A report by Arthritis Research UK found ‘consistent evidence’ that acupuncture relieves the symptoms of fibromyalgia based on 72 trials including 12,400 participants. Taiji and massage were also found to be helpful
Fibromyalgia affects around 1 in 25 of the UK population. Symptoms of this lifelong condition include widespread musculoskeletal pain and tenderness, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and functional impairment, without any known structural or inflammatory cause (see BAcC factsheet for more info).
Arthritis Research UK looked at the effectiveness of 25 different Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies in treating arthritis, fibromyalgia and low back pain. They then awarded each CAM a score from 1 (overall no evidence to suggest the therapy works) to 5 (consistent evidence from at least two high quality trials to suggest the therapy is effective).
Their aim was to provide patients and healthcare professionals with clear information about the scientific evidence for CAM therapies in the treatment of these conditions.
Arthritis Research UK’s results reveal acupuncture to be the most effective therapy across the board with scores of 5 for osteoarthritis and low back pain and 4 for fibromyalgia.
Most of the CAMs investigated were found to have little research supporting their efficacy in treating these conditions. However, massage, taiji and yoga were also found to help some of these conditions.
This report offers clear overviews of each CAM evaluated and is worth reading by anyone suffering from any of the mentioned conditions, or healthcare professionals responsible for patients who suffer from these conditions.
For more information see the Arthritis Research UK press release:
Or download the original report: