Fibromyalgia :: Acupuncture significantly relieves symptoms of fibromyalgia

While no cure is known and available treatments for fibromyalgia are only partially effective, a recent Mayo Clinic study suggests that acupuncture relieves symptoms of the disorder characterized by chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain and symptoms such as fatigue, joint stiffness and sleep disturbance.

Mayo’s study involved 50 fibromyalgia patients enrolled in a randomized, controlled trial to determine if acupuncture improved their symptoms. Symptoms of patients who received acupuncture significantly improved compared with the control group, revealed the findings of the study published in the June issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

“The results of the study convince me there is something more than the placebo effect to acupuncture,” said David Martin, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the acupuncture article and a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist.

“It affirms a lot of clinical impressions that this complementary medical technique is helpful for patients,” he added.

The study lends credence to patients’ belief that non-traditional methods may improve their health.

In Mayo’s trial, patients who received acupuncture to counter their fibromyalgia symptoms reported improvement in fatigue and anxiety, among other symptoms. Acupuncture was well tolerated, with minimal side effects.

Dr. Martin, who performed the study at Mayo Clinic Rochester with co-authors Ines Berger, M.D.; Christopher Sletten, Ph.D.; and Brent Williams, insisted that Mayo’s study demonstrates that acupuncture is helpful, and also proves physicians can conduct a rigorous, controlled acupuncture study.

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