercing inside her ear it’s call the faith, she said she only had gotten it because it was supposed to stop migraines. I did it thought I’d die. But after 4 yrs no migraines.
Sorry to hear you have it also.
Glad to hear the dearth piercing worked for your migraines. It seems to help some more than others. The red burning feet and hands is likely small fiber polyneuropathy, which is also quite common with fibromyalgia.
Francis Glass says
I am sorry for your trouble and sympathize. Thank you for creating this forum.
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia over 25 years ago but was too busy bearing and raising my three kids and working to care for myself. I worked in the bush for over twenty years as a lass and expected some discomfort.
Twenty two years back, after arriving from a UK visit, I was thrown into a dark, isolated hospital room suffering from viral meningitis. It was the second time that I was told to get my affairs in order. The hangover has lasted far longer than any neurologist suggested and my symptoms are very similar to those you describe as fibromyalgic and worsening.
I’ve been to pain clinics, acupuncture, Tens, RMT’s, chiropractors, and so on. On a good day,my eyes don’t tear up from the headache. I avoid all of the things mentioned and walk on grass rather than pavement where possible as vibration is a problem .
I just tip the painkiller bottle into my mouth now. I know how hard it is on my liver, but I have to live. Topiramate dulls the racket and the side effects are bearable. I’ve begun Kratom.
Im so sorry you are going through this. I wish I had answers for you. Your mention of walking on grass made me wonder if Oska Pulse might help you. It works on Pulse Electromagnetic Frequency, mimicking the same frequencies you get from the earth when walking barefoot on grass. The specific frequencies are tuned to minimize inflammation, increase bloodflow and decrease pain. It’s helped many reduce or even eliminate the need for opioids. You can read my experience with Oska here: What is an Oska Pulse? And, how did it change my life?.
Renee Kramer says
I’m not sure if you will see this or not since it has been some time since your post but what I found interesting is that I had meningitis and then a few years later I was diagnosed with fibro. I have been dealing with this for over 16 years now. I have tried so many things over the years and have come down to pain meds, magnesium, weekly massages, and being gluten-free. These things give the most bang for the buck for me. I have spent thousands of dollars trying to feel better. My doctor keeps pushing me to become dairy-free but that’s a tough one for me but am now going to try it for a month. Hope you find something that works for you! Good luck!
Just found your blog and want to thank you for sharing what works for you. I’m also located in the HSV area. I’ve heard about a local Fibro support group, had meeting info at one time and lost it. Is it still active, and if so could you email me the info (I’m assuming you can see the email I had to put in in order to comment) as I’d really like to start going.
And to answer your question, what works for me is always using my CPAP, even for naps. Turmeric twice a day, along with a cocktail of supplements (fish oil, Acetyl L-carnitine, Malic acid with magnesium, 5-HTP, CoQ10, Biotin, and Vit D). I also went to HSV Pool and Land Therapy a few years ago for warm water massage, it was marvelous. Need to get a new scrip from my rheumatologist to go back again.
Isn’t HSV Pool & Land amazing!
Unfortunately, I don’t think the local support group is still active.
Hi Julie I just found your blog. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2008 it wasn’t easy but I managed to teach middle school science full time and be a full-time caregiver for my disabled mother. That all changed last year when I was rear ended while waiting to make a left turn and the impact fractured two vertebrae in my lower back, after 2 pain injections in my spinal cord didn’t work I had to have spinal fusion and disc replacement surgery in December and recovery has been difficult and slow. To further complicate my life the day after my back surgery my mother suddenly got sick and passed away. My back is not any better if anything it’s worse because my legs go numb causing me to fall unexpectedly and injure myself, I lost my teaching contract due to not being able to do the job. I hurt all the time and and can’t sleep my question is can you take your CBD Oil with prescription meds like Ultram, Gabapentin, Toprimax and Doluxiopine?
I do take CBD oil with gabapentin. That said I can’t speak for any interactions with other meds, and because you are probably on pain meds that require a contract, I’d be very careful. Many CBD oils do have small amounts of THC. They are tiny but enough that it could show up if you were tested. Something to be aware of as you look at different ones. I believe that Every Day Optimal (the brand I use) is pure CBD (no THC) but I’d certainly contact them to be doubly sure if you are at all concerned.
I’ve been open with my doctors about my CBD oil use and none have had anything negative to say. The most follow-up I usually get after I say that it’s the one thing that’s improved my sleep, is for them to ask where I get it.
Annette Kelly says
Julie, I totally agree that a sleep study should be done on initial diagnosis of fibro! I had severe apnea and was just about to the point of giving up. I had been going to a rheumatologist for over 2 years and did not understand why I had to get to such a low spot before it was suggested I take a sleep study. It is and does make an enormous difference in the quality of life I have with fibro. Any time I talk with anyone who also has fibro I always mention taking a sleep study.
I had to ask for a sleep study. It makes no sense that it’s not something that is recommended on the front end.
Hi Julie! Thanks for sharing..I had heard gabmentin has many side effects and is not good? Also what do you do about the twitches and anxiety and depression that comes with Fibro?
I haven’t personally had any issues with gabapentin so long as I stay at lower doses. If I get too high, I turn into a bit of a zombie. Magnesium has helped the twitches. I did have depression and anxiety early on, but getting my other symptoms under control (primarily through diet and lifestyle) improved those as well.