Free Pain Diary Worksheet
(If you have problems getting this, email me at and I will email it to you.)

Do you have a great doctor that believe's in you and your Fibromyalgia and other Chronic Pain? I'd like to start a list around the world here for our fellow sufferers that are having a hard time finding help. Please send me doctor's name, location and phone # and I will post. Thanks to all!

Pain and Activity Tracking Log

 Discovery Health Channel Fibromyalgia Video's

Discovery Health channel: Identifying Fibromyalgia

Pain expert Dr. Scott Fishman answers questions about nerve pain: 
Q:   How do I know if I have fibromyalgia?
A:   Fibromyalgia is a hodgepodge of symptoms characterized by mild to extreme discomfort emanating from skeletal muscles and soft tissue throughout the body. It is also referred to as myofascial pain and can encompass other disorders, including temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ).
Over the years, fibromyalgia has had a number of medical labels: muscle hardening, muscular rheumatism, fibrositis, myofascitis, myogelosis, and interstitial myofibrositis. The terms fibromyalgia and myofascial pain often are used interchangeably, but they are not identical twins. Myofascial pain is the umbrella term, and fibromyalgia is a specific kind of pain that encompasses widespread symptoms in muscles throughout the body.
The centerpiece of this disorder involves tender areas of muscle and trigger points (small areas of muscle that cause pain in a distant area when they are pressed). Trigger points are often associated with tender, hard knots within muscle tissue but are not always tender themselves. Trigger points and tender points often are confused, but they are not the same thing.
As with many pain conditions, there are no laboratory tests to diagnose this pain. For years, patients have been complaining to their doctors about achy pain in their muscles that comes and goes, moves around their bodies, and produces fatigue. Yet the shifting character of the condition, seemingly vague symptoms that come and go, and undetectable causes have confounded successful treatment.
In 1990, doctors with the American College of Rheumatology developed specific criteria for diagnosing fibromyalgia. To be diagnosed with it, a patient must have widespread pain and clear signs of muscle tenderness at eleven of eighteen identified spots on the body. The scientist who first spotted these clumps within muscle described them as feeling like "rubbery Rice Krispies."
Lodged within a taut band of muscle or neighboring tissue, they are tight knots. When pressed, they are unusually tender. When pressed hard, they may cause the whole muscle to twitch or a person to flinch, which is known as a jump sign. They frequently congregate in one area of the body, such as in the neck, shoulder, or back, and radiate discomfort to neighboring muscles. If you have had occasional knots in your muscles, like a kink in the neck, you may have had what is called latent trigger points because they can radiate pain but quickly disappear.
The underlying cause of trigger points is frequently a mystery. They can crop up after an injury or disease, from repetitive motion (like lots of lifting or a repeated sports motion), or for no apparent reason.

Discovery Health Channel's CME on Chronic Pain
I just got done watching this. It has a lot of great info and the "all in your head vs.real deal" on chronic pain conversation. There's also a podcast, good references, 2 pain scales and a Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire. Check it out! And a big thank you to Discovery Channel for doing a special on TV!

Quick Fibro Fact Sheet from NFA: 

Fibromyalgia Fact Sheet

Fibromyalgia (pronounced fy-bro-my-AL-ja) is a complex chronic pain disorder that affects an estimated 10 million Americans. While it occurs most often in women, it strikes men and children, and all ethnic backgrounds. For those with severe symptoms, fibromyalgia (FM) can be extremely debilitating and interfere with basic daily activities.

  • The FM diagnostic criteria, established by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) in 1990, includes a history of widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body for a minimum duration of three months, and pain in at least 11 of the 18 designated tender points when a specified amount of pressure is applied.
  • Since people with FM tend to look healthy and conventional tests are typically normal, a physician knowledgeable about the disorder is necessary to make a diagnosis.
  • Physicians should rule out other causes of the symptoms before making a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
  • Although chronic, widespread body pain is the primary symptom of fibromyalgia, a variety of other symptoms are common in FM patients. Symptoms include: moderate to severe fatigue, sleep disorders, problems with cognitive functioning, IBS, headaches and migraines, anxiety and depression, and environmental sensitivities.
  • Research has documented neuroendocrine physiological abnormalities that may contribute to the symptoms.
  • Recent research has suggested a genetic component. The disorder is often seen in families, among siblings or mothers and their children.
  • Fibromyalgia often occurs following a physical trauma, such as an acute illness or injury, which may act as a “trigger” in the development of the disorder.
  • Increasing attention is being devoted to the central nervous system as the underlying mechanism of FM. Recent studies have suggested that FM patients have generalized disturbance in pain processing and an amplified response to stimuli that would not ordinarily be painful in healthy individuals.
  • Since there is no known cure for FM, treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and improving function.
  • A variety of prescription medications are often used to reduce pain levels and improve sleep. On June 21, 2007, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Lyrica (pregabalin) as the first drug to treat fibromyalgia. Cymbalta (duloxetine HCl) was approved in June 2008; and Savella (milnacipran HCl) was approved in January 2009.
  • Alternative therapies, such as massage, myofasical release, acupuncture, chiropractic, herbal supplements and yoga, can be effective tools in managing FM symptoms.
  • Increasing rest, pacing activities, reducing stress, practicing relaxation and improving nutrition can help minimize symptoms and improve quality of life.
National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) is a nonprofit [501 (c) (3)] organization    (714) 921-0150

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

You've probably read about fibromyalgia symptoms such as pain, fatigue and fibro fog, but the list of possible signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia are far-reaching and body-wide. The following "monster list" of fibromyalgia symptoms is adapted from one put together by leading fibromyalgia expert Devin Starlanyl.
Many of these fibromyalgia symptoms also can be caused by other ailments and this list isn't intended as a diagnostic tool. Knowing the full range of symptoms, however, can help you track them either to help your doctor diagnose you properly or to help you identify triggers.
Some of the following are noted as overlapping conditions, which means they commonly occur with fibromyalgia but actually are conditions that need to be diagnosed and treated separately.
People with fibromyalgia can have any combination of the following symptoms, and to varying degrees of severity.


General Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Delayed reactions to physical exertion or stressful events
  • Other family members with fibromyalgia (genetic predisposition)
  • Sweats
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss
  • Cravings for carbohydrate and chocolate
  • Headaches & migraines
  • Vision changes, including rapidly worsening vision

Muscle & Tissue-Related Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Sinus & Allergy-Related Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Sleep-Related Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Light and/or broken sleep pattern with unrefreshing sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep starts (falling sensations)
  • Twitchy muscles at night
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)

Reproductive Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Menstrual problems
  • PMS (as an overlapping condition)
  • Loss of libido
  • Impotence

Abdominal & Digestive Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Bloating & nausea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Pelvic pain
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (as an overlapping condition)
  • Urinary frequency

Cognitive/Neurological Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Difficulty speaking known words, other language impairments (dysphasia)
  • Directional disorientation
  • Poor balance and coordination
  • Paresthesias in the upper limbs (tingling or burning sensations)
  • Loss of ability to distinguish some shades of colors
  • Short-term memory impairment
  • Confusion
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Staring into space before brain "kicks in"
  • Inability to recognize familiar surroundings

Sensory Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Sensitivity to odors
  • Sensitivity to pressure changes, temperature & humidity
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Night driving difficulty
  • Sensory overload

Emotional Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Panic attacks
  • Depression (as an overlapping condition)
  • Tendency to cry easily
  • Free-floating anxiety (not associated with situation or object)
  • Mood swings
  • Unaccountable irritability

Heart-Related Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Mitral valve prolapse (as an overlapping condition)
  • Rapid, fluttery, irregular heartbeat
  • Pain that mimics heart attack, frequently from costochondritis (as an overlapping condition)

Skin, Hair & Nail-Related Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Pronounced nail ridges
  • Nails that curve under
  • Mottled skin
  • Bruising or scaring easily
  • Hair loss (temporary)
  • Tissue overgrowth (non-cancerous tumors called lipomas, ingrown hairs, heavy and splitting cuticles, adhesions)

Miscellaneous Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Hemorrhoids
  • Nose bleeds
2004 Devin J. Starlanyl. All rights reserved. "Fibromyalgia (FMS) and Chronic Myofascial Pain (CMP) For Doctors and Other Health Care Providers."

Medication Log Download
By Amanda

Previous Medications/Side Effects
by Amanda 

Prescription Refill Reminder
by Amanda 

National Fibromyalgia Association's 
Glossary of Research and Other Fibromyalgia Terms and Definitions

Free Printable from for medical forms and info: 

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

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.

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



Here's a copy of an e-newsletter I just received so you know what to expect from those.

     Fibromyalgia Network
Fibromyalgia Network
   May 2011 eNews Alert
In this eNews:


Reader-Friendly Version
This eNews is available for viewing and printing in a larger size.
Dear Amanda Lakso,
Is strength training better for your fibromyalgia (FM) than a simple walking program? A recent study examines these two approaches to determine which one is likely to produce more lasting, more consistent benefits.
Less than five years ago, your cognitive difficulties were seldom addressed in research studies. Yet several reports on this topic, which is becoming widely known as “fibro fog,” have already been published this year. And as you will read below, researchers are curious about how to develop a screening tool for this baffling symptom.
In this month’s latest news you will read how limited sun exposure may be therapeutic for FM, and it’s not time-consuming or costly. More controversial is the use of cannabis for relieving your many symptoms. Another small report was just published that explored this drug’s potential benefits and side effects.
Relax and enjoy this Memorial Day weekend!
Kristin Thorson
Fibromyalgia Network Editor
Sun Therapy for Fibro
The sun can soothe sore muscles and induces relaxation, but that’s not all. A new study shows UV rays may also reduce fibromyalgia pain by triggering your skin cells to make more vitamin D.
Read the complete article in the Latest News section of our website.
Wrist Pain Linked to Neck Problems
If you are nagged by wrist or forearm pain that seems resistant to local treatment approaches, a new study points to possible aggravating factors in the neck.* The nerves in your wrist originate from the cervical or neck region of your spinal cord, so a team in Spain looked at the connection between these two areas. They evaluated neck mobility in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, which produces serious pain caused by compression of the nerve that passes through the tunnel opening in the wrist.
Patients were divided into three groups of carpal tunnel syndrome severity (about 20 per group) and compared to 20 healthy control subjects. The cervical neck range of motion turned out to be more restricted in all three carpal tunnel patient groups, not just those with more severe signs and symptoms.
The results of this study may help explain why treatment approaches that target both the wrist and the neck tend to provide greater relief of wrist pain. However, the authors point out that a cause-and-effect relationship cannot be inferred and that problems in the neck may serve as an aggravating factor.
“Whether restricted cervical range of motion is a cause or consequence of carpal tunnel syndrome, our study suggests that it is common,” write the authors of the report. If treatments aimed at your wrists have failed, then perhaps its time to talk to your medical team about adding conservative measures directed at the neck.
* De-La-Llave-Rincon AI, et al. J Ortho Sports Phys Ther 41:305-310, 2011.
Fibro Fog Screening Tool
You know your cognitive processes aren’t working right, but it can be a symptom that is difficult for physicians to detect. It’s not easy to describe your word-finding troubles or your challenges of trying to remember multiple pieces of information at one time. Sometimes your brain works better than it does at other times, and you really can’t explain why.
As researchers are beginning to examine the various dimensions of fibro fog, it’s becoming more apparent that a quick and simple screening test to pick up this symptom could be extremely useful. Three different cognitive tests found to be abnormal in FM were described in the April Journal, but none were easy to administer. However, a team from Turkey is looking at the potential for the clock drawing test to pick up fibro fog.1
Most everyone knows what a clock face looks like and how to use the big and little hands to tell time. Apparently, drawing a clock set for a designated time can require you to tap into your memory, verbal understanding, abstract thinking, planning, visualization, and executive functioning skills. The clock test is even recommended as a major component in the assessment of driving safety among older adults by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in conjunction with the American Medical Association.2
clockIn a Turkish study, 50 FM patients and 51 age/education-matched controls were evaluated by the clock test. Each subject was given a white sheet of paper with a pre-drawn circle (10 cm in diameter) to represent the outline of the clock face. Subjects were instructed to place the numbers on the clock and set the time to ten minutes past 11. An example of a completed clock test is given at right. In addition to this drawing test, everyone was given the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) for comparison. The MMSE takes up to 20 minutes to administer and does not test executive function (more complex thinking)—two major drawbacks of this tool.
FM patients were three times more likely to score abnormally “poor” on the clock test compared to healthy control subjects. Looking at the actual numbers, 50 percent of the FM versus 15 percent of the controls performed below the norm on the clock test. Lower scores on the clock test tended to correspond with poorer results on the MMSE.
Although the clock test relies upon a scoring system, grading the results are still somewhat subjective. So while it is quick and simple to administer, this test has the drawback of not being totally objective. More studies are needed to determine if the clock test might be used, perhaps in conjunction with another easy test, to more accurately screen for fibro fog. What seems clear from the past year of published reports is that researchers are definitely beginning to take cognitive difficulties in FM very seriously.
1. Can SS, et al. Comprehensive Psychiatry [Epub ahead of print] May 13, 2011.
2. Hubbard EJ, et al. Arch Clin Neuropsychol 23:295-327, 2008.
A Little Activity to Reduce Pain?
You are rightfully apprehensive about starting an exercise program because you certainly don’t want to make your symptoms any worse. But if you had to chose between a simple walking or strength training program, would one be better than the other?
Researches at the Federal University of São Paulo in Brazil, led by Andrea H. Kayo, P.T., wanted to find out if either a supervised walking program or exercise program intended to increase muscular strength done regularly would reduce pain in fibro patients.* Patients met three times a week for 16 weeks. Then they were encouraged to continue the activities unsupervised and evaluated again at a three month follow up.

One group participated in general strength training using free weights, their own body weight, and resistance bands intended to improve strength in the arms, legs, and torso areas. During the first two weeks, participants used no weights and received instruction on proper form. Every two weeks, participants added weights, slightly increased resistance and number of repetitions according to their personal tolerance. All exercises were considered by the physical therapist and individual participant to be done in a safe range of motion.
During the same time period, the second group walked outdoors or indoors depending on the weather, participated in a brief warm-up and stretching period, walked to an increased predetermined moderate heart rate, then cooled down briefly. Every four weeks, participants were asked to push themselves to raise their heart rate slightly.
After 16 weeks, both the strength and walking groups reached more than a 20 percent reduction in pain compared to a control group that received no exercise guidance. In addition, both activity groups reported a significant improvement in their overall health-related quality of life and physical functioning. Three months after the study ended, participants were again asked to rate their pain and general health in order to determine how well the improvements persisted beyond the supervised programs.
"Patients in both activity groups were encouraged to continue the exercise program at the end of 16 weeks," says Kayo. "However, those in the strength group had difficulties … lack of equipment at home and remembering the exercises." Kayo also noted that without the supervision, patients were probably afraid to do an inappropriate exercise that could cause pain. "On the other hand, patients in the walking group did not have these concerns. Walking became a habit and part of their daily routine."
"There is yet no consensus as to which is the most effective exercise program to reduce pain," says Kayo. "Our results revealed that both exercise modalities (strength and walking) provided better pain relief in patients with fibromyalgia than medication alone." However, a simple walking program was easier to maintain, so it might be the better choice in the long-run.
Patients should always consult their doctor as individual preferences and general conditioning should be considered before starting an exercise program.
* Kayo AH, et al. Rheumatol Int [Epub ahead of print] May 19, 2011.
Cannabis Studies for Symptom Relief Ongoing
Results from studies using marijuana or a synthetic cannabis continue to provide a promising approach to treat a variety of chronic neuropathic pain conditions. A recent study done at the University of Granada in Barcelona, Spain supports the use of cannabis as a possible treatment to reduce painful symptoms and improve the quality of life in fibromyalgia (FM) patients.*
The aim of the current study was to describe the benefits of cannabis in FM patients who were taking this drug. Subjects had moderately severe FM symptoms and were resistant to standard prescription medications. Initial screening was done by phone, and subjects were divided into two groups according to whether or not they used cannabis. From phone interviews, researchers matched quality of life and FM symptoms in 28 marijuana users and 28 FM patients who did not use this drug. Each participant was given an extensive survey that measured general overall health and physical functioning, sleep quality, and specific FM symptoms.
The FM patients reported they used marijuana either by ingesting, smoking, or both. They emphasized that the drug not only decreased pain but also reduced most of their FM symptoms. Two hours following use, patients reported significant symptom improvement in pain, sleep disturbance, stiffness, anxiety, and well-being. Specifically, pain was reduced from 81 to 40 (on a 100-point scale), while stiffness was eased by an average of 40 percent for the two-hours following cannabis use.
"Most of the participants were middle-aged women who did not respond to current treatment," the study states. Twelve of the patients used cannabis daily, while five used it two to four days a week, and 11 patients used it occasionally. No one reported symptoms worsening after use. All but one patient reported side effects, the most common being sleepiness, dry mouth, dizziness, hypotension, and eye irritation.
Researchers acknowledged that their observational study was limited because the cannabis users were volunteers rather than participants recruited for a closely monitored clinical trial. It is not known how many people with FM have tried cannabis and did not find it helpful or had to discontinue due to negative side effects.
The study does support previous clinical trials testing the synthetic cannabis, nabilone, and indicates a possible new approach to the treatment of FM. "There is good evidence that the cannabinoid receptors play a major role in modulating neurotransmitter release such as serotonin and dopamine among others," the researchers reported. The cannabinoid system plays a role in pain control, the physiologic response to stress, cognitive abilities, and many other functions that may theoretically provide symptom relief in people with FM.
* Fiz J, et al. PlosOne 6(4): e18440, 2011.
Survey Says: Members Like Variety
The Fibromyalgia Network wants to thank you for taking the time to give input and advice on our April 27 “Topics of Interest” online survey. Your responses are being used to help keep us focused on providing you with information that you find most valuable for understanding and treating your symptoms.
As an education and support organization, your suggestions help us determine what we cover in future quarterly Journals, monthly eNews Alerts, and posts on our website. Reviewing the 2,400 responses, 91 percent of our Members considered the most valuable and interesting type of articles are those tied to current research.
Type of Article
Valuable/Very Valuable (2,185 responses)
91% - Research
90% - Medication updates
86% - Understand/treat unusual symptoms
84% - Treatment focused
82% - 
Coping information
82% - Articles that include the researcher’s input
80% - Non-drug therapies
78% - Myofascial pain and trigger points
74% - Nutrition & supplements
The topics that interest you the most are fatigue, followed by fibro fog and cognition, then neck and shoulder pain. Members seem to be equally divided on wanting to read about medication and non-drug approaches to treatment.
Not surprisingly, all 29 topics mentioned in our survey were selected by at least 25 percent of our Members, demonstrating the well-known complexity of FM with its variety of symptoms. And don’t worry, as progress is made in areas involving treatments, hormones, headaches, sleep disorders, skin sensitivities and gastrointestinal issues, we will continue to report on these issues among others as well.
Ranking Topics of Interest (2,185 responses)
1. Fatigue issues/ treatment (83%)
2. Fibro fog/ cognition (78%)
3. Neck/ shoulder pain (74%)
4. Coping with fibro (71%)
5. Non-drug therapies for pain (68%)
6. Medications (66%)
7. Sleep disorders (62%)
8. Experts’ treatment approaches (62%)
9. Myofascial pain/ trigger points (56%)
10. Back pain (55%)
11. Unusual symptoms (54%)
12. Lifestyle management (54%)
13. Drug comparisons (50%)
14. Hip/ pelvic pain (49%)
15. Irritable bowel (47%)
16. Skin sensitivities (45%)
17. Sleep medications (44%)
18. Balance and mobility (44%)
19. How to deal with others (43%)
20. Thyroid issues (38%)
Overall, you told us we were doing a good job of covering the issues, and you gave us many great ideas for future topics. Thank you! Also, we really appreciate the fact that you value the Fibromyalgia Network’s commitment to remain devoid of advertising, endorsements, or pharmaceutical industry grants.

Fibromyalgia Network
Helping Patients Since 1988
To remain unbiased, we do not accept endorsements,
advertisements, government funds, or pharmaceutical industry grants.
Articles are for informational purposes only. Consult your physician for treatment.
PO Box 31750 | Tucson, AZ 85751-1750 | (800) 853-2929 | 

Another valuable Resource for those on a lot of meds is MediGuard App or online.This tells you any interactions, warnings, recalls, etc.

Here's the website
Here's the link for iphone's
Here's the link for Android's:

More Coming Soon