Fibromyalgia is a complex syndrome associated with significant impairment in quality of life and function and with substantial financial costs. Once the diagnosis is made, providers should aim to increase patients' function and minimize pain. Fibromyalgia patients frequently use alternative therapies, strongly indicating both their dissatisfaction with and the substantial ineffectiveness of traditional medical therapy, especially pharmacological treatments. At present, pharmacological treatments for fibromyalgia have a rather discouraging cost/benefit ratio in terms of poor symptom control and high incidence of side effects. The interdisciplinary treatment programs have been shown to improve subjective pain with greater success than monotherapy. Physical therapies, rehabilitation and alternative therapies are generally perceived to be more 'natural,' to have fewer adverse effects, and in some way, to be more effective. In this review, physical exercise and multimodal cognitive behavioural therapy are presented as the more accepted and beneficial forms of nonpharmacological therapy.
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