Fibromyalgia Pain May Be Eased by Personalized Acupuncture

Fibromyalgia Pain May Be Eased by Personalized Acupuncture
Individualized acupuncture treatments given to fibromyalgia patients in a primary care setting provided effective pain relief and an enhanced quality of life, with effects persisting for a year, a study, published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine, reported. Fibromyalgia affects between 2 percent and 5 percent of the population, and has a high economic and social impact. Classified as a functional chronic disease, it is manifested clinically by chronic widespread pain associated with fatigue, sleep disorder, and/or depression, among other symptoms. Ninety-one percent of patients with fibromyalgia have tried some form of complementary and alternative medicine. Acupuncture, a key component of traditional Chinese medicine, involves the insertion of extremely thin needles through the skin at strategic points on the body, and is commonly used to treat pain. A recent systematic review concluded there is low to moderate evidence supporting acupuncture to treat fibromyalgia pain and stiffness, compared to standard treatments. To evaluate the efficacy of an individualized acupuncture protocol for patients with fibromyalgia, Jorge Vas from the Pain Treatment Unit, Doña Mercedes Primary Health Centre, Dos Hermanas, in Spain, and colleagues designed a randomized controlled trial to determine the clinical efficacy of traditional acupuncture as a fibromyalgia treatment, using a personalized point-selection algorithm based on the characteristics of each patient.
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