Acupuncture and Fibromyalgia
Posted 1/28/2016 by UHBlog
If you talk to anyone with fibromyalgia, she will tell you how debilitating this chronic musculoskeletal condition can be. For some people, the inflammation that often accompanies fibromyalgia leads to pain, which can become so bad that daily living is difficult.
“One key symptom of fibromyalgia is widespread musculoskeletal and nerve pain,” says licensed acupuncturist Julia Proctor-Indriolo, MSOM, Lac. “Acupuncture can help treat this pain by reducing inflammation and encouraging your body to release pain-blocking hormones. If your pain syndrome responds well to anti-inflammatory drugs, some natural supplements and dietary changes may also benefit you as well.”
Fibromyalgia is a difficult condition to diagnosis, mainly because it varies in each person. The disease affects more than five million American adults, mostly middle-aged women. In fact, up to 90 percent of fibromyalgia patients are women.
In addition to muscle pain and fatigue, symptoms can include:
- Decreased exercise endurance
- Sleep problems at night
- Depressed mood
- Abdominal pain and bloating
- Diarrhea, alternated with constipation
- Urinary urgency
According to Proctor-Indriolo, acupuncture can help relieve or lessen all of these symptoms. When the tiny hair-thin needles used in acupuncture treatments are placed along the meridians – or pathways in your body that correspond with the nervous system – endorphins are released. This hormone – the body’s feel good hormone – inhibits pain and elevates the mood.
“When you come to an acupuncturist for fibromyalgia treatment, we take into account all of your symptoms and specific areas of pain to create a treatment plan,” she says. “The sooner you receive treatment, the better your results will be.”
One benefit of working with acupuncturists from University Hospitals Connor Integrative Health Network is their ability to work with and proximity to health care providers who practice Western medicine.
“Often prescription medicines can lose their effectiveness after one or two years at fighting fibromyalgia,” Proctor-Indriolo says. “When both Western and Eastern medicine is combined to treat your symptoms, we see patients whose pain goes from a six or higher on the pain scale to one or two, or even down to zero.”
Julia Proctor-Indriolo, MSOM, Lac is a licensed acupuncturist and meditation instructor with UH Connor Integrative Health Network. You can request an appointment with Proctor-Indriolo or any other UH Connor Integrative Health Network provider online.