What is the role of integrative medicine in the treatment of fibromyalgia?

Updated: Nov 14, 2018
  • Author: Chad S Boomershine, MD, PhD, CPI, CPT; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Integrative medicine (complementary and altenative medicine [CAM]) is popular in patients with fibromyalgia, in part due to medical skepticism (ie, doubt in the ability of conventional medical care to appreciably alter health status). [163] Many physicians are ignorant of, if not overtly hostile toward, integrative medicine, and patients are often reluctant to inform their physician about their use of it. This can be dangerous because of unsuspected drug-to-drug interactions.

A practical approach includes the following:

  • Inquire about integrative medicine usage.
  • Refrain from expressing negative opinions if a particular integrative treatment is relatively inexpensive and appears to be safe.
  • Encourage whatever works in the context of the power of the placebo effect and promotion of self-efficacy for pain control.

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