Acupuncture treatments for fibromyalgia are becoming much more common, either alone or as a complementary therapy. Read more about the benefits of acupuncture.
Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) can cause several symptoms like muscle pain, joint pain, general fatigue, disturbed sleep and tender spots over the body. The tender spots are most often felt in the neck, spine, shoulders and hips. The standard therapies are not very effective in relieving symptoms due to this complex and unexplained condition.
The doctors prescribe treatment based on the symptoms in a trial and error approach. Hence many people with fibromyalgia resort to complementary and alternative medicine to manage their symptoms. Acupuncture has become one of the most popular complementary and alternative therapy for treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms.
Can acupuncture treat fibromyalgia?
During an acupuncture session your acupuncturist will insert needles into the skin and underlying tissues at some specific points. The acupuncture points influence the flow of energy, or Qi through the energy carrying channels in the body or the meridians in the body and correct the imbalance to restore health. Acupuncture also stimulates the body to secrete chemicals (endorphins) that decrease or eliminate painful sensations. The beneficial effect of acupuncture treatment on pain in some patients may last weeks. Studies have shown that acupuncture can relieve several symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.
Benefits vs. Risks of Acupuncture
The potential benefits against the potential risks have to be considered while any treatment option is considered for any health condition.
Some of the benefits of acupuncture according to experts of acupuncture are;
- Decrease in pain
- Improved sleep
- Reduced fatigue
- Better relaxation
- Improved energy levels
- Improvement of immune system
- Better overall health
According to some studies on acupuncture in fibromyalgia --- 20 acupuncture treatments, in people with FMS can lead to significant improvements in pain and quality of life. The improvement can last for 3 months after the treatment is stopped. A gradual decline in the beneficial effects occurs and all benefit is lost in about 2 years.
Acupuncture can be combined with other therapies for management of FMS. Some of the benefits of complementary therapy include:
- Lack of negative interactions with other treatments, including drugs
- Very mild side effects
Some rare side effects of acupuncture are:
- Infection due to use of non-sterile needles
- Organ or nerve puncture (very rare occurrence)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bruising and hematoma formation
You need not stop your other medications for fibromyalgia if you go for acupuncture. Acupuncture can be an effective, low-risk, and safe procedure when performed by a properly trained and licensed practitioner.
Read more articles on Acupuncture.
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