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J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Aug;11(4):663-71.

Treatment of fibromyalgia with formula acupuncture: investigation of needle placement, needle stimulation, and treatment frequency.

Author information

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48106, USA. reharris@med.umich.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The objective of this study was to investigate whether typical acupuncture methods such as needle placement, needle stimulation, and treatment frequency were important factors in fibromyalgia symptom improvement. DESIGN/SETTINGS/SUBJECTS: A single-site, single-blind, randomized trial of 114 participants diagnosed with fibromyalgia for at least 1 year was performed.

INTERVENTION:

Participants were randomized to one of four treatment groups: (1) T/S needles placed in traditional sites with manual needle stimulation (n = 29): (2) T/0 traditional needle location without stimulation (n = 30); (3) N/S needles inserted in nontraditional locations that were not thought to be acupuncture sites, with stimulation (n = 28); and (4) N/0 nontraditional needle location without stimulation (n = 2 7). All groups received treatment once weekly, followed by twice weekly, and finally three times weekly, for a total of 18 treatments. Each increase in frequency was separated by a 2-week washout period.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Pain was assessed by a numerical rating scale, fatigue by the Multi-dimensional Fatigue Inventory, and physical function by the Short Form-36.

RESULTS:

Overall pain improvement was noted with 25%-35% of subjects having a clinically significant decrease in pain; however this was not dependent upon "correct" needle stimulation (t = 1.03; p = 0.307) or location (t = 0.76; p = 0.450). An overall dose effect of treatment was observed, with three sessions weekly providing more analgesia than sessions once weekly (t = 2.10; p = 0.039). Among treatment responders, improvements in pain, fatigue, and physical function were highly codependent (all p < or = 0.002).

CONCLUSIONS:

Although needle insertion led to analgesia and improvement in other somatic symptoms, correct needle location and stimulation were not crucial.

PMID:
16131290
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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