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Acupuncture Benefits Patients with Fibromyalgia

Topic: Acupuncture Benefits Patients with Fibromyalgia

Keywords: FIBROMYALGIA, CHRONIC PAIN, FATIGUE - Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Exercise, Tricyclic Anti-Depressants

Reference: "A randomized controlled trial of acupuncture added to usual treatment for fibromyalgia," Targino RA, Imamura M, et al, J Rehabil Med, 2008; 40(7): 582-8. (Address: Departamento de Patologia, Avenida Doutor Arnaldo 455, Sao Paulo, Brazil. E-mail: ).

Summary: In a randomized study involving 58 women with fibromyalgia, treatment with acupuncture (20 sessions), added to exercise and tricyclic antidepressant drug therapy, was found to significantly reduce pain (assessed via a visual analogue scale) and improve quality of life in 5 of the SF-36 subscales more effectively than treatment with exercise and antidepressant drug therapy alone. After 6 months, subjects who received acupuncture continued to have significantly less tender points, significantly better pressure pain threshold at the 18 tender points, and better scores on 3 subscales of the SF-36. After 1 year, subjects in the acupuncture group still showed improved in 1 subscale of the SF-36, and at 2 years, no differences between the 2 groups were noted. The authors conclude, "Addition of acupuncture to usual treatments for fibromyalgia may be beneficial for pain and quality of life for 3 months after the end of treatment."

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