ACUPUNCTURE, AN ALTERNATIVE THERAPY IN THE TREATMENT OF FIBROMYALGIA

Fibromyalgia is characterized by being a chronic painful syndrome, with pain in different points and sleep disturbances among several other symptoms.

It occurs in about nine women for every man at varying ages.

It is a painful, chronic, non-inflammatory syndrome, characterized by diffuse pain referred to the musculoskeletal system, accompanied by fatigue, sleep disturbances and predetermined tender points.

It is considered a syndrome because it is identified more by the number of symptoms than by a specific malfunction. However, it should not necessarily present all the symptoms, but others of dysfunctional origin may be present, such as: paresthesias, irritable bowel syndrome, Raynaud’s phenomenon, dysminorrhea, dysuria, headache and arthralgias, morning stiffness, subjective swelling and psychological disorders such as: anxiety and depression.

This syndrome is being seen as one of the most common rheumatic complaints, affecting 2% of the population where the predominance is for females whose age ranges from 25 to 50 years.

Treatment options have increased the rate of control of this pathology.

Acupuncture is an ancient technique which has been gaining more space in Western Medicine as an alternative treatment for various pathologies; Among them is Fibromyalgia.

Acupuncture therapy is dedicated to the treatment of diseases and disorders with regard to their etiology, differentiation of pathology, principle and method of treatment and prescription of points. Its effects on brain activity have been demonstrated through electroencephalography, evoked potentials, magnetic resonance imaging, and its efficacy in the treatment of pain of different etiologies has been well demonstrated; in particular for pain syndrome, in which the concept of trigger points presents important correlations with that of Acupuncture points, and for which direct therapeutic action on chronically injured muscles is essential.

Furthermore, a meta-analysis demonstrated that acupuncture exhibited significantly better results compared to sham acupuncture in terms of pain relief and improvement in quality of life, based on evidence of low to moderate quality in the short term.

In addition, even in the long term, acupuncture was found to be more effective than sham acupuncture.

Therefore, the action of Acupuncture in cases of chronic pain can promote the reduction of painful symptoms, achieving earlier recovery and thus a brief return to activities; the notion of integrated action of the CNS, expanded with the knowledge of the interaction of the different afferent pathways explains the hypoalgesic action of Acupuncture.

Zhang XC, Chen H, Xu WT, Song YY, Gu YH, Ni GX. Acupuncture therapy for fibromyalgia: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Pain Res. 2019 Jan 30;12:527-542. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S186227. PMID: 30787631; PMCID: PMC6365227.

Yen LT, Hsieh CL, Hsu HC, Lin YW. Preventing the induction of acid saline-induced fibromyalgia pain in mice by electroacupuncture or APETx2 injection. Acupunct Med. 2020 Jun;38(3):188-193. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2017-011457. Epub 2020 Jan 28. PMID: 31986902; PMCID: PMC7278366.

Zheng C, Zhou T. Effect of Acupuncture on Pain, Fatigue, Sleep, Physical Function, Stiffness, Well-Being, and Safety in Fibromyalgia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Pain Res. 2022 Feb 3;15:315-329. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S351320. PMID: 35140516; PMCID: PMC8820460.

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