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J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Jan;15(1):15-23. doi: 10.1089/acm.2008.0167.

Pilot study of the effect of ultraviolet light on pain and mood in fibromyalgia syndrome.

Author information

1
Center for Dermatology Research, Department of Dermatology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1071, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is a lack of effective systemic or adequate symptomatic treatment for pain associated with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). Anecdotes suggest ultraviolet (UV) light may be of some benefit.

PURPOSE:

The purpose of the present study was to determine if UV is effective in ameliorating chronic pain in persons with FMS.

METHODS:

Nineteen subjects with FMS were enrolled in a controlled trial of UV and non-UV (control) tanning beds for 2 weeks, followed by randomization to receive UV or non-UV (control) exposure for 6 additional weeks. A follow-up interview was conducted 4 weeks after the last treatment. Pain was assessed with an 11-point numerical pain rating (Likert scale), a visual analogue pain scale (VAS), and the McGill Pain Questionnaire. Mood variables were also assessed.

RESULTS:

During the initial 2 weeks when subjects received both UV and non-UV (control) exposures, the 11-point Likert scale pain score decreased 0.44 points after exposure to UV from pre-exposure levels (S.E. = .095). Additionally, UV exposure resulted in greater positive affect, well-being, relaxation, and reduced pain levels when compared to non-UV (control) exposure (Odds Ratio [OR] = 2.80, p = 0.0059). Following the randomized treatment period, there was slight improvement in pain as measured by the McGill Pain Questionnaire in the UV group compared to the non-UV (control) group (12.2 versus 14.1; p = 0.049); the other pain scales yielded nonsignificant results. Assessment 4 weeks after the last treatment showed no significant differences in scores in the adjusted means for outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS:

Results from this pilot study suggest that tanning beds may have some potential in reducing pain in persons with FMS.

PMID:
19769472
PMCID:
PMC6463981
DOI:
10.1089/acm.2008.0167
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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