15 Mar Acupuncture Treatment For The Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a complex musculoskeletal disorder with a variety of symptoms consisting of diffuse body pain, fatigue, and insomnia. It may affect the quality of life due to its chronic nature. Fibromyalgia can affect anyone but older women present more than often. Its prevalence increases with the increasing age and decreasing cognitive functions.
The patients with fibromyalgia present with other symptoms due to ongoing underlying causes e.g musculoskeletal diseases; diffuse body pain may accompany them. Fibromyalgia usually accompanies chronic disease processes e.g rheumatoid arthritis. Patients with chronic pain and complex comorbidities develop psychiatric issues over time. According to the American Society of Regional Anesthesia (ASRA), chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia may affect the nervous system. Therefore, it is extremely difficult to diagnose and manage patients with fibromyalgia.
What are the Casuses?
- The mechanism of it is unclear due to its multifactorial nature.
- It may be due to central neural abnormality or dysfunction of peripheral nerves.
- The level of hormones and chemicals that control pain response, maybe deranged e.g substance p and enkephalins.
- Female gender
- Increasing age
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Sleep disturbances
- Family history of it
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Plenty of other comorbidities may be associated with it but their relative risks are not studied well
It is difficult to diagnose as its presentation may be different in each patient. This history of a patient plays a key role in determining the diagnosis as its most common presentations are diffuse body pain, fatigue, decreased quality of life for at least 3 months, not responding to any medications.
According to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) the 1990 diagnostic criteria of it is:
- Widespread pain
- Tenderness at 11 or more specific sites
The updated 2010 diagnostic criterion of fibromyalgia is:
- Widespread pain for at least 3 months
- Pain without any explanation
- Scoring of somatic symptoms
How to Manage it?
FDA approved strategy for management of fibromyalgia is described under:
- A multidisciplinary approach to reduce symptoms.
- Patient education to address comorbidities and proper compliance.
- Low impact aerobic exercises improve pain and sleep cycles.
- Cognitive behavior therapy.
- Patients may be given low-dose tricyclic antidepressants at night. If a patient does not tolerate TCA drugs or develops severe depression then he should be given serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) at breakfast.
- There is no data regarding the outcomes of acetaminophen, opioids, and NSAIDs in fibromyalgia.
- Treatment-resistant fibromyalgia cases are usually referred to a psychiatrist or for micro-needling at certain strategic points( acupuncture).
Acupuncture is the process of inserting microneedles into different strategic points to get symptoms relief in conditions of pain.
There are the following benefits of acupuncture for fibromyalgia:
- Improves the muscles’ stiffness and fatigue by enhancing the pain-relieving hormones of the body.
- Lowers the pain intensity and threshold.
- Improves the quality of life.
- May improve other nonspecific symptoms e.g headache, anxiety, and depression.
- It may help to correct the sleep-wake cycle.
- Acupuncture is not associated with side effects like conventional treatment options.
- Conventional therapies for fibromyalgia may require close monitoring and following while no such steps are not required for acupuncture.
The bottom line is fibromyalgia is a common but complex syndrome of chronic pain and fatigue. It is more common in older women and associated with sleep and cognitive impairments. Its underlying mechanism is still unclear which makes its management difficult. Patients with fibromyalgia non-responding to medical management should consider acupuncture to relieve pain or they can get alongside medical treatment for better outcomes.
Try acupuncture for Fibromyalgia at Peak Life Acupuncture. We are professionally trained to help you with all your acupuncture needs. Call us at (818) 823-6721