Fibromyalgia Awareness Day: May 12

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition that is best considered a group of symptoms that fibrooccur together rather than one disease with a specific cause.

 Fibromyalgia in the US:

  • Affects estimated 5.8 million Americans
  • Estimated that 2%-4% of the population is affected
  • Effects mostly women
  • No known cause or effective western treatment

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia:

  • Chronic muscle pain, muscle spasms or tightness, and leg cramps
  • Moderate or severe fatigue and decreased energy
  • Insomnia or waking up feeling just as tired
  • Stiffness upon waking or after staying in one position
  • Difficulty remembering & concentrating

 How Chinese Medicine Can Help:

  • The National Institutes of Health formally recognized acupuncture as part of mainstream medicine in 1997, saying the procedure is safe and effective at treating a wide range of conditions, including fibromyalgia.
  • Treats the “root cause” in each individual which is a critical difference since fibromyalgia is not a specific single disease with a single cause.
  • Treats fatigue, pain and inflammation associated with the syndrome

Scientific Research

Numerous scientific studies have been completed with contradictory results.  Small sample sizes, issues of using a “sham” placebo group, and differences in methods make these studies difficult to compare.  Here is a look at two more recent publication:

  • In Chinese Medicine (2011): Effects of acupuncture to treat fibromyalgia: A preliminary randomised controlled trial by Kazunori Itoh & Hiroshi Kitakoji.

“Methods: Sixteen patients (13 women and 3 men aged 25-63 years) suffering from fibromyalgia were randomised into two groups: group A (n = 8) received five acupuncture treatments after the fifth week and group B received ten acupuncture treatments. Outcome measures used in this study were pain intensity (visual analogue scale, VAS) and the fibromyalgia impact questionnaire (FIQ).

Results: After the fifth week, pain intensity (U = 25.0; P = 0.022) in group B decreased and QoL (U = 24.5; P = 0.026) improved compared to group A.

Conclusion: The present study suggests that acupuncture treatment is effective to relieve pain for FM patients in terms of QoL and FIQ.”

  • In Clinical Rheumatology (2012): An overview of systematic reviews of complementary and alternative medicine for fibromyalgia by R.Terry, R. Perry & E Ernst

“Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic pain condition which is difficult to diagnose and to treat. Most individuals suffering from FM use a variety of complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) interventions to treat and manage their symptoms. The aim of this overview was to critically evaluate all systematic reviews of single CAM interventions for the treatment of FM. Five systematic reviews met the inclusion criteria, evaluating the effectiveness of homoeopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, hydrotherapy and massage. The reviews found some evidence of beneficial effects arising from acupuncture, homoeopathy, hydrotherapy and massage, whilst no evidence for therapeutic effects from chiropractic interventions for the treatment of FM symptoms was found. The implications of these findings and future directions for the application of CAM in chronic pain conditions, as well as for CAM research, are discussed.”

At Wildwood Acupuncture Center–we are a family owned medically based clinic who will work in collaboration with other treatments you are receiving to enhance your treatment results.

Call us today to schedule a consultation: 301-530-5308