Customised acupuncture treatment for nine weekly sessions, wherein each session lasting for about 20 minutes may bring down perceived severity of pain and enhance the quality of life for people with the chronic pain condition, fibromyalgia, a recent study has reported.
The beneficial results were still apparent one year after, scientists said. Fibromyalgia is chiefly marked by widespread persistent pain which is connected to fatigue, depression and disordered sleep patterns. It affects one out of 20 people, scientists wrote in the Acupuncture in Medicine Journal.
The scientists drew a comparison between the sham treatment in 153 adults (all of whom had been found suffering from fibromyalgia) and individually customized acupuncture treatment. Both the simulated and real treatments to which participants were arbitrarily assigned were given nine weekly sessions with each session consisting of 20 minutes.
In order to improve the symptoms of antidepressants and painkillers, participants were asked to continue with the usual drugs that they had been prescribed. Then to assess the result of both approaches, participants were asked about the identified levels of pain, depression, including health-connected quality of life (both mental and physical), with the help of validated scoring systems prior the beginning of the treatment and then again 10 weeks, 6 months and one year afterwards.
Besides, they were also asked about changes in their overall physical and mental well-being, as determined by the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire or FIQ for a short duration, at 10 weeks, 6 months or one year after. After studying the results, it was concluded that after 10 weeks the perceived severe pain was lower among those who were given the actual acupuncture treatment.
Their scores of pain got reduced by an average of 41% when compared with an average of 27% who were given the stimulated treatment. Major differences remained after a year with an average reduction of 20% in the pain score among those treated with the real thing evaluated against just more than 6% for those who were provided with simulated treatment.
The scores of FIQ also differed considerably amongst the two groups, at all three-time points, with a fall of 35%, 25% and just more than 22% for those who were offered customized acupuncture compared with 24.5%, slightly more than 11% and 5% for those offered simulated treatment.
Other elements of pain severity combining pressure pain threshold and the number of tender points also got better considerably more in the group given the actual treatment after 10 weeks as performed measures of anxiety, fatigue and depression.