12 May 2013
New research shows that patients with fibromyalgia are likely to seek acupuncture treatment and other forms of complementary or alternative medicine (CAM). Published by the University of Montana, the research focused on whether or not pain motivated patients to seek CAM therapies such as acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, yoga, Tai Chi and cognitive behavior therapy. The results showed that over 70% of patients with fibromyalgia sought CAM therapies. The research concluded that “interference in daily activities from pain increases the use of CAM….”
Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by chronic pain and is due to neuroendocrine dysfunction. Fibromyalgia pain is non-nociceptive. This type of pain is not due to the activation of pain receptors as in burns and injuries. Non-nociceptive pain is due to destructive changes in the nervous system. The pain originates in the peripheral or central nervous system and pain is generated by nerve cell dysfunction. Migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome pain and fibromyalgia related pain are all forms of non-nociceptive pain.
The treatment of fibromyalgia with acupuncture and herbal medicine within the Chinese Medicine system predates its acknowledgment within biomedicine. Ancient writings and modern Chinese Medicine research document acupuncture’s beneficial effects for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Recently, a study demonstrated that acupuncture reduces pain sensitivity for fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) patients. In addition, these patients demonstrated significant reductions in anxiety and depression. As a result, the overall quality of life score improved for fibromyalgia patients receiving acupuncture treatments.