, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 55-66

An overview of systematic reviews of complementary and alternative medicine for fibromyalgia

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Abstract

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic pain condition which is difficult to diagnose and to treat. Most individuals suffering from FM use a variety of complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) interventions to treat and manage their symptoms. The aim of this overview was to critically evaluate all systematic reviews of single CAM interventions for the treatment of FM. Five systematic reviews met the inclusion criteria, evaluating the effectiveness of homoeopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, hydrotherapy and massage. The reviews found some evidence of beneficial effects arising from acupuncture, homoeopathy, hydrotherapy and massage, whilst no evidence for therapeutic effects from chiropractic interventions for the treatment of FM symptoms was found. The implications of these findings and future directions for the application of CAM in chronic pain conditions, as well as for CAM research, are discussed.