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Do any alternative treatments work?
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Toria - May 29

This is my first post. I was diagnosed 3 years ago with fibromylagia and found out 3 months ago that I also have osteoarthritis in my spine that is effecting my sciatic nerve. I have tried many different drugs (anti-inflammatory, sleeping aids, low dose anti depressants, anti-convulsants) but I am very sensitive to medication so they usually put me into a haze, plus I have many drug allergies. I'm going to a GP, a rheumatologist (he is trying to talk me into injections), naturopath, chiropractor, massage therapist and I take medication for the pain but I am not getting much relief. I have also gone vegetarian which has helped. I feel like I'm running out of options. I would prefer to use natural remedies because the medications have not worked. Does anyone have any suggestions that I could discuss with my naturopath? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.


axxie - May 30

Toria welcome to fibro forum, were we come together and try to learn from one another and to share our stories.

Looking at alternative remedies, mainstream medicine is very important and often effective in treating fibromyalgia, but sometimes alternative remedies can also ease your symptoms.

Sedating remedies such as valerian and chamomile may improve the chronic insomnia that many fibro sufferers exprience. Acupuncture often provides temporary relief from the muscle pain of fibro. Homeopathic remedies may offer relief from pain and fatigue. Some patients get relief from fibro with Botox injections.

Considering prescribed and over-the counter topical remedies. Many over-the-counter creams and massage rubs relax the muscle pain and tension of fibro. There also prescribed Lidoderm patches.

Depression or Anxiety to improve sysmptoms, doesn't cause fibromyalgia, but either problem can make symptoms of pain, fatigue, and overall achiness considerably worse. If your doctor believes that you may have depression or anxiety, medication for these disorders may also improve your fibro symptoms.

Getting regular excercise, when you're in severe pain from fibro that is not the day to start a new exercise regim. But when you have a good or better day, plan to incorporate some excersise, like walking, build up slowly, enough to get your heart rate up for a short period, whithout hurting yourself. It's good for your haziness and good for the heart rate and how you feel.

Finding the right combination of mainstream medication can sometimes take a long time to administer. As you have said in your post, some you develop allergies, sensitivities and others just give you the fibro fog haziness.

I am wondering how long you were taking your conventional drugs before knowing you were allergic, sensitive or put you in brain haze.

Many of these medication will give you some sort of sensitivities, and haze. But you have to be willing to try for three months before learning, your body language while responding to the medication.

It looks like you have a good gp and great rheumy, just remember that they are trying to help you and you need to believe in them to help you, gain some indepedence of the pain fibro brings you.

Understanding your pain is the key in finding the right combination of mordern medicine and all the other way to help you with fibro pain.

You should keep a diary of the medication you are taking and any other natural pain relief. Some of the combination may not be good, hence you get what you call sensitivities and allergic reactions.

To help you track how you feel, create a simple pain and symptom diary for you to use and bring with you to your visits with your gp and rheumy.

The way I have set it up, is easy.

Level of pain from 0 to 10 and accross the sheet I right the days of the week, then everyday I write my pain level. On another line I write down the new treatment and again I write how I feel from (start of new drug) on monday to thursday (had a massage and my pain was hard), ditto for stress I may write on any given day (I had an instant of fogginess made me loose some time) or had an easy day on another day, the same for food, (tuesday chef salad, bread, cheese, had ib or got sick).

These diaries are very informative both for you and your team.

As for the osteoarthritis in your spine, most have the same, because of the ailment we have and as for the sciatic nerve, sometimes it troubles me and most days it doesn't. I haven't found a good formula for my sciatic nerve except massages and chiropractic care.

Remember that arthritis differs from fibro pain, diagnoseing arthritis and giving you medication to treat the arthritis should give you some relief, but as you know, there are no magic pill.

Since you have turned vegeterian have your doctor to perform a b-12, folate and iron defficiency report, it's very important that your vitamins and minerals stay in your body and not be in short supply because the short supply will create unecessary pain and problems with your health that you do not need, while trying to treat your fibro.

Lastly when going to your appointments, either bring your medications, vitamins and supplements with you, or have a good record on paper, with the times of your instructions. So remember to bring them or your lists with you, whenever you see your gp and rheumy, most doctors are so busy that they don't remember how many little blue pill they may have prescribe to you, and it's very important noting the vitamins, minerals and other medication you are taking, with the dosage and times of when you took your medication and vitamins etc.

When you forget to tell a doctor about a certain medication interactions then you are comprimising your treatment plan.

Good luck to you Toria and I'm hoping some of the information was informative to you and come back to the fibro forum.




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