There’s no cure for fibromyalgia, but the condition may go into remission for weeks or even years at a time.

Even though fibromyalgia is considered a chronic condition that never goes away entirely, most people experience fluctuations in symptoms over time. It’s possible that the disease can go into remission for long periods, especially with treatment.

In a 2016 study, researchers noted that up to 47% percent of 226 participants with fibromyalgia no longer met the study’s definition of the condition 1–2 years after being diagnosed. After 11 years, about 44% of participants no longer met the definition.

Here’s what to know about treating the condition and strategies to reduce your risk of flare-ups.

In some cases, your care team may prescribe or recommend medication for fibromyalgia symptoms, especially pain.

These may include:

  • antidepressants like amitriptyline, duloxetine, or milnacipran
  • anti-seizure drugs, like pregabalin
  • over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen

Other than amitriptyline, the above medications are FDA approved for managing fibromyalgia symptoms.

OTC pain relievers aren’t recommended for fibromyalgia as they used to be, since they have limited effectiveness. But due to their relatively low risk of side effects, they may be worth a try.

Be sure to check in with your care team about medications that do or don’t seem to help. Over time, your body can develop a tolerance to certain medications, which can make them less effective. Your care team can help you monitor your tolerance and make adjustments if needed.

While medication can offer some relief, most people find better results when combining it with other strategies.

Exercise is typically recommended as part of any fibromyalgia treatment plan. According to a 2023 review, it’s the most recommended treatment due to its ability to improve both pain and fatigue.

According to a large 2022 review of several studies, aerobic exercise, resistance training, and stretching in people with fibromyalgia had a positive impact on:

  • pain
  • depression
  • life quality

Research from 2017 also suggests that in addition to reducing pain, a combination of low impact aerobic exercise and resistance training can also help with:

  • tenderness
  • stiffness
  • sleep disturbances

The authors of the 2017 study especially recommend tai chi, yoga, and qigong as low impact exercises to consider.

Identifying and avoiding triggers is another way to improve fibromyalgia symptoms. Even though experts don’t know what causes fibromyalgia, there are several factors that appear to trigger flare-ups or worsen existing symptoms, including:

  • stress
  • infections
  • physical or emotional trauma
  • certain foods, which can vary from person to person
  • sedentary activity
  • poor sleep

Triggers can vary from person to person, so you may want to consider keeping a journal tracking your activity, moods, and diet to see if you can identify any patterns.

Weather changes

A 2021 study notes that weather changes may also be a potential trigger for fibromyalgia flare-ups. While more research is needed to understand the connection between the two fully, the authors note that many people with fibromyalgia report increased pain during weather shifts. They also concluded that weather appears to be closely linked to quality of life in people with fibromyalgia.

Again, keeping a journal of how your symptoms change with the weather can help you get a better sense of how your symptoms are impacted. While you can’t control the weather, it may help to keep an eye on the forecast so you can better anticipate when you might experience a flare-up.


A 2020 study involving 228 women with fibromyalgia also explored the potential impact of perfectionism on fibromyalgia pain. The authors note that a tendency toward perfectionism seemed to be a common trait among those with fibromyalgia, particularly females.

On one hand, the authors note that perfectionism may cause some people with fibromyalgia to avoid certain activities, including those that might help to improve symptoms. On the other hand, it may cause others to “work through” the pain, exacerbating symptoms and even contributing to flare-ups.

While more research is needed, this study highlights the mental health impact of living with a chronic condition like fibromyalgia.

Getting support from a mental health professional can be helpful for navigating some of the challenges that come with fibromyalgia. Acceptance and commitment therapy may be particularly helpful.

Learn how to find the right therapist for your needs.

In addition to avoiding any foods that seem to trigger your symptoms, you may want to consider some broader dietary changes.

According to the 2023 review discussed above, certain dietary changes may be particularly helpful for improving fibromyalgia-related pain. While the authors note there’s not enough evidence to recommend a specific diet for fibromyalgia, plant-based diets seem to have more consistently beneficial effects compared to restrictive ones.

You may also want to avoid consuming caffeine in the afternoon or evening, as this can disrupt your sleep patterns.

Read more about the connection between diet and fibromyalgia.

Other approaches that may provide relief from symptoms include:

While there isn’t a ton of high quality research behind these approaches, some people with fibromyalgia find some of these strategies helpful. Just be sure to check in with your healthcare professional before trying any new supplements, including CBD or cannabis.

While there’s no known cure for fibromyalgia, it may go into remission for extended periods with treatment. Exercise is currently the most recommended treatment for fibromyalgia, followed by medication, reducing stress, and identifying and avoiding triggers.