When muscles do not have enough energy, they get stuck in the shortened position and hurt. In addition, people then get painful knots (called trigger points) in the middle of the muscles, where they bunch up. Many therapies can help release these painful trigger points. Our SHINE Protocol does so by restoring energy production in the muscles. Acupuncture also helps, and 70% of acupuncture points are also muscle trigger points. I suspect putting the needle in (which we know releases trigger points) stimulates a current that helps (though often temporarily) restore energy in the muscle so it can release. Very low current electrical stimulation has also been shown to help. This study shows that even a low power laser directed to the area can ease pain.
It seems many ways of adding energy to muscles to get them to release, but we find the benefits to be short lived in most cases of widespread fibromyalgia pain unless the underlying energy crisis is also addressed with SHINE. I recommend these mechanical approaches (and others) for temporary relief, but encourage addressing the root metabolic causes for long term relief. These include the SHINE Protocol to restore energy production, and addressing structural issues (e.g., one leg shorter than the other — simply addressed with a $15 heel lift) when the pain is more localized.
In this randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled study of 40 female patients withfibromyalgia, patients with fibromyalgia received either active (Ga-As) laser or placebo laser therapy daily for two weeks except weekends. The laser group showed a significant improvement in pain, muscle spasm, morning stiffness, and tender point numbers. None of the participants reported any side effects.
Gur A, Karakoc M, Nas K, Cevik R, Sarac J, Demir E.; Efficacy of Low Power Laser Therapy in Fibromyalgia: A Single-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial. Lasers Med Sci 2002;17(1):57-61.
Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.