Friday, August 27, 2010

Living with Fibromyalgia

Check out this video on YouTube:

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I'm a nervous wreck!!

Since I put the bracelets up for sale not one has sold! I want to make sure everything works correctly. So yes, I'm begging. Please but one! Go to the tab at the top that says items for sale. I have more items in stock but scared to post until I sell something. Ty everone!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fibromyalgia Syndrome An Informational Guide for FM Patients, Their Families, Friends and Employers

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FM) is a complex, chronic condition of widespread muscular pain and fatigue. Research shows that about 2 percent of all adults in the US have fibromyalgia (3.5 percent of women, 0.5 percent of men). In total numbers, that means that more than 6 million, and possibly as many as 11 million Americans meet the criteria for fibromyalgia. It affects women more than men in an approximate ratio of 9:1. It is seen in all age groups from young children through old age, although for most patients the problem begins between their 20s and 50s. Studies have shown that FMS occurs worldwide and has no specific ethnic predisposition.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Patients with FM report widespread musculoskeletal pain (100 percent), fatigue (96 to 100 percent) and disturbed sleep (86 to 98 percent). In 1990, the American College of Rheumatology accepted a research diagnosis of fibromyalgia that includes chronic, widespread pain and tenderness in 11 of 18 specific points on the body. Fatigue, sleep disturbances, restless legs and leg cramps, impaired memory and concentration, nervousness, depression, disorientation, headaches, irritable bowel and bladder, premenstrual syndrome, and cold intolerance are some of the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. Other conditions which may overlap with fibromyalgia include: chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, Lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, Lyme disease, and neurological conditions such as cervical myelopathy, small posterior fossa and Chiari I Malformation. These conditions are termed co-morbidities and may also have been the trigger for fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is not life threatening, but there are a number of other conditions that are associated which can be life threatening.
There is no definitive blood test or x-ray to determine the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. This initially led doctors to believe that fibromyalgia is “all in the patients’ head.” Extensive studies now show that fibromyalgia has a physiologic basis most likely mediated by the central nervous system. Tender points are sensitive to touch and pressure. Fibromyalgia patients report allodynia (a condition when normally non-painful stimuli is painful) and hyperalgesia (extreme sensitivity to painful stimuli). Functional MRI testing shows that fibromyalgia patients’ brains do in fact respond differently to painful stimuli. Musculoskeletal pain and fatigue is a chronic problem and can wax and wan in the patient. There is no generally accepted cure for fibromyalgia and most patients can expect to have this problem lifelong. Treatment can reduce the severity of symptoms and help patients to lead a more normal life.


Each person with fibromyalgia has come to the diagnosis through a different path and has a different set of symptoms. The best treatment program for each patient will include many components. For that reason, a multidisciplinary approach has been shown to be the most effective. There are also many things a person with fibromyalgia can do to improve the quality of their lives. Becoming educated about fibromyalgia is a first step. Education by both the physician and patient will decrease the frustration felt by both parties and help improve the odds of successful treatment.

It is important for the physician to determine if the patient has problems with sleep. Some of these disturbances include sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, periodic limb movements and teeth grinding, among other disorders that affect specific stages of sleep. Physicians may request a full sleep study to determine if a patient has a specific sleep problem, and to help determine the best medication for the patient’s condition. Patients need to be sure they are doing everything they can to improve their sleep. Learning about good sleep hygiene, and the actions they can take to improve their sleep, is one of the most important ways a patient can take control of their chronic illness.

People with fibromyalgia frequently become deconditioned and lose muscle tone because even normal activities seem painful. Increasing appropriate daily activities can be beneficial for the person with fibromyalgia. Research has shown that eccentric exercises (using muscles that are both contracted and lengthening like in vacuuming) are especially hard on people with FM. However, most activities can be modified. Patients can take smaller steps when walking down hill and walk forward with the vacuum cleaner instead of pushing it out and in all with arm movements. One way to think about how to modify activities is for the person with FM to imagine they have a hoop skirt around their neck. All their arm motions should stay within the confines of the imaginary skirt. As the person with FM increases daily activities, efforts should be made to add a regular exercise and stretching routine. Regular walking, the use of a stationary bicycle, and swimming or other low impact type of activity can be beneficial to FM patients. Supervision by a physical therapist or an exercise physiologist can be of benefit. The researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University have made wonderful materials on exercise available at the Fibromyalgia Information Foundation website, It is okay to start slow—even one or two minutes a couple of times a day can begin to improve the conditioning of a person with FM.

Over the counter drugs like Advil and Tylenol are not particularly effective in fibromyalgia. Their greatest help may come in decreasing the pain of co-morbid conditions like arthritis. In June 2007, Lyrica (pregabalin) was the first medication to receive a listing for fibromyalgia from the FDA. Other medications may be listed by the FDA in the coming months. However, no medication works for all patients or for all symptoms. Caring physicians will use Lyrica and other medications that have been researched in fibromyalgia to improve livability for people with fibromyalgia. Tricyclic antidepressants such as Desyrel, Elavil, Flexeril, Pamelor, and Sinequan can help with both pain and sleep because depression and pain share similar pathways in the brain. Generally, in people with fibromyalgia these medications are prescribed at levels below where they are indicated for depression. Medications that affect the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine are Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Effexor, Mirapex, and Cymbalta are frequently effective. Some patients find relief of fibromyalgia symptoms and co-morbidities with anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax and Klonopin or muscle relaxant medications such as Norflex, Flexeril and Zanaflex. Anti-convulsant medications such as Neurontin and Topomax also provide relief for many patients. Narcotic painkillers are used effectively by many physicians for the pain of fibromyalgia. However, other physicians have avoided narcotics for fear of addiction. Recent research shows that addiction seldom occurs when these medications are used in chronic pain states. It is important to understand the difference between addiction and dependence.

There is no single medication that will relieve all of the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. Physicians must work closely with their patients to find the right combination of medications that most improve the patient’s symptoms while minimizing the negative side effects that come with each medication.

 Myofascial Trigger Points
Research studies indicate that up to 68% of persons with fibromyalgia also have myofasical trigger points. It is unclear if these are co-morbid conditions or triggers to the pain of fibromyalgia. Trigger points are different from tender points in that they are taut muscle bands that feel like a knot or lump underneath the skin. There is pain when they are pressed on that can radiate to other areas of the body. Tender points are sensitive to pressure and are part of a diffuse body wide condition. Treating the trigger points can help to reduce fibromyalgia pain. Treatment may include injecting the trigger point with Procaine and then stretching the affected area in a technique called spray and stretch. The injection can be quite painful and there is typically a two to four day period before the effects are noticed. Dry needling has also been effective when utilizing an acupuncture needle and inserting it into the trigger point which allows the muscle to relax and lengthen. Other techniques that may be helpful are heat, massage, and gentle stretching.

About 20 percent of people with fibromyalgia have a co-existing depression or anxiety state which needs to be appropriately treated with therapeutic doses of anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications, often in conjunction with the help of a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. Patients who have a concomitant psychiatric problem have a double burden to bear. They will find it easier to cope with their fibromyalgia symptoms if their psychiatric condition is appropriately treated. It is important to understand FM itself is not a psychogenic pain problem and that treatment of any underlying psychological problem will not cure the fibromyalgia.

 Balancing Daily Activities
Most FM patients quickly learn there are certain things they do on a daily basis that seem to make their pain worse. These actions usually involve the repetitive use of muscles or prolonged tensing of a muscle, such as the muscles of the upper back while looking at a computer screen. Careful detective work is required by the patient to note these associations and where possible to modify or eliminate them. Pacing of activities is important; we recommend patients use a stopwatch that beeps every 20 minutes. Whatever they are doing at that time should be stopped and a minute taken to do something else—possibly stretching. Patients who are involved in fairly vigorous manual occupations often need to have their work environment modified and may need to be retrained in a completely different job. Certain people are so severely affected that consideration must be given to some form of monetary disability assistance. This decision requires careful consideration, as disability can cause adverse financial consequences as well as loss of self-esteem. In general, doctors are reluctant to declare FM patients disabled and most FM applicants are automatically turned down by the Social Security Administration. Each patient needs to be evaluated on an individual basis before any recommendation for or against disability is made.

 Complementary and Alternative Therapies
There are many therapies that fall in this general category that may prove to be effective for people with fibromyalgia. Postural training, occupational therapy and relaxation therapy can help in improving body mechanics and decreasing pain instigators. Acupuncture, hypnosis and cognitive/behavioral therapy have been studied in chronic pain states such as fibromyalgia. Research is still limited, but it appears promising and these treatments may be helpful when included in a comprehensive pain management program. Nutritional therapy such as vitamin and mineral supplements can help with stress and supporting the immune system. While there is no specific fibromyalgia diet, people who suffer with fibromyalgia should work to improve the nutritional quality of the foods they eat and work with their physicians to ensure they are not suffering from conditions such as celiac disease or other treatable conditions that impact the digestive system.

Health Journeys - The Latest News from Health Journeys

Free Guided Imagery for Pain, stress relief and relaxation. Very good stuff. I'm writing a more detailed article at the moment, but here's a good start. Get the free download.

Health Journeys - The Latest News from Health Journeys

HELP support me and this page to get on my own domain. :)

Purple Rubber type bracelet. 

Has awareness ribbon on both side of 

"Together We Can Make a 


Only $5 & Shipping

(Goes towards books and research for my blog)

More items coming very soon!
Click under image for sales page! Thank you!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

For those of you wondering why I use Swagbucks. Check this out:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Newly Diagnosed Part 2

Here's another great source for Fibromyalgia Newly Diagnosed People:
There is also a tab on top for newly diagnosed.

How to Avoid SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

How to Avoid SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

13 Ways to Relieve Chronic Pain |

13 Ways to Relieve Chronic Pain |

More News about Tai Chi!!

BOSTON (Reuters) - The slow, flowing movements of tai chi are better for relieving pain and other symptoms of fibromyalgia than conventional stretching exercises, doctors reported on Wednesday.
The improvements continued throughout the three months of lessons for 33 volunteers receiving the movement and breathing exercises, study leader Dr. Chenchen Wang of the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston said in a telephone interview.
"Week by week they changed. The pain and depression improved, and a lot of people were depressed," said Wang, whose study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
"They feel better. People said it changed their life. Only two or three feel it didn't help."
Although they said the study should be repeated with a larger group to see if, for example, the enthusiasm of the instructor played a role, Dr. Gloria Yeh and her colleagues at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston said it might be time to give tai chi a chance.
"Aside from reductions in pain, patients in the tai chi group reported improvements in mood, quality of life, sleep, self-efficacy and exercise capacity," Yeh's team wrote in a commentary in the same journal.
"The potential efficacy and lack of adverse effects now make it reasonable for physicians to support patients' interest in exploring these types of exercises, even if it is too early to take out a prescription pad and write 'tai chi,'" they wrote.
Fibromyalgia, which may affect 200 million people worldwide, is difficult to diagnose and hard to treat, with no clear guidelines for symptoms that include pain, fatigue, stiffness and sleep difficulties.
There is evidence that it may be caused by a heightened sensitivity to pain.
Patients often turn to alternative therapies such as tai chi, yoga, acupuncture or massage.
Tai chi originated as a Chinese martial art that focuses on slow, graceful movements, breathing and relaxation in an effort to move a hypothetical energy throughout the body.
Volunteers in the tai chi group took 60-minute classes twice a week for three months from a tai chi master and were encouraged to practice at least 20 minutes per day.
Another group got health lectures and stretching classes, comparable to what people do when they wake up in the morning. "This was not real exercise," Wang said. Further tests comparing exercise to tai chi are planned.
To assess the effectiveness of both treatments, the Wang team used several assessment tools, including one that measured fibromyalgia symptoms on a 100-point scale. The people taking tai chi saw their scores improve by an average of 28 points, compared to a nine-point improvement in the stretching group.
Researchers should test the technique with a larger group for a longer period, compare different styles, and see if it is better than other forms of exercise, such as yoga, Yeh said.
SOURCE: England Journal of Medicine, August 19, 2010.

9 Bad Habits to Beat Now

Very good idea's here!! 

Thursday, August 19, 2010


My good friend Connie has given me a virtual bag of school goodies!! Although I don't have kids, I still shop at Wal-Mart all the time!! Please repost and earn your $10 and even better $10,000 to Adopt-A-Classroom!!

This Back to School season, Elmer’s is celebrating it’s every day low pricing on back to school supplies at Walmart by partnering with Adopt-A-Classroom to help make a difference in classrooms across the country.
Elmer’s will donate up to $10,000 to Adopt-A-Classroom with your participation. Join now!
The Elmer’s Virtual Bag It Forward is charity blog meme, bloggers are able to raise $10 per blog post for Adopt-A-Classroom by writing a blog post or Facebook note and donating a virtual bag of school supplies . Elmer’s will donate $10 per each post written for Adopt-A-Classroom, up to $10,000.
HOW CAN YOU JOIN? It’s easy.
* Participate in the Elmer’s Virtual Bag It Forward by giving away a virtual bag of school supplies and creating a blog post or Facebook note with specific rules described below.
* Elmer’s will donate up to $10,000 to Adopt-A-Classroom.
* You can give as many virtual bags as you want.
* The Elmer’s Virtual Bag It Forward will officially begin at 12 AM EST on July 22, 2010 and end at 11:59 PM EST on September 10, 2010. Blog posts submitted to us before or after that time period will not be counted.
* The blog post link has to be submitted in the comment section below for your participation to be counted.
* In addition copy and paste the following text into your blog post:
* Copy and paste these rules into your blog post or Facebook note.
* Create a post giving a “virtual bag of school supplies” to other bloggers or write about your Back to School shopping trip at Walmart.
* Link back to the person who gave you a bag of school supplies.
* Let each person you are giving a virtual bag of school supplies know you have given them a bag.
Leave your link in the Elmer’s Virtual Bag It Forward comment section. You can also find the official rules of this virtual #bagitforward program there.
* Elmer’s is donating $10 for each blog participating in the Virtual Bag It Forward Donation to Adopt-A-Classroom (up to total of $10,000 for blog posts written by September 10,2010).
* Please note that only one blog post per blog url will count towards the donation.
Here is the photo you can use for your virtual bag or create your own!
I’m tagging anyone who wants to pay it forward with Elmer’s Bag It Forward.

HELP support me and this page to get on my own domain. :)

Purple Rubber type bracelet. 

Has awareness ribbon on both side of 

"Together We Can Make a 


Only $5 & Shipping

(Goes towards books and research for my blog)

More items coming very soon!

Selling soon!!!

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Tai chi for Fibro?

August 19, 2010 — Tai chi may be a helpful intervention for patients with fibromyalgia, according to the results of a single-blind, randomized trial reported in the August 19 issue of the New EnglandJournal of Medicine.

"Previous research has suggested that tai chi offers a therapeutic benefit in patients with fibromyalgia," write Chenchen Wang, MD, MPH, from Tufts Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues. "...[Tai chi] combines meditation with slow, gentle, graceful movements, as well as deep breathing and relaxation, to move vital energy (or qi) throughout the body. It is considered a complex, multicomponent intervention that integrates physical, psychosocial, emotional, spiritual, and behavioral elements."

Fibromyalgia was defined by American College of Rheumatology 1990 criteria. Participants (n = 66) were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive classic Yang-style tai chi or a control intervention consisting of wellness education and stretching. In both groups, participants received 60-minute sessions twice weekly for 12 weeks.

Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) score (ranging from 0 - 100) at the end of 12 weeks was the main study outcome, with higher scores indicating more severe symptoms. Secondary outcomes were summary scores on the physical and mental components of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey. To assess durability of the response, these tests were performed again at 24 weeks.

Improvements in the FIQ total score and quality of life in the tai chi group were clinically important. For this group, mean baseline and 12-week FIQ scores were 62.9 ± 15.5 and 35.1 ± 18.8, respectively, vs 68.0 ± 11 and 58.6 ± 17.6, respectively, in the control group. The mean between-group difference from baseline in the tai chi group vs the control group was −18.4 points (< .001).

The tai chi group also fared better than the wellness intervention group in physical component scores of the Short-Form Health Survey (28.5 ± 8.4 and 37.0 ± 10.5 for the tai chi group vs 28.0 ± 7.8 and 29.4 ± 7.4 for the control group; between-group difference, 7.1 points; P = .001) and mental component scores (42.6 ± 12.2 and 50.3 ± 10.2 vs 37.8 ± 10.5 and 39.4 ± 11.9, respectively; between-group difference, 6.1 points; P = .03).

These improvements were still present at 24 weeks (FIQ score between-group difference, −18.3 points;P < .001), with no reported adverse events.

Limitations of this study include lack of double blinding, lack of generalizability because treatment was delivered by a single tai chi master at a single center, and follow-up limited to 24 weeks.

"In conclusion, our preliminary findings indicate that tai chi may be a useful treatment in the multidisciplinary management of fibromyalgia," the study authors write. "Longer-term studies involving larger clinical samples are warranted to assess the generalizability of our findings and to deepen our understanding of this promising therapeutic approach."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Coming soon!! Fundraiser!!

Soon I will be selling fibromyalgia items on this site to help fundraise for all the books, pain newsletters and monies it takes to run this. I hope to see some people on board with this. More details soon.....

My spotlight interview for My Chroinc Life

Amanda Lakso - Chronic Pain and Ramblings Blogger

Posted by Connie on Sunday, August 15th, 2010 at 8:34 pm and is filed under Blogging Community, Spotlight.
There are/is currently One comment |
Amanda Lakso writes a blog, Chronic Pain and Ramblings to educate and support people with chronic illnesses especially Fibromyalgia.  She is 31, married and has an adult step-son.I met Amanda on Facebook, where she is very active. We chatted a few times and I asked if I could feature her as one of my Spotlight Interviews. Thankfully she agreed.
Amanda has Fibromyalgia, Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression, Anxiety, Agoraphobia , Tachycardia and is Bipolar.  She’s been living with  pain and mental disorders since her early teens, but her actual diagnoses came later.
Amanda has severe widespread pain. She describes it well:
It feels like my muscles are all cramped up all the time and hurts to the slightest touch. The Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome I can only describe like this: Think of the skin on a chicken breast, it’s slimy and moves around really well. Now think of say your arm for example is made up of layers. First your skin, then the “chicken skin”, muscle then more “chicken skin”, then bone. My “chicken skin” has turned to concrete while most people’s move freely like the skin of a chicken breast.
After giving up a job that she loved 3 years ago, she has been trying to be approved for Social Security Disability unsuccessfully.  She is on prescriptions that cause her to twitch, which she finds embarrassing. Because of that and that the fear of leaving her home (Agoraphobia) as well as a fear of crowds, Amanda is almost always at home.
She has difficulty concentrating and has tried ADD medications without relief.  Because of this, Amanda has given up one of her favorite hobbies, reading, which is difficult for her. She was also a crafter, but now crochets or knits once in a while.  She does try to volunteer at her local fire department where her husband is the assistant chief, with reports. She also tries to volunteer at the library when she’s able. This gives her a feeling of paying it forward and giving back to her community.
Her family supports and understands her medical issues, but her is husband is her main support. “He has been wonderful about doing everything around the house. What a man!” She uses her blog to vent about the things that bother her and that helps her a great deal.
One book Amanda recommend is “Fibromyalgia for Dummies”.  She has a free copy for download,  or you can get it at your local library or an online bookstore.  Shes also like “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fibromyalgia”. There are so many books that she enjoys that she’s considering adding a blog page just for books.
Amanda recommends Fibro360 Forum, My Fibro, The Invisible Disabilities Advocate and The American Academy of Pain Management among others. You can find all of the websites she recommends by visiting the Links on the sidebar of her blog.
Contact Amanda and find out about her other blogs as well as where to follow her on Facebook.
Amanda inspires me as she has a positive attitude, but isn’t afraid to share when she’s feeling down. She reaches out to others who are in pain or have health conditions like hers.
This is an ongoing effort to spotlight people with chronic illness, health issues and disabilities who are making a contribution in some way despite their pain, sickness, etc.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bon Jovi - It's my life w/ lyrics

ME/CFS 101

Whether you've just discovered you have ME/CFS or have been living with it for years, this is the place you want to be. It's a 'patient-powered' site, which means folks just like you keep it going, with information, conversations and support. And of course ProHealth keeps you up-to-date with current news on research and treatment, and input from the world's leading experts in the field. Read more here:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Surviving a Loved One's Chronic Pain

Surviving a Loved One's Chronic Pain. Very good couples read.

What is CFS? Better known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Someone asked me what Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was today.
Here was MY answer.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Check out my personal blog. Just finished a posting. :)
Swagbucks, What are they?? How do I start?? Look HERE!!

New Study

Effects of Sodium Oxybate on Sleep Physiology and Sleep/Wake-related Symptoms in Patients with Fibromyalgia Syndrome:

Nature's Bounty Free Pedometer and coupon's

Effective Medications for Fibromyalgia: Lyrica, Savella, Cymbalta, and More

Sent from Amanda's iPhone

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - What is the Difference Between Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Sent from Amanda's iPhone

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatments - Your Options for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatments

Sent from Amanda's iPhone

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms - Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatments

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

iGaurd Fibromyalgia and other conditions info. LOTS of info!

Check this out on iGuard too. It has every condition and everything about it, geographic and all. Here's the Fibromyalgia page:

iGuard - For those of us on too many medications to keep straight

For those of us with too many medications to keep straight, please don't leave it up to one or multiple doctor's to keep them straight. You need to take care of this yourself as well. I recommend It's secure and very easy, only took me about 10 minutes to enter about 14 medications. Also, they have a lot of tweets on Twitter of interactions and info about the kind of medications we all take. Enjoy!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Downloads and Resources

Just a reminder to check out the tabs across the top of my blog. Lots of free downloads and resources there. Here's the direct link for Downloads/Resources. Sign up:

Friday, August 6, 2010

Decoding chronic pain, understanding fibromyalgia - The Mercury Life: Pottstown, PA and The Tri County areas of Montgomery, Berks and Chester Counties (

Very well written article about Fibromyalgia. Please read when you have time and comment here letting me know what you think. Hope your all feeling well! :)
Decoding chronic pain, understanding fibromyalgia

More Clues To Fibromyalgia Pain

THURSDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Fibromyalgia patients have more "connectivity" between brain networks and regions of the brain involved in pain processing, which may help explain why sufferers feel pain even when there is no obvious cause, a new study suggests.

Researchers had 18 women with fibromyalgia undergo six-minute fMRI brain scans, and compared their results to women without the condition.

Participants were asked to rate the intensity of the pain they were feeling at the time of the test. Some people reported feeling little pain, while others reported feeling more intense pain.

Brain scans showed the connectivity, or neural activity, between certain brain networks and the insular cortex, a region of the brain involved in pain processing, was heightened in women with fibromyalgia compared to those without the condition.

The connectivity to the insular cortex was even stronger in participants who reported feeling more intense pain compared to milder pain, said study author Vitaly Napadow, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

"We took advantage of the fact that there is a large discrepancy in the amount of pain patients happen to be in at the time they come in. Unfortunately some patients come in, and they are in a lot of pain. Other patients come in and they are not in pain," Napadow said.

The study, by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Michigan, is published in the August issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome that's characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, insomnia, and the presence of multiple tender points. The syndrome can also cause psychological issues, including anxiety, depression and memory and concentration problems, sometimes called the "fibromyalgia fog."

Prior research has shown that people with fibromyalgia feel a given amount of pain more intensely than others, Napadow explained. In other words, studies have shown a typical person might rate a painful stimuli a "one" on a scale or one to 10, while a person with fibromyalgia might rate the pain a 5 or higher.

The new study is different in that fibromyalgia patients' pain responses were measured while they were at rest and not being exposed to anything painful, Napadow said.

The brain networks involved were the default mode network (DMN) and the right executive attention network (EAN). The DMN is involved in "self-referential thinking," when you think about yourself or what's happening to you, Napadow explained.

The EAN is involved in working memory and attention. When that brain network is occupied, or distracted, by pain, it may explain some of the cognitive issues that fibromyalgia patients experience, Napadow said.

Dr. Philip Mease, director of rheumatology research at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle and a member of the National Fibromyalgia Association medical advisory board, said the study provides insight into what may be going on in the brains of people with fibromyalgia.

"This work shows there is increased connectivity between different brain centers that connect the purely sensory pain processing centers of the brain with some of the emotional and evaluative parts of the brain, or areas of the brain that take a sensory stimulus and say, "How do I interpret this? How do I feel about this'?" Mease said.

For years, fibromyalgia has been a highly misunderstood syndrome, with some doctors doubting it even existed, and others attributing the pain to depression or other psychological issues.

That began to change early this decade, when brain scans showed pain-processing abnormalities in fibromyalgia patients, Mease said.

"That first neuroimaging study really demonstrated fibromyalgia patients were different than normal individuals, and at a neurobiological level, were truly experiencing more pain at lower intensities," Mease said.

The new research moves understanding of the condition a step further, by exploring what's happening in the brain during a resting state.

"Regardless of poking or prodding them, this study is trying to get at an understanding of what is crackling in the brain, intrinsically, such that they have this higher sensitivity," Mease said.

About 10 million Americans are believed to have fibromyalgia, almost 90 percent of whom are women, according to the National Fibromyalgia Association. Sufferers report a history of widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body for at least three months, and pain in at least 11 of 18 "tender points."

More information

Read more about fibromyalgia at the National Fibromyalgia Association.

SOURCES: Vitaly Napadow, Ph.D, neuroscientist and assistant professor, radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Philip Mease, M.D., director, rheumatology research, Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, and member, National Fibromyalgia Association medical advisory board; August 2010 Arthritis & Rheumatism

FM Aware magazine’s E-card contest now accepting submissions

FM Aware magazine’s E-card contest now accepting submissions 



Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Free Sample of Tiger Balm

I don't usually post these but this is supposed to be a great product. Hurry and "Like" on Facebook and sign you for your sample. Will be ending soon, so hurry up. :)!/TigerBalmUS?v=app_11007063052&ref=search

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

REPOST: The Spoon Theory written by Christine Miserandino

Yes, it's that important that I would repost.
The Spoon Theory written by Christine Miserandino

Sent from Amanda's iPhone
Can't wait to dig in and read the latest issue of Fibromyalgia Network!!

Treating Fibromyalgia Pain: Medication Options

Treating Fibromyalgia Pain: Medication Options:

Brain Connectivity in Fibromyalgia Associated With Chronic Pain Intensity

Brain Connectivity in Fibromyalgia Associated With Chronic Pain Intensity

So very true!!

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Partnering with Your Healthcare Provider

Managing fibromyalgia may often require a team approach involving several healthcare providers. Depending on your symptoms, you may need to see a:
  • Primary care or family physician
  • Rheumatologist
  • Pain management specialist
  • Physical therapist
  • Psychiatrist or other counselor
It is important to work with your healthcare provider to develop a treatment plan that addresses your particular symptoms. Sharing your answers to the Fibromyalgia Doctor Discussion Guide is a great conversation starter.
Your doctor may ask you questions such as:
  • What kind of symptoms are you experiencing?
  • How do these symptoms impact your life?
  • What do you think causes these symptoms?
  • What do you think makes your symptoms worse?
In addition to your healthcare team, there are a number of organizations and support groups ready to help you learn more about fibromyalgia and how to manage it. Please discuss the resources available with your healthcare provider.

Link to discussion print out:

Concentration Killers

Here's a great article about concentration. I personally relate to it as "Fibro Fog"

6 Top Concentration Killers

Straying from the task at hand? Here's how to regain your focus.
By Jen Uscher
Unanswered emails are clogging your inbox, you’re wondering when you’ll find time to pick up the dry cleaning, and your brain is foggy from too little sleep.
It’s not surprising you have such a hard time tackling the projects at work and at home that demand your full attention.   
To help you concentrate, experts say you first need to identify what's derailing you. Here are six common concentration wreckers and what you can do about them.

Click here for the rest of the article: