Can alternative treatments help with painful fibroids?

Ask the doctors

Q. I have uterine fibroids and am experiencing some pain and discomfort from them. Are there any alternative treatments that I can use to help manage my symptoms?

A. If you are experiencing anemia, severe pain, or difficulty with urinating that may be due to fibroids, it's important to seek the advice of a doctor. However, there are some pain management options other than medications or surgery that may help relieve symptoms related to fibroids. These strategies haven't been proven to relieve pain from fibroids, but The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, in a 2017 review of complementary approaches to chronic pain, found they have some promise in helping other types of chronic pain, specifically lower back pain. These include acupuncture, an alternative medicine treatment that uses small needles applied at specific sites on the body to relieve chronic pain; yoga, a type of low-impact exercise that includes a series of postures and breathing techniques; relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and mindfulness (a practice that encourages staying focused on the present moment); tai chi, originally practiced as a form of self-defense, which incorporates slow, deliberate movements and deep breathing exercises; and massage performed by a massage therapist.

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