Many of our patients come to us with issues associated with fibromyalgia. For those of you who don’t know what this is, fibromyalgia is a syndrome that includes chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain and stiffness, fatigue, poor sleep and tenderness. This syndrome is actually more common than you may think; it affects 3.7 million people in the U.S., 75% of which are women. With fibromyalgia being so common in people, it is crucial to find something to ease the pain, and acupuncture could be one step in the right direction.
According to the British Acupuncture Council, acupuncture can help patients with fibromyalgia by, “altering the brain’s chemistry, increasing endorphins and neuropeptide levels, and reducing serotonin levels.” It also, “[stimulates] nerves located in muscles and other tissues, which leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors, and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord.” Essentially, acupuncture helps build tolerance to chronic pain. Acupuncture also helps to improve muscle stiffness, joint mobility and to reduce inflammation in the body. While “Western scientists suggest that stimulation with the needles may enhance or inhibit nerve conduction, Traditional Chinese practitioners theorize that the points connect with energy conducting meridians, affecting spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical balance of the opposing forces of yin and yang.”
Another source we found ran multiple studies on the effect of acupuncture on fibromyalgia. They found that “[one] study, carried out in 2008, also reported a reduction in pain intensity and an improvement in quality of life, three months after acupuncture treatment was applied to a group of patients, in comparison with tricyclic antidepressant treatment and exercise.” Because they found that fibromyalgia can often contribute to severe anxiety and depression, their studies concluded that, “acupuncture appears to be both safe and effective in treating depression, and is comparable with antidepressant treatment.”
If you or someone who know is trying to cope with fibromyalgia, please call our office to see what we can do for you!