By A. Minocha MD, author: Guide to Alternative Medicine and Digestive System
There is paucity of medications to relieve the suffering of chronic pain disorders like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome etc. Patients continue to resort to therapeutic interventions for fibromyalgia that may or may not be effective. Complimentary and alternative medicines form a big part. But are they effective?
De Silva and colleagues from School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK, critically examined the evidence related to beneficial effects of regarding complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) in fibromyalgia. The study was published in the journal Rheumatology.
These investigators performed a systematic review of the randomized controlled trials of fibromyalgia comparing complimentary and alternative medicine therapies with treatments or placebo. Methodologic quality of all studies included in analysis was assessed as moderate.
Three studies in this critical analysis involved the use of homeopathic care. All three studies demonstrated improvement in pain.
Nutritional supplements of benefit
Nutritional supplements lacking benefit
Some data this year since publication of above review
Yoga and exercise
Another randomized controlled trial reported that moderate to high intensity nordic walking improves functional acpacity of patients without improving pain.
A randomized controlled trial from Wang and colleagues and published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that Tai Chi results in improvements in Fibromylagia Impact Questionaire as well as quality of life.
A systemetic review examined 25 randomized controlled trials evaluating the role of traditional Chinese medicine including acupuncture for fibromyalgia. Overall 10 trials merited examination as part of meta-analysis. The investigators concluded that TCM therapies are of benefit for treatment of fibromylagia.
Click to read about acupuncture
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Bernardy and colleagues performed a systematic review and meta-analysis on role of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in fibromyalgia and published their results in the Journal of Rheumatology. The investigators concluded that CBT improves coping with pain and reduces depressed mood and health care seeking behavior.
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