Complementary medicine treatment for fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome

Fibromyalgia is a chronic-pain-related syndrome associated with high rates of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use. Among the many CAM therapies frequently used by fibromyalgia patients, empirical research data exist to support the use of only three: (1) mind-body, (2) acupuncture, and (3) manipulative therapies for treating fibromyalgia. The strongest data exist for the use of mind-body techniques (e.g. biofeedback, hypnosis, cognitive behavioural therapy), particularly when utilized as part of a multidisciplinary approach to treatment. The weakest data exist for manipulative techniques (e.g. chiropractic and massage). The data supporting the use of acupuncture for fibromyalgia are only moderately strong. Also, for some fibromyalgia patients, acupuncture can exacerbate symptoms, further complicating its application for this condition. Further research is needed not only in these three areas, but also for other treatments being frequently utilized by fibromyalgia patients.

Berman BM, Swyers JP

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