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Acupuncture may lead to long-term improvements in clinical outcomes and levels of of pain neuromediators in fibromyalgia (FM) patients, according to researchers from Turkey. Seventy-five women with FM were randomised to one of three kinds of acupuncture treatment; real acupuncture (RA), sham acupuncture (ShA) and simulated acupuncture (SiA). Treatments were applied twice weekly for four weeks. Serum serotonin values increased significantly after treatment in both RA and ShA, however the increase in the RA was significantly greater than in both of the other groups. Levels of substance P (the main pain neurotransmitter) decreased in the RA group, but increased in the SiA group. Some short term improvement in subjective outcome measures occurred in all three groups, however the RA group showed the most benefit, with significant improvement found in almost all clinical outcomes (pain, number of tender points, fibromyalgia impact, depression and general health), and continuing for at least three months after the end of treatment.

Effects of Acupuncture Treatment on Fibromyalgia Symptoms, Serotonin, and Substance P Levels: A Randomized Sham and Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Pain Med. 2017 Dec 6. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnx263.

 

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