Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and tenderness in localized areas of the body. It can be challenging to manage, and people living with fibromyalgia often experience a reduced quality of life. People with fibromyalgia may be more sensitive to pain than people without it. It is called abnormal pain perception processing. Fibromyalgia affects about 4 million American adults, about 2% of the adult population. The common treatments of fibromyalgia include pain relievers such as ibuprofen and naproxen, antidepressants such as Duloxetine (Cymbalta), and anti-seizure drugs such as Gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica).
Many people diagnosed with fibromyalgia seek acupuncture therapy as complementary and alternative medicine to manage pain and fatigue from fibromyalgia especially because many of them are concerned with long-term effect of the drugs. In recent years, research has shown that acupuncture can help alleviate pain, fatigue, and other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. A study published in the Journal of Pain in 2010 found that acupuncture significantly improved pain and quality of life in fibromyalgia patients compared to a control group. Another study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2013 found that acupuncture was effective as fibromyalgia pain relief and in reducing fatigue in fibromyalgia patients. There are many more randomized controlled trials that proves acupuncture is an effective treatment of chronic pain and other pain conditions.
The exact mechanisms behind the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating fibromyalgia are not entirely clear. Still, researchers believe that it works by activating the body’s natural painkillers, reducing inflammation, and improving circulation. Acupuncture may also help to balance the nervous system promoting a sense of calm and relaxation that can alleviate stress and anxiety, which often exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms.
One of the benefits of acupuncture as a treatment for fibromyalgia or any other disorders is that it is relatively safe and has few side effects. The acupuncture needles are incredibly thin, so patients typically experience little to no pain during treatment. Additionally, acupuncture is non-invasive and does not require medication, making it an attractive option for people who prefer natural remedies or have had adverse reactions to other forms of treatment.
Acupuncture is a promising complementary therapy for fibromyalgia that may help alleviate pain, fatigue, and other symptoms associated with the condition. While further research is needed to fully understand how acupuncture works and its long-term effects on fibromyalgia, many people living with the disorder have reported significant improvements in their quality of life after receiving acupuncture treatment. If you are considering acupuncture as a treatment for fibromyalgia, please give us a call for initial consultation and exam to see if acupuncture is right for you. When you look for acupuncturists in your area, we recommend to check the site of NCCAOM, National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, to find nationally certified acupuncturists. If you prefer MDs certified in acupuncture, please check the site of American Academy of Medical Acupuncture for the provider listing.