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Facts and statics 

Fibromyalgia is an increasingly recognised chronic pain illness characterized by widespread musculoskeletal aches, pain and soft tissue tenderness, general fatigue and sleep disturbances. The most common sight of pain includes the neck, back, shoulders, pelvic girdle and limbs but any part may be involved. Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that affects 3–8 percent of the worldwide population and approximately 4 million adults in the United States. There may be around 1.5-2 million people in the UK with fibromyalgia.


  • Fibromyalgia affects men, women, and children of all ages, races, and economic levels.

  • According to Government statistics 14,000 people are diagnosed annually in the UK.

  • Affects women more than men in a ratio: 9 to 1

  • The onset of symptoms can be at any age, but mainly from 20-60 years of age.

  • Mild to incapacitating, no two people have the same symptoms

  • Pain changes location throughout the body

Image by Abbat

What latest research has found so far?

While the underlying cause or cause of fibromyalgia is still unknown, new research findings seem to show that fibromyalgia is a disorder of central processing with neuroendocrine/neurotransmitter dysregulation. The research has identified 2 possible causes.

  • a deficiency in Serotonin in the central nervous system and

  • a resulting imbalance of Substance P (a transmitter substance that sends pain messages to the brain)


and the effect would be:


  • Disordered Sensory Processing (the brain registers pain, which is amplified when others might experience a slight ache or stiffness)

  • Research now strongly indicates that a central nervous system dysfunction is primarily responsible for the increased pain sensitivity of fibromyalgia.

Image by Adam Nieścioruk

How Fibromyalgia is diagnosed? 

For fibromyalgia to be diagnosed, certain criteria usually have to be met.

According to NHS the most widely used criteria for diagnosis fibromyalgia are:

  • you either have severe pain in 3 to 6 different areas of your body, or you have milder pain in 7 or more different areas

  • your symptoms have stayed at a similar level for at least 3 months

  • no other reason for your symptoms has been found such as, Rheumatoid arthritis

The extent of the pain used to be assessed by applying gentle pressure to certain "tender points", where any pain is likely to be at its worst. But this is less common nowadays.

What is the conventional treatment for Fibromyalgia?

Although there are not proven cure for fibromyalgia, the conventional treatment of fibromyalgia is based primarily on the use of analgesic and antidepressant medication to reduce the symptoms. Some doctors may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium in conjunction with other medication, but NSADIs have not proven to be effective in managing the pain in fibromyalgia when taken by themselves.

An increasing number of doctors understand the importance of complementary therapies in the treatment of fibromyalgia. These include, acupuncture, physical therapy, therapeutic Sports massage, light aerobics, yoga, relaxation exercises, breathing technique, osteopathic manipulation, etc.

How Acupuncture and Manual Therapy could help with symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Several studies* have shown Acupuncture therapy is an effective and safe treatment for patients with fibromyalgia, and this treatment can be recommended for the management of the symptoms.  Acupuncture looks at the mind-body as a whole integrated system. For this instance, the full history of the complaint is carefully gathered and contemplated to identify the primary cause of the imbalance. Here at Acculture, we may use a combination of modalities such as acupuncture and Tuina massage to address the symptoms.  

*For more information about the research on the effectiveness of acupuncture click here and here.

Image by timJ

We have helped many people to reduce the severity of their symptomatic pain so we can help you to live a better and happier life. If you’d like to know about our unique approach or book your visit, please contact us so we can help you.

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