People with fibromyalgia usually suffer from significant, long-term pain and are plagued by intense tiredness. They are also at risk of depression, whether as a fundamental element of the condition, or as a result of living with such a debilitating problem.
Fibromyalgia is a complex condition and the Western medical world is still determining its biological basis. Recent studies have suggested that the expression (switching on and off) of certain genes may play a big part in its development. A review of current theories of the cause of fibromyalgia, its diagnosis and treatment has recently been published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology. Click here to download a free copy of the review (or visit http://www.clinexprheumatol.org/article.asp?a=11849).
There are several approaches to the treatment of fibromyalgia including small doses of tricyclic antidepressants, cardiovascular exercise, and cognitive behavioural therapy. Some patients find these helpful and others don’t feel much benefit as they may not be able to exercise for example due to the level of pain and fatigue they experience.
Acupuncture is recognised as a valuable option for people with fibromyalgia. Individualised acupuncture led to good pain threshold results after 10 weeks of treatment in a Spanish multicentre, double-blind, randomised and controlled trial involving 164 patients with fibromyalgia. Importantly, these improvements lasted to 1 year.
In a high-quality review including nine trials with 395 patients, adding acupuncture to standard therapy, resulted in a 30% improvement in pain. The respected EULAR guidelines published in 2017 suggests that patients should be offered physical therapy with individual graded physical exercise , in combination with acupuncture or hydrotherapy, before any drug-based treatment is offered.
Five Element acupuncture is tailored to the individual and acupuncture points that specifically help with pain, energy levels and sleep can be selected.
If you would like to see whether acupuncture could help you then please get in touch on 07815 097473 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Talotta R, et al. One year in review 2017: fibromyalgia. Clin Exp Rheumatol 2017; 35 (Suppl. 105): S6-S12.
2. Vas J, Santos-Rey K, Navarro-Pablo R, et al.Acupuncture for fibromyalgia in primary care: a randomised controlled trial. Acupunct Med 2016; 34: 257-266.
3. Macfarlane GJ, et al. Ann Rheum Dis 2017;76:318–328.