ROCHESTER, Minn., Aug. 25 (UPI) -- A U.S. study finds fibromyalgia patients benefit from acupuncture, which relieves not only pain but the fatigue and anxiety associated with the condition.
Doctors specializing in pain management at the Mayo Clinic tracked 50 patients who had not benefited from other types of treatment. Half were randomly assigned to receive six sessions of acupuncture, while the other half were given simulated acupuncture.
Both groups filled out questionnaires before treatment and immediately after and then at one and seven months later.
The researchers found the group that received acupuncture experienced significantly more relief, with the difference greatest at one month afterwards.
Seven months later, all patients were back at their baseline.
Dr. David Martin said acupuncture can fill a gap in available therapies for fibromyalgia.
"There's not a cure available, so patients are often left somewhat frustrated by continuing pain and fatigue," he said. "Acupuncture is one of the few things shown to be effective for these symptoms. It may be particularly attractive to patients who are unable to take medications because of intolerable side effects."
The study was presented at the International Association for the Study of Pain 11th World Congress on Pain in Sydney.