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Fibromyalgia Treatment Options

Physical and Occupational Therapy | Massage Therapy | Physical Activity | Medication | Self-Management
Staying Connected 

Physical and Occupational Therapy  

Fibromyalgia treatment may include seeing a physical therapist, which has many benefits. Physical therapy can help relieve fibromyalgia pain and stiffness. A physical therapist can increase confidence with exercise, help relax tense muscles and teach you more about your body and movement. Similarly, occupational therapists teach you how to reduce strain on your joints during daily activities while maintaining physical fitness. They will show you how to improve your home and work environments to reduce motions that may aggravate fibromyalgia. They also may recommend aid devices for daily activities.


Massage Therapy  

Registered massage therapists are trained in the assessment of soft tissue and joints of the body, and the treatment and prevention of injury, pain and physical disorders.


Physical Activity   

Physical activity helps improve physical and mental health. It also plays a vital role in the management of fibromyalgia. Physical activity helps reduce stiffness and pain, increase energy and stamina, improve sleep quality and promote weight loss and long-term weight management.

It’s important to consult your doctor or physical therapist about a routine that is moderate and will not increase the chance of flare-ups. There are many fitness centres and organizations that have exercise programs which target people with arthritis and fibromyalgia. You can also find more information on simple steps to incorporate physical activity into your everyday life. 


Sponsor Organization
2-Minute Exercise Routines
Arthritis Foundation
Exercise and Fibromyalgia
University of Michigan
Lifestyle Physical Activity Can Ease Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Arthritis Research UK
Physical Activity and Chronic Pain
Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and Disability
Range of Motion and Strengthening Exercises
University of Washington
Research Reviews on Exercise for Fibromyalgia
Cochrane Library
Types of Exercises
Canadian Pain Coalition
Well-Rounded Workout
Arthritis Foundation


There is a range of over the counter and prescription medications used for treating fibromyalgia. It is best to check with your physician or rheumatologists what is best for you.

Self Management   

Living with fibromyalgia can be challenging – some people with fibromyalgia are “high functioning” – that is they are able to manage their condition and maintain work with limited impact to their social network (family and friends). While others with fibromyalgia may have challenges that are more disruptive to their overall quality of life. Being diagnosed with fibromyalgia does not necessarily mean that you will be “disabled” or will become disabled. Health professionals and researchers have found that self-care and life skills play vital roles in a person's pain and fatigue management. Taking action to improve physical fitness, reduce stress and improve sleep quality can contribute to the successful management of your condition and can reduce your pain levels. Self-management can give you more control over your life.

The Arthritis Society runs Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Self-management Programs all over Canada and the Centre for Aging (University of Victoria) runs Self-Management Programs in British Columbia. CIRPD also provides various tips on evidence-based approaches to self-management.


Sponsor Organization
Arthritis Care
Breaking the Cycle: An Overview of Self-Help
King’s College London
Chronic Disease Self-Management Program
University of Victoria, Centre for Aging
Guided Meditation Video
Mayo Clinic
Living with Fibromyalagia videos
Mindfulness Meditation Podcasts
University of California, Los Angeles
Self-Help Materials
King's College London
Self-Management Approaches for Chronic Pain
Canadian Pain Coalition
Self-Management Programs throughout Canada
Canadian Pain Coalition

Support GroupStaying Connected    

An important aspect of managing fibromyalgia is staying connected with your family and friends as well as connecting with others who share similar experiences with the illness.

For services and support groups in British Columbia, check out our BC Consumer Resource Guide. You can also utilize the Self-Management groups noted below for connecting with others.


Sponsor Organization
Chronic Disease Self-Management Program
University of Victoria, Centre for Aging
Chronic Pain: A burden often shared
Self-Management Programs throughout Canada
Canadian Pain Coalition
Surviving a Loved One's Pain
​​Reviewed by Marc White PhD, Scientific & Executive Director, CIRPD (See Review Criteria)

Last Modified: 1/26/2016 4:01 PM