Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome, is a long-term condition which causes pain all over the body.
Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain and extreme tiredness. Around 1 in 25 of the UK population has fibromyalgia, a lifelong condition involving widespread musculoskeletal pain and tenderness, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and functional impairment, without any known structural or inflammatory cause.
What causes fibromyalgia?
The exact causes are not known, but there are certain changes in the way the body functions which have been noticed in people with fibromyalgia, including:
disturbed pain message
slow levels of hormones
How can Acupuncture help Fibromyalgia?
The main aims of therapy are to reduce symptoms, to improve function, and to help patients adapt to the condition. Acupuncture may have the greatest benefit when applied together with medication or other therapeutic options (Targino 2008, Jang 2010). Further trials are needed, of larger size and with sounder methodology, and especially those that compare acupuncture to existing conventional interventions.
Acupuncture may help relieve pain in patients with fibromyalgia by:
altering the brain's chemistry, increasing endorphins (Han 2004) and neuropeptide Y levels (Lee 2009; Cheng 2009), and reducing serotonin levels (Zhou 2008);evoking short-term increases in mu -opioid receptors binding potential, in multiple pain and sensory processing regions of the brain (Harris 2009);stimulating 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 (Pomeranz 1987, Zhao 2008);reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Kavoussi 2007, Zijlstra 2003)improving muscle stiffness and joint mobility by increasing local microcirculation (Komori 2009), which aids dispersal of swelling.
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