Research: MARTIN and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 139


MARTIN and colleagues, Department of Anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA, have found that acupuncture improves the symptoms of fibromyalgia.


The aim of the study was to test the hypothesis that acupuncture improves symptoms of fibromyalgia.


This was a prospective, partially blinded, controlled, randomized clinical trial of 25 patients receiving true acupuncture compared with a control group of 25 patients who received sham acupuncture. All patients had a diagnosis of fibromyalgia and had tried conservative symptomatic treatments other than acupuncture. The main outcome measure was the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) and the Multidimensional Pain Inventory at baseline, immediately after treatment, and at 1 month and 7 months after treatment.


Total fibromyalgia symptoms, as measured by the FIQ, were significantly improved in the acupuncture group compared with the control group during the study period (p = .01). The largest difference in mean FIQ total scores was observed at 1 month (42.2 vs 34.8 in the control and acupuncture groups, respectively; p = .007). Fatigue and anxiety were the most significantly improved symptoms during the follow-up period. However, activity and physical function levels did not change. Acupuncture was well tolerated, with minimal adverse effects.


Acupuncture significantly improved symptoms of fibromyalgia. Symptomatic improvement was not restricted to pain relief and was most significant for fatigue and anxiety.


Martin DP, Sletten CD, Williams BA, Berger IH. Improvement in fibromyalgia symptoms with acupuncture: results of a randomized controlled trial. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 81 (6): 749-757, Jun 2006.

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