Meiji University Study Confirms Results of Earlier Fibromyalgia Research on Effectiveness of Acupuncture
Fibromyalgia Research Studies Consistent in Findings on Effectiveness of Acupuncture Treatment
A 2010 study conducted at Meiji University in Kyoto, Japan found that acupuncture was more effective in relieving many of the common symptoms of fibromyalgia, than frequently used conventional therapies.
This study involved 16 participants in which a control was established using conventional fibromyalgia treatment protocols. (Control Group) All study participants met the American College of Rheumatology criteria for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Participants in the acupuncture group received weekly 30-minute acupuncture treatments over a period of 10 weeks. Participants in the control group received medications for the first five weeks and received weekly 30-minute acupuncture treatments for the second 5 weeks. K Itoh, H Kitakoji. Effects of acupuncture to treat fibromyalgia: A preliminary randomized controlled trial. Chinese Medicine 2010, 5:1
Outcomes were measured using recognized standardized measurement tools. One known as the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) to track pain intensity and frequency and the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) to measure things such as physical function, work and wellbeing indicators. At the beginning of the study, there was no significant differences between either score for either group. However, by week five, scores differed significantly. The acupuncture group reporting diminished pain and improvement in physical functioning and wellbeing. By comparison, the control group showed no significant change. During weeks 6-10 both groups received acupuncture. At week ten there were no significant differences in VAS between the two groups. Similarly, FIQ scores remained unchanged in the control group and improved in acupuncture group at the end of five weeks, with improvement in the control group at the end of week 10.
These results are consistent with fibromyalgia research results of prior studies and support the findings that acupuncture is an effective treatment for many fibromyalgia patients.