New research confirms what myself and many of my patients already knew… acupuncture is a successful treatment for fibromyalgia!
New research concludes that acupuncture reduces pain sensitivity for patients suffering from fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). The study also showed that patients receiving acupuncture had significant reductions in anxiety and depression. Further, the overall quality of life score improved for FMS patients receiving acupuncture therapy.
The treatment method was the application of five acupuncture points at a rate of once per week. The points were located in areas of discomfort near the occipital bone, rhomboid and trapezius muscles and in the region of the upper chest and lateral epicondyle. The results were published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies.
Fibromyalgia is a pain syndrome affecting the soft tissues and often involves sleep disturbances, tenderness at specific points, muscle pain, fatigue and depression. A literal translation of the term is pain of the muscles and fibrous tissues. Fibromyalgia is distinguished from most other forms of pain because it is non-nociceptive. Nociceptive pain involves inflammation and is triggered by pain receptors in the skin, muscles, joints and other tissues. FMS and other non-nociceptive types of pain conditions do not inherently involve inflammation and is a result of a disruption in central processing. Examples of non-nociceptive pain include irritable bowel syndrome, migraine headaches and FMS. It is estimated that FMS affects up to approximately 4% of the US population. In Chinese Medicine, FMS is due to Liver Qi stagnation, Bi syndrome, dampness with Wei Qi obstruction, Qi deficiency and Yin deficiency. Acupuncture and herbal medicine are commonly used to treat FMS. Biomedical treatments for FMS include anti-depressants, serotonin reuptake inhibitors, sleep drugs, pain medications and nutritional supplements.
More Research Another recent study published in Clinical Rheumatology concludes that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome. The researchers concluded that acupuncture demonstrates definitive “beneficial effects” in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore also conclude that acupuncture is significantly effective in the treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome in their new research. Other research performed at the prestigious Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester concluded that acupuncture is effective in treating fibromyalgia and showed specific efficaciousness in its ability to reduce pain, fatigue and anxiety.