Friday, May 3, 2013

Fibromyalgia and Acupuncture

I stumbled upon a study on acupuncture (针灸) and fibromyalgia. I’m always surprised to find studies on acupuncture as a Düsseldorf based Chinese physician practicing acupuncture told me she wouldn’t use acupuncture in patients with fibromyalgia. Likewise a guest physician from China told me so. Some people, however, try to publish studies to prove a use of acupuncture in fibromyalgia.

Kazunori Itoh and Hiroshi Kitakoji published a study: “Effects of acupuncture to treat fibromyalgia: A preliminary randomised controlled trial” (Chin Med. 2010; 5: 11. Published online 2010 March 23. doi: 10.1186/1749-8546-5-11 PMCID: PMC2852376; “Acupuncture is often used to treat fibromyalgia (FM), but it remains unclear whether acupuncture is effective.” They had two groups, each N=8, one receiving 5 acupuncture treatments, the other 10 acupuncture treatments. They should have consulted a statistician. It doesn’t prove anything. Besides, would be the important variable for the outcome: the difference in acupuncture or time of attention?

No, sorry, this study doesn’t prove any benefit of acupuncture in treating fibromyalgia.

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