What have we learnt from acupuncture research of fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia (FM) is characterised by widespread chronic pain in muscles and joints. About 1.75% of the population is affected by it with the majority being females (1). This condition is not satisfactorily managed as no specific causes or pathology have been identified. The widespread pain in FM is understood to be associated with central sensitisation, which is also used to explain other common symptoms in FM, including irritable bowel, irritable bladder, and headache (2,3). Other symptoms in FM, such as fatigue, poor cognition and unrefreshed sleep are not readily explained by central sensitisation. Those symptoms exacerbate the impact of pain and mood disturbance.