I am a fibromyalgia sufferer who relies on alternative and complementary medicine, rather than pharmaceuticals. This is because I have multiple food, chemical and drug allergies and decided years ago that suffering through side effects was not for me. I keep watch on all the research that’s done every year and when treatment options don’t include pharmaceuticals I try them to see if they will provide relief from the inflammation and pain. I also keep watch for alternative and complementary medicine research pertaining to the many associated conditions.
Causes of fibromyalgia are not known
The condition produces vague symptoms that may be associated with diminished blood flow to certain parts of the brain and increased amounts of substance P, which is thought to be a sensory neurotransmitter involved in the communication of pain, touch, and temperature from the body to the brain. Researchers have identified several other possible fibromyalgia causes, including the following:
- Autonomic nervous system dysfunction
- Chronic sleep disorders
- Emotional stress or trauma
- Immune or endocrine system dysfunction
- Upper spinal cord injury
- Viral or bacterial infection
Alternative therapies and treatments work to heal your total being, which is why some fibromyalgia patients opt for them in treating their widespread symptoms. A variety of alternative options may ease your fibromyalgia pain—from acupuncture and biofeedback to herbal supplements and massage to yoga and meditation.
If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from fibromyalgia, you should be aware of the new research developments involving your disorder. The more you know about fibromyalgia, the better equipped you’ll be to discuss treatment options with your doctor.
Fibromyalgia research links 2010
High Rate of Restless Legs Syndrome Found in Adults With Fibromyalgia
October 15, 2010: A new study finds that adults with fibromyalgia had a much higher prevalence and risk of restless legs syndrome than healthy controls. The study suggests that treating RLS may improve sleep and may improve sleep and quality of life in people with fibromyalgia.
Yoga Can Counteract Fibromyalgia, Study Suggests
October 14, 2010 — Yoga exercises may have the power to combat the chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia — a medical disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain. The research is being published in the November 10 online edition of the journal Pain and will appear online on Oct. 14.
Adolescents With Fibromyalgia Who Are Physically Active Report Lower Levels of Pain and Disability
September 19, 2010: Adolescents with fibromyalgia who are physically active report lower levels of pain and disability,
How Badly Does It Hurt? Research Examines the Biomedical Diagnosis of Pain
August 28, 2010: Sociology research investigates the challenges of patients experiencing pain symptoms that don’t visibly turn up on any tests. Research out of the University of Cincinnati is examining the diagnosis of pain that evades scientific testing, and the additional emotional suffering that can result for the patient.
New Principle Discovered for How Muscle Pain Is Signaled
July 19, 2010: Chronic muscular pain may be linked to a previously unknown principle for how pain signals are transmitted in the human body.
Obesity Associated With Increased Risk of Fibromyalgia
May 4, 2010: Researchers in Norway have found an association between the level of leisure time physical exercise and a future risk of developing fibromyalgia. The research team also identified BMI as an independent risk factor for fibromyalgia.
New Reliable Method Based on Patients’ Gait Helps to Diagnose Fibromyalgia
April 30, 2010: A researcher from Spain has designed a reliable method that — combined with the diagnostic criteria of the American College of Reumathology — helps to diagnose fibromyalgia on the basis of of patients’ walk parameters, i.e. their gait.
Study Highlights New Way to Diagnose Fibromyalgia
May 27, 2010: To test the new criteria, the researchers conducted a multi-center study of 829 people who had fibromyalgia and a control group of people who had other pain disorders. The researchers found that the combination of the pain index, number of symptoms, and severity of symptoms provided the most accurate fibromyalgia diagnosis. The researchers reported that the new criteria will correctly diagnose more than 88% of people with fibromyalgia—and that’s without a tender point examination. — The American College of Rheumatology Preliminary Diagnostic Criteria for Fibromyalgia and Measurement of Symptom Severity
Fibromyalgia Affects Mental Health of Those Diagnosed and Their Spouses, Study Finds
April 30, 2010 — Researchers are examining how the diagnosis of fibromyalgia can affect marriages. Initial findings reveal that diagnosed spouses have considerably higher levels of depressive symptoms and pain and report more marital instability and anger than their spouses. For both spouses, the symptoms can trigger increased emotional withdrawal and mental strain.
Exercise Reduces Pain Perceptions in Fibromyalgia Patients
April 1, 2010: People with fibromyalgia can experience debilitating pain—and that can erase any motivation to exercise. But what this study shows is that 30 minutes a day of moderate activity can make a difference in how you perceive pain. — Effects of lifestyle physical activity on perceived symptoms and physical function in adults with fibromyalgia: results of a randomized trial
Cannabis-based Drug Improves Sleep in Fibromyalgia Patients
February 24, 2010: Sleep problems are common in people with chronic pain disorders—and fibromyalgia is no exception. There are a number of medications that may treat sleep problems associated with fibromyalgia, and anti-depressants are among the most common. But new study findings may change that—a synthetic cannabinoid called nabilone (marketed as Cesamet) relieved sleep disturbances better than the anti-depressant amitriptyline (Elavil). – The Effects of Nabilone on Sleep in Fibromyalgia: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial
Savella Gets Good Marks for Treating Fibromyalgia
February 22, 2010: In both studies, 52% of patients taking 100 mg of Savella and 56% of those taking 200 mg of Savella reported a reduction in pain. This is compared with 40% to 42% of the participants taking a placebo. Overall, the patients in the Savella group experienced better pain control, compared to the placebo group.– AAPM: Drug for Fibromyalgia Boosts Multiple Outcomes
Fibromyalgia Pain Relief: Is It All in Your Lungs?
February 1, 2010: This is important because it highlights the link between emotional pain and physical pain. Many people with fibromyalgia suffer from depression and anxiety, which only exacerbates their physical pain. On the other hand, this study also shows that a positive mental state helps stave off physical pain. — The effects of slow breathing on affective responses to pain stimuli: An experimental study