Fibromyalgia patients treated with six sessions of acupuncture experienced significant symptomatic improvement compared to a group given simulated acupuncture sessions according to a new Mayo Clinic study. The findings will be presented at the 11th World Congress of the International Association for the Study of Pain in Sydney, Australia.
"This study shows there is something real about acupuncture and its effects on fibromyalgia," says David Martin, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist and the study’s lead investigator. "Our study was performed on patients with moderate to severe fibromyalgia. It’s my speculation that if acupuncture works for these patients with recalcitrant fibromyalgia -- where previous treatments had not provided satisfactory relief -- it would likely work for many of the millions of fibromyalgia patients."
Acupuncture could fill a gap in available therapies for the disease as something additive to what medications already can provide, says Dr. Martin. "There’s not a cure available, so patients are often left somewhat frustrated by continuing pain and fatigue," he says. "Acupuncture is one of the few things shown to be effective for these symptoms. It may be particularly attractive to patients who are unable to take medications because of intolerable side effects."
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