Dietary Considerations and Alternative Physical Modalities
Given the known association between obesity and fibromyalgia, it is not surprising that adherence to a healthy diet can have significant benefits. According to recent evidence, vegetarian diets are particularly beneficial for decreasing the pain associated with fibromyalgia; not only because they can induce weight loss, but also because they are rich in antioxidants (Arranz 2010). This is recommended based on evidence that oxidative damage (i.e., free radicals) plays an important role in the development of fibromyalgia (Altindag 2006; Bagis 2005). However, adherence to a specific dietary pattern may not be necessary if antioxidant-rich foods are consumed regularly as part of a healthy diet (Sendur 2009; USDA 2007).
Complementary and Alternative Physical Modalities
In the case of acupuncture, some data suggests it produces short-term pain relief, but these benefits do not appear to be long-term (Terry 2012). Other promising alternative interventions include movement-based therapies such as yoga, Tai-chi, mindfulness meditation, and hydrotherapy (in which the patient undergoes physical therapy while in the water or simply bathes to relieve symptoms) (Terhorst 2011; Carson 2010; Schmidt 2011; Wang 2010).