Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic pain throughout the body, body, with tender points in soft tissue, muscles, joints and tendons.   A brief list of symptoms includes:

  • Fatigue
  • morning stiffness
  • sleep problems
  • tension or migraine headaches
  • numbness and tingling
  • depression, and anxiety
  • palpitations
  • memory difficulties and cognitive difficulties

Fibromyalgia often accompanies other musculoskeletal conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

Sometimes symptoms in mild cases can be alleviated with stress reduction or lifestyle modifications.  Other than that, the Western biomedical community can only offer pharmaceuticals.  Often the side effects of these drugs can case more health problems to complicate this serious ailment.  The article below discusses the positive effects of acupuncture in alleviating the symptoms of fibryomyalgia according to a randomized study.

Elyse Josephs,L.Ac, Dipl.OM

Improvement in fibromyalgia symptoms with acupuncture: results of a randomized controlled trial.

Martin DP, Sletten CD, Williams BA, Berger IH.
Department of Anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that acupuncture improves symptoms of fibromyalgia. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a prospective, partially blinded, controlled, randomized clinical trial of patients receiving true acupuncture compared with a control group of patients who received simulated acupuncture. All patients met American College of Rheumatology criteria for fibromyalgia and had tried conservative symptomatic treatments other than acupuncture. We measured symptoms with the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) and the Multidimensional Pain Inventory at baseline, immediately after treatment, and at 1 month and 7 months after treatment. The trial was conducted from May 28, 2002, to August 18, 2003. RESULTS: Fifty patients participated in the study: 25 in the acupuncture group and 25 in the control group. Total fibromyalgia symptoms, as measured by the FIQ, were significantly improved in the acupuncture group compared with the control group during the study period (P = .01). The largest difference in mean FIQ total scores was observed at 1 month (42.2 vs 34.8 in the control and acupuncture groups, respectively; P = .007). Fatigue and anxiety were the most significantly improved symptoms during the follow-up period. However, activity and physical function levels did not change. Acupuncture was well tolerated, with minimal adverse effects. CONCLUSION: This study paradigm allows for controlled and blinded clinical trials of acupuncture. We found that acupuncture significantly improved symptoms of fibromyalgia. Symptomatic improvement was not restricted to pain relief and was most significant for fatigue and anxiety.

PMID: 16770975 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE

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