We encourage our readers to become knowledgeable about fibromyalgia.
In effectively dealing with fibromyalgia, the phrase “knowledge is power”, comes to life. Every patient can participate in their recovery by making changes in their daily life activities. Three primary areas are diet, exercise and sleep. If improvements are made in these three areas, the patient will experience an enormous improvement in quality of their life. We do not suggest that making these changes is always easy to do. Often implementing consistent changes in these aspects of our lives can present a real challenge. The key is perseverance. Once a patient experiences the magnitude of improvement that can be gained in their daily lives, they then have the needed motivation to continue to make changes.
Fibromyalgia Symptoms always include pain and may include as many as 12 other symptoms.
There are certain fibromyalgia symptoms that occur in virtually all cases and other symptoms which occur in many, but not all cases. Even though fibromyalgia takes many forms and in all likelihood is caused by a combination of factors, the primary feature present in all cases of fibromyalgia is systemic body pain, with pain upon palpation in 11 of 18 specific pressure points. Pain symptoms can vary greatly in severity and location. Some patients report pain limited to the specific fibromyalgia tender points. Other patient report systemic whole body pain of a diffuse nature which can range in severity from aching to burning in nature.
FM Monograph, Fibromyalgia: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Research; fmpartnership.org.
In addition to the pain, many fibromyalgia patients report a variety of additional fibromyalgia symptoms. These include:
Sleep Disorders or Unrefreshing Sleep
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Headaches and Facial Pain
Heightened Sensitivity to Odor, Noise, Light and Touch
Restless Leg Syndrome
Subjective Feverish Sensation
Dry Skin and Eyes
Depression and Anxiety
The causes of fibromyalgia are unknown, although research has established that many patients have similar abnormal biochemical substance levels or other similar medical histories. These other fibromyalgia symptoms include:
Substance P levels three times that of the general population
Abnormal Growth Hormone Axis
Variations in Norepinephrine Levels
History of Trauma to Central Nervous System
History of Infection
Dysfunction of Hormones of the Hypothalamus, Pituitary and Adrenal Glands
Because these fibromyalgia symptoms do not occur in all fibromyalgia patients, the variations in presentation among patients, has lead experts to hypothesize that there may be subgroups within the overall category of fibromyalgia. Russel IJ, Fibromyalgia Syndrome Sub-Groups. Editorial. Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain 2002;10(3):1-2. Given the variations seen in individual patients, it is clear that this is a complex disorder and further research is essential to gain a more accurate understanding of the dynamics of this disorder.
Fibromyalgia Effective Treatments
Fibromyalgia Tender Points as Diagnostic Criteria
Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia
Self Help and Natural Fibromyalgia Options
Fibromyalgia Self Care Exercises
Fibromyalgia Herbal Remedies
Fibromyalgia Effective Treatments for Improving Sleep
Best Diet for Fibromyalgia
Meiji University Study Confirms Results of Earlier Fibromyalgia Research on Effectiveness of Acupuncture
Fibromyalgia Research Studies Consistent in Findings on Effectiveness of Acupuncture Treatment
A 2010 study conducted at Meiji University in Kyoto, Japan found that acupuncture was more effective in relieving many of the common symptoms of fibromyalgia, than frequently used conventional therapies.
This study involved 16 participants in which a control was established using conventional fibromyalgia treatment protocols. (Control Group) All study participants met the American College of Rheumatology criteria for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Participants in the acupuncture group received weekly 30-minute acupuncture treatments over a period of 10 weeks. Participants in the control group received medications for the first five weeks and received weekly 30-minute acupuncture treatments for the second 5 weeks. K Itoh, H Kitakoji. Effects of acupuncture to treat fibromyalgia: A preliminary randomized controlled trial. Chinese Medicine 2010, 5:1
Outcomes were measured using recognized standardized measurement tools. One known as the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) to track pain intensity and frequency and the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) to measure things such as physical function, work and wellbeing indicators. At the beginning of the study, there was no significant differences between either score for either group. However, by week five, scores differed significantly. The acupuncture group reporting diminished pain and improvement in physical functioning and wellbeing. By comparison, the control group showed no significant change. During weeks 6-10 both groups received acupuncture. At week ten there were no significant differences in VAS between the two groups. Similarly, FIQ scores remained unchanged in the control group and improved in acupuncture group at the end of five weeks, with improvement in the control group at the end of week 10.
These results are consistent with fibromyalgia research results of prior studies and support the findings that acupuncture is an effective treatment for many fibromyalgia patients.