Advertisement

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

  • Amit Prabhakar
  • Jennifer M. Kaiser
  • Matthew B. Novitch
  • Elyse M. CornettEmail author
  • Richard D. Urman
  • Alan D. Kaye
Complementary & Alternative Medicine (S Kolasinski, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Abstract

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.

Summary

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

Fibromyalgia Fibromyalgia treatments Complementary therapy Alternative therapy Pain Symptom management 

Notes

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References

  1. 1.
    Aman MM, Jason Yong R, Kaye AD, Urman RD. Evidence-based non-pharmacological therapies for fibromyalgia. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2018;22:33.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11916-018-0688-2.
  2. 2.
    Clauw DJ, Arnold LM, McCarberg BH. FibroCollaborative. The Science of Fibromyalgia. Mayo Clin Proc. 2011;86:907–11.  https://doi.org/10.4065/mcp.2011.0206. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Schmidt-Wilcke T, Diers M. New insights into the pathophysiology and treatment of fibromyalgia. Biomedicines. 2017;5:22.  https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines5020022.CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wolfe F, Ross K, Anderson J, Russell IJ, Hebert L. The prevalence and characteristics of fibromyalgia in the general population. Arthritis Rheum. 1995;38:19–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Plesner KB, Vaegter HB. Symptoms of fibromyalgia according to the 2016 revised fibromyalgia criteria in chronic pain patients referred to multidisciplinary pain rehabilitation: influence on clinical and experimental pain sensitivity. J Pain. 2018;19:777–86.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpain.2018.02.009.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Queiroz LP. Worldwide epidemiology of fibromyalgia. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2013;17:356.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11916-013-0356-5.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Goldenberg DL, Burckhardt C, Crofford L. Management of fibromyalgia syndrome. JAMA. 2004;292:2388.  https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.292.19.2388.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gracely RH, Petzke F, Wolf JM, Clauw DJ. Functional magnetic resonance imaging evidence of augmented pain processing in fibromyalgia. Arthritis Rheum. 2002;46:1333–43.  https://doi.org/10.1002/art.10225.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hudson JI, Mangweth B, Pope HG, De Col C, Hausmann A, Gutweniger S, et al. Family study of affective spectrum disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2003;60:170–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Russell IJ, Orr MD, Littman B, Vipraio GA, Alboukrek D, Michalek JE, et al. Elevated cerebrospinal fluid levels of substance P in patients with the fibromyalgia syndrome. Arthritis Rheum. 1994;37:1593–601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hughes G, Martinez C, Myon E, Taïeb C, Wessely S. The impact of a diagnosis of fibromyalgia on health care resource use by primary care patients in the UK: an observational study based on clinical practice. Arthritis Rheum. 2006;54:177–83.  https://doi.org/10.1002/art.21545.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kim S-K, Kim S-H, Lee C-K, Lee H-S, Lee S-H, Park Y-B, et al. Effect of fibromyalgia syndrome on the health-related quality of life and economic burden in Korea. Rheumatology. 2013;52:311–20.  https://doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kes255.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    White KP, Nielson WR, Harth M, Ostbye T, Speechley M. Does the label fibromyalgia alter health status, function, and health service utilization? A prospective, within-group comparison in a community cohort of adults with chronic widespread pain. Arthritis Rheum. 2002;47:260–5.  https://doi.org/10.1002/art.10400.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Wolfe F, Smythe HA, Yunus MB, Bennett RM, Bombardier C, Goldenberg DL, et al. The American College of Rheumatology 1990 criteria for the classification of fibromyalgia. Arthritis Rheum. 1990;33:160–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wolfe F, Clauw DJ, Fitzcharles M-A, Goldenberg DL, Katz RS, Mease P, et al. The American College of Rheumatology Preliminary Diagnostic Criteria for fibromyalgia and measurement of symptom severity. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2010;62:600–10.  https://doi.org/10.1002/acr.20140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Clauw DJ. Fibromyalgia. JAMA. 2014;311:1547–55.  https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2014.3266.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gittins R, Howard M, Ghodke A, Ives TJ, Chelminski P. The accuracy of a fibromyalgia diagnosis in general practice. Pain Med. 2018;19:491–8.  https://doi.org/10.1093/pm/pnx155.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Vincent A, Lahr BD, Wolfe F, Clauw DJ, Whipple MO, Oh TH, et al. Prevalence of fibromyalgia: a population-based study in Olmsted County, Minnesota, utilizing the Rochester Epidemiology Project. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2013;65:786–92.  https://doi.org/10.1002/acr.21896.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Crofford LJ, Appleton BE. Complementary and alternative therapies for fibromyalgia. Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2001;3:147–56.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11926-001-0010-9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Busch AJ, Webber SC, Richards RS, Bidonde J, Schachter CL, Schafer LA, et al. Resistance exercise training for fibromyalgia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013:CD010884.  https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD010884.
  21. 21.
    Bidonde J, Busch AJ, Webber SC, Schachter CL, Danyliw A, Overend TJ, et al. Aquatic exercise training for fibromyalgia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014:CD011336.  https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD011336.
  22. 22.
    Häuser W, Klose P, Langhorst J, Moradi B, Steinbach M, Schiltenwolf M, et al. Efficacy of different types of aerobic exercise in fibromyalgia syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Arthritis Res Ther. 2010;12:R79.  https://doi.org/10.1186/ar3002.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Perrot S, Russell IJ. More ubiquitous effects from non-pharmacologic than from pharmacologic treatments for fibromyalgia syndrome: a meta-analysis examining six core symptoms. Eur J Pain. 2014;18:1067–80.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ejp.564.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Häuser W, Wolfe F, Tölle T, Üçeyler N, Sommer C. The role of antidepressants in the management of fibromyalgia syndrome. CNS Drugs. 2012;26:297–307.  https://doi.org/10.2165/11598970-000000000-00000.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Häuser W, Petzke F, Sommer C. Comparative efficacy and harms of duloxetine, milnacipran, and pregabalin in fibromyalgia syndrome. J Pain. 2010;11:505–21.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpain.2010.01.002.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Hauser W, Petzke F, Uceyler N, Sommer C. Comparative efficacy and acceptability of amitriptyline, duloxetine and milnacipran in fibromyalgia syndrome: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Rheumatology. 2011;50:532–43.  https://doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keq354.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Häuser W, Bernardy K, Üçeyler N, Sommer C. Treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome with antidepressants. JAMA. 2009;301:198–209.  https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2008.944.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Dimmock S, Troughton PR, Bird HA. Factors predisposing to the resort of complementary therapies in patients with fibromyalgia. Clin Rheumatol. 1996;15:478–82.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02229645.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Lind BK, Lafferty WE, Tyree PT, Diehr PK, Grembowski DE. Use of complementary and alternative medicine providers by fibromyalgia patients under insurance coverage. Arthritis Rheum. 2007;57:71–6.  https://doi.org/10.1002/art.22471.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Nicassio PM, Schuman C, Kim J, Cordova A, Weisman MH. Psychosocial factors associated with complementary treatment use in fibromyalgia. J Rheumatol. 1997;24:2008–13.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Fugh-Berman A. Clinical trials of herbs. Prim Care. 1997;24:889–903.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0095-4543(05)70315-8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Fibromyalgia: complementary and alternative treatments 2018.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Langhorst J, Häuser W, Lauche R, Perrot S, Alegre C, Sarzi Puttini PC. Complementary and alternative medicine for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:408436.  https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/408436.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Fibromyalgia: complementary and alternative treatments. Inst Qual Effic heal care (IQWiG); 2006- 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK492996/.
  35. 35.
    Langhorst J, Häuser W, Bernardy K, Lucius H, Settan M, Winkelmann A, et al. Komplementäre und alternative Verfahren beim Fibromyalgiesyndrom. Schmerz. 2012;26:311–7.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00482-012-1178-9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Deare JC, Zheng Z, Xue CC, Liu JP, Shang J, Scott SW, et al. Acupuncture for treating fibromyalgia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013:CD007070.  https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD007070.pub2.
  37. 37.
    Yang B, Yi G, Hong W, Bo C, Wang Z, Liu Y, et al. Efficacy of acupuncture on fibromyalgia syndrome: a meta-analysis. J Tradit Chinese Med = Chung i Tsa Chih Ying Wen Pan. 2014;34:381–91.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Glombiewski JA, Bernardy K, Häuser W. Efficacy of EMG- and EEG-biofeedback in fibromyalgia syndrome: a meta-analysis and a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:962741.  https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/962741.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Cash E, Salmon P, Weissbecker I, Rebholz WN, Bayley-Veloso R, Zimmaro LA, et al. Mindfulness meditation alleviates fibromyalgia symptoms in women: results of a randomized clinical trial. Ann Behav Med. 2015;49:319–30.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12160-014-9665-0.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Wang C, Schmid CH, Fielding RA, Harvey WF, Reid KF, Price LL, et al. Effect of tai chi versus aerobic exercise for fibromyalgia: comparative effectiveness randomized controlled trial. BMJ. 2018;360:k851.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Habib G, Artul S. Medical Cannabis for the treatment of fibromyalgia. JCR J Clin Rheumatol. 2018;1:255–8.  https://doi.org/10.1097/RHU.0000000000000702.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Engen DJ, McAllister SJ, Whipple MO, Cha SS, Dion LJ, Vincent A, et al. Effects of transdermal magnesium chloride on quality of life for patients with fibromyalgia: a feasibility study. J Integr Med. 2015;13:306–13.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S2095-4964(15)60195-9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amit Prabhakar
    • 1
  • Jennifer M. Kaiser
    • 2
  • Matthew B. Novitch
    • 2
  • Elyse M. Cornett
    • 3
    Email author
  • Richard D. Urman
    • 4
  • Alan D. Kaye
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology, Division of Critical CareEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Medical College of WisconsinWausauUSA
  3. 3.Department of AnesthesiologyLSU Health ShreveportShreveportUSA
  4. 4.Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain MedicineHarvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  5. 5.Department of AnesthesiologyLSU Health Sciences CenterNew OrleansUSA

Personalised recommendations