Thursday, July 21, 2011

Coping - Family Involvement

Expert advice from Leslie Epstein, M.S., MFCC
While only one person in a family may suffer from fibromyalgia the entire family is affected by it. Your family faces a troublesome time while learning to cope with the anxieties, fears and trauma produced by fibromyalgia. Thus, it is essential that the family become part of your therapeutic program. More explicitly, family support is crucial to the successful management of any chronic and painful condition.
A common problem for patients is disassociation, where a family member may want to deny that their is anything wrong with you. That family member seems to feel that if he/she pretends nothing serious exists, the illness and its problems will go away. This type of person rationalizes that "if their is nothing I can do (about my loved one having fibromyalgia), I may as well act as if nothing is wrong and go on living my own life." The patient, in turn, resents this apparent disinterest and interprets it incorrectly to mean that their family member does not care, creating added stress.
Open communication among family members is important. The family must learn to discuss all feelings that arise, including frustration, resentment and impatience. Expression must not be restricted. The patient should be comfortable discussing personal needs and feelings with the family, and the converse should also be true. In this connection, it is vital that changes in family roles and responsibilities be discussed openly in order to prevent repressed anger and resentment, since hostile family attitudes may cause a patient's symptoms to flare.
The difficulty seems to be in finding the best response at a particular time: empathy when the symptoms appear to be worse; support during times of fear and crisis; and allowing patient control in periods when they are feeling better. Thus, a good system of communication within your family is essential.
Finally, family members are not immune to depression. It is frustrating to watch people who are sick and in pain, and yet to have little control over their illness. This can anger family members, who typically are unwilling to vent their frustrations onto you for fear of inducing more stress and causing an exacerbation of your condition. Instead, the family member's anger turns inward, creating depression.

Maintaining Healthy Relationships
with your spouse, partner, children, family, friends, and others.

20 experts in the field answer questions posed by fibromyalgia patients in this specially crafted, 20-page Special Issue:
  • Explaining your limits to others
  • Handling demands on your time
  • Helping children understand your illness
  • Enjoying intimacy in spite of your pain and fatigue
  • Saying "No" without regrets
  • Handling unwanted advice
  • Controlling angry outbursts
Don't let chronic illness interfere with your ties to family and friends. Get our Special issues on Relationships

Fibromyalgia Network

If you haven't subscribed to these guys (FM Network, I HIGHLY recommend it. They send out awesome newsletter's in the mail every other month. They do survey's from members and post results in there. Also every month there is an E-Newsletter that is as good or better than the print version. I've been with them for 6 years now. They also have an 800 # if you need ANYTHING you can call them. From references to good doctors, to just a shoulder to cry on. (BENEFITS: have 6 years worth of these newsletters collected and the articles 98% pertain to me. Which is hard to find. Here I'm going to give you some links and info about the company and what the website has to offer since the website is rather confusing.

Main Site:
Here you can sign up for free articles too and has a basic intro of what the newsletters are about.

Facebook Page: This may make more sense to us now days. Check it out! :D

Site Map: This helps clear up the confusion of the website and give you an idea what they are all about as well.

The Store: Finally, here's where you become a member, get your stuff and benefits. Just click "Click here to Join" Also they are always giving away some free stuff with membership too. So watch for those. 

Here's what I got free with mine, it costs $5 on the site now. This list is a little outdated now, but still an awesome reference!! If you'd like this emailed to you let me know by email. Email me here

FYI: Data did not fit on main page. If you go across the tabs at the top and look for "Resources/Downloads" and click that, go all the way to the bottom of the page and the Top 25 Fibromyalgia Medications and an E-Newsletter are posted there. If you want anything else for a preview before purchasing a membership, let me know with this email. Email me here

Fibromyalgia: Healing Begins

Fibromyalgia Effects My Entire Life

PAIN Inspirational

P= Perserverance, the tenacity you need to get through your illness!
A= Attitude, your attitude determines your altitude! Keep your thoughts positive.
I= Initiate, Initiate your future by keeping close to family and friends. Don't   isolate.
N= NEVER, ever, give up or loose hope.  Your breakthrough 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Fibromyalgia is god's way of saying, your tougher than the rest and you can handle it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chronic Pain: OTC or Prescription Medicine?

I came across this article in my email. I find it very interesting. There's 4 pages to it. Thought I would share it with you all. Let me know what you all think, comment below please. Thanks!!

WebMD: Better Information. Better Health.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fibromyalgia Tender Points

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a common disorder characterized by multiple tender points, widespread deep muscle pain, fatigue, and depression. The term fibromyalgia comes from the Latin word for fibrous tissue (fibro) and the Greek terms for muscle (myo) and pain(algia).

What are tender points?

Tender points are pain points or localized areas of tenderness around joints, but not the joints themselves. These tender points hurt when pressed with a finger.
Tender points are often not deep areas of pain. Instead, they are superficial areas seemingly under the surface of the skin, such as the area over the elbow or shoulder.

Are tender points large areas of pain?

No. The actual size of the point of most tenderness is usually very small, about the size of a penny. These areas are much more sensitive than other nearby areas. In fact, pressure on one of the tender points with a finger will cause pain that makes the person flinch or pull back. Tender points are scattered over the neck, back, chest, elbows, hips, buttocks, and knees.

What causes tender points?

The cause of these pressure points is not known. Even though it would seem these areas might be inflamed, researchers have not found particular signs of inflammation when examining the tissue. What is known is that the locations of tender points are not random. They occur in predictable places on the body. That means many people with fibromyalgia experience similar symptoms with tender points.

Can my doctor diagnose fibromyalgia from the tender points?

Your doctor can test the painful tender points during an examination.Yet even with tender points, you need to tell your doctor about the exact pain you feel in those areas. You also need to tell the doctor about your other symptoms of fibromyalgia, such as deep muscle pain, fatigue, sleep problems, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, and more.
If you don't explain all your fibromyalgia symptoms fully to your doctor, the doctor will not be able to effectively treat the fibromyalgia. As a result, you won't get good relief from the chronic pain and other symptoms.
When a doctor tests tender points for pain, he or she will also check "control" points or other non-tender points on your body to make sure you don't react to these as well. Some physicians use a special instrument called a "doximeter" or "dolorimeter" to apply just the right amount of pressure on tender points.

How many tender points are important for fibromyalgia?

There are 18 tender points important for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia (see illustration below). These tender point are located at various places on your body. To get a medical diagnosis of fibromyalgia, 11 of 18 tender point sites must be painful when pressed. In addition, for a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, the symptom of widespread pain must have been present for three months.

Is there a prescription medication that eases the pain of tender points?

Pain management for tender points with fibromyalgia involves a multifaceted treatment program that employs both conventional and alternative therapies. While the reason is not entirely clear, fibromyalgia pain and fatigue sometimes respond to low doses of antidepressants. However, the standard treatment for fibromyalgia and tender points involves medications, daily stress management, exercise, hydrotherapy using heat and ice, and rest. Other remedies for symptoms may also be used.

What at-home treatments might help in managing tender point pain?

Alternative treatments or home remedies are important in managing fibromyalgia and the pain of tender points. As an example, therapeutic massage can manipulate the muscles and soft tissues of the body to help ease pain, muscle tension, spasms, and stress.
Twice daily moist heat applications are also helpful in easing the deep muscle pain and stiffness. To benefit from moist heat, you can use a moist heating pad, warm shower, or a heat "cozy" that you warm in the microwave. You can also relax in a Jacuzzi.
With fibromyalgia, it's extremely important to manage your schedule and to control your level of stress. Be sure to block time each day to rest and relax. Avoid making too many commitments that can increase stress and fatigue. In addition, you can do relaxation exercises such as guided imagery, deep-breathing exercises, or the relaxation response to manage how you respond to stress.
Staying on a regular bedtime routine is also important. Doing so allows your body to rest and repair itself. In addition, regular exercise is vital to managing the pain, depression, and other symptoms of fibromyalgia.

What can make fibromyalgia symptoms and tender point pain worse?

A number of factors can make fibromyalgia symptoms worse. They include:
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in weather -- for example, cold or humidity
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Hormonal fluctuations such as PMS or menopause
  • Infections
  • Lack of sleep or restless sleep
  • Periods of emotional stress
  • Physical exhaustion
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Tender Points in Fibromyalgia

fibromyalgia and affects

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on April 30, 2009