Fibromyalgia and Acupuncture: Relief for FM Symptoms


Fibromyalgia is a rheumatic condition that affects the soft tissues of the body, not the joints. In the United States, fibromyalgia affects an estimated 5 million people over age18, of whom about 90 percent are women. Symptoms include pain and stiffness in muscles and joints throughout the body, fatigue, irregular sleep, brain fog, restless legs, and depression.

Diagnosis of fibromyalgia is dependent on patient-reported symptoms, and is made when widespread pain persists for longer than three months, with no evidence of other underlying conditions.

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, although it is thought to stem from misinterpretations from the central nervous system (the nerves and brain), causing them to become over-sensitized to normal pain signals. People with a history of physical or emotional trauma or infections are more likely to exhibit signs of fibromyalgia.

How is Fibromyalgia Treated?

Traditional treatment for fibromyalgia often includes:

  • pain medications
  • antidepressants
  • physical therapy
  • occupational therapy
  • patient education to help cope with symptoms

While those treatment methods may offer some relief, they fall short of eliminating ongoing symptoms.

Does Acupuncture Help Fibromyalgia?

Recent research on the effects of acupuncture in treating fibromyalgia offers new hope to millions of sufferers. In a study by Mist and Jones (2018), 30 women diagnosed with fibromyalgia were randomly divided into two groups. Most of the women (78%) had been suffering fibromyalgia symptoms for more than 10 years. The control group participated in weekly group education sessions, while the experimental group received twenty 40-minute acupuncture treatments (two per week), over a 10-week period.

At the end of the study and in a follow-up four weeks later, the education group reported no improvement in symptoms, and some of them reported increased fatigue. The acupuncture group, on the other hand, reported reduced symptoms and less fatigue.

Fibromyalgia Treatment at NYDNR

At NYDNRehab, we use the latest technology and innovative treatment methods to help our patients eliminate pain and restore function.

Our pain specialists use acupuncture and other specialized methods for fatigue and pain associated with fibromyalgia. You do not have to live with the pain, fatigue and depression of fibromyalgia. Contact us today, and begin your journey back to a pain-free, drug-free life.


Mist, Scott D., and Kim Dupree Jones. “Randomized Controlled Trial of Acupuncture for Women with Fibromyalgia: Group Acupuncture with Traditional Chinese Medicine Diagnosis-Based Point Selection.” Pain Medicine (2018).


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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