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Research: Fibromyalgia

July 2008
A Randomized Controlled Trial of Acupuncture Added to Usual Treatment for Fibromyalgia
Journal: Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, Volume 40, Issue 7, pages 582-588.
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture for fibromyalgia. METHODS: Fifty-eight women with fibromyalgia were allocated randomly to receive either acupuncture together with tricyclic antidepressants and exercise (n=34), or tricyclic antidepressants and exercise only (n=24). Patients rated their pain on a visual analogue scale. A blinded assessor evaluated both the mean pressure pain threshold value over all 18 fibromyalgia points and quality of life using SF-36. RESULTS: At the end of 20 sessions, patients who received acupuncture were significantly better than the control group in all measures of pain and in 5 of the SF-36 subscales. After 6 months, the acupuncture group was significantly better than the control group in numbers of tender points, mean pressure pain threshold at the 18 tender points and 3 subscales of SF-36. After one year, the acupuncture group showed significance in one subscale of the SF-36; at 2 years there were no significant differences in any outcome measures. CONCLUSION: 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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