Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia

Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia

Friday 26th January 2018

Fibromyalgia can be a debilitating condition which effects millions and according to the American pain society is the most common chronic pain condition in the world. According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, 3-6% of the world's population has fibromyalgia. The main symptoms of fibromyalgia are tenderness and pain throughout the body with extreme tiredness and loss of sleep. About 75%-95% of Fibromyalgia sufferers are women. The exact cause for fibromyalgia is difficult to isolate but there is an agreement on a group of possible causes, some of these include;

Loss of sleep
Post traumatic stress
Imbalance of hormones
Abnormal pain messages
Excessive inflammation in the body

Treatments for Fibromyalgia usually include a combination of medication, cognitive behavioural therapy, exercise and Physiotherapy. Here at New Park Physiotherapy our Physiotherapist Alistair has completed a dissertation on fibromyalgia treatment and has subsequently trained in using acupuncture for treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Here are some of the ways acupuncture can help sufferers of this debilitating condition.

* 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.