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Pain Relief With Individualized Acupuncture in Fibromyalgia

Greater decrease in pain intensity with individualized versus sham acupuncture; effect persisted at 1 year

acupuncture on ear

TUESDAY, Feb. 16, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- An individualized acupuncture protocol provides lasting pain relief for patients with fibromyalgia, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Acupuncture in Medicine.

Jorge Vas, M.D., from the Doña Mercedes Primary Health Center in Dos Hermanas, Spain, and colleagues examined the efficacy of an individualized acupuncture protocol for fibromyalgia. One hundred sixty-four patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia (aged over 17 years) were enrolled in the study; 153 completed the study. Patients were randomized to receive the real intervention (individualized acupuncture [IA]) or sham acupuncture (SA). Patients were provided with one 20-minute session per week in addition to usual pharmacological treatment.

The researchers found that the IA group had a greater decrease in pain intensity at 10 weeks than the SA group (−41.0 versus −27.1 percent; P = 0.001), in intention-to-treat analysis. At 12 months, significant differences in favor of the IA group persisted (−19.9 versus −6.2 percent; P < 0.01).

"Individualized acupuncture treatment in primary care in patients with fibromyalgia proved efficacious in terms of pain relief, compared with placebo treatment," the authors write. "Therefore, the use of individualized acupuncture in patients with fibromyalgia is recommended."

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