fibro” – connective tissue of the tendons and ligaments

myo“- muscle

algia” – pain

Syndrome – group of signs and symptoms that make up a condition

Causes:

The cause of fibromyalgia is said to be unknown. However, this is a list of generally accepted theories for what causes fibromyalgia. Stressful event or cumulative trauma; genetic predisposition ; sleep deprivation or a lack of deep stage sleep; adrenal stress, thyroid imbalances, hormonal imbalances, poor nutrition (too much caffeine, sugar, white flour and not enough vegetables, fruits and whole grains), lack of exercise, improper posture, hyper acidity of the body tissues.

Signs/Symptoms:

Tenderpoints: hypotonic areas that generate local pain with pressure, usually feel soft (mushy) to touch found in all four quadrants of the body.
-usually diagnosed if they have pain for 3 months or more in 11 (or more)of 18 tenderpoints
-found more often in females, but a small percentage of men are also affected.
-don’t wake up rested, no deep stage sleep, sleep apnea
-paresthesia: burning, tingling, pins an needles
hypersensitivity to smells, sounds, lights, pressure, temperature
-worse in cold, damp weather
allergies, bruises easily, restless leg syndrome, PMS, hormonal changes, teeth grinding
depressed immune systems
reduced mental capacity; loss of concentration, memory loss
limited or restricted breathing
adhesions
improper posture – forward head, asymmetrical body,
cramps, bloating
asthma, sinus conditions, post nasal drip
hypoglycemia, sugar imbalances
dry, itching skin
dizziness, clumsiness, motor coordination problems, ringing in the ears
dry throat, eyes: problems swallowing,

Coexisting Conditions:

Irritable bowel Syndrome
Depression
Carpal Tunn
Arthritisel Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Esophageal Reflux
Lupus
Multiple Sclerosis
TMJ
Chemical Sensitivities
Hypoglycemia
Restless Leg Syndrome
Raynaud’s Phenomenon
Seasonal Affective Disorder

What’s in a Name: Fibro vs. CFS

Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) share a number of symptoms, and the names are often used interchangeably in the medical literature. If you’re confused about the difference between the syndromes, you’re not alone. Even doctors are confused. Many experts, however, think fibromyalgia and CFS are the same — or are at least variations of the same — pain and fatigue syndrome.

Research shows that between 50 percent and 70 percent of people with fibromyalgia also fit the criteria for CFS, and vice versa. Because the symptoms are so similar, the difference between one diagnosis and another may be simply a matter of degree. “Most patients with CFS have some kind of pain, and, of course, that is a hallmark of fibromyalgia. And most patients with fibromyalgia report fatigue — a hallmark of CFS. Likewise, both involve a high frequency of sleep and cognitive disturbances,” says Cary Engleberg, MD, chief of the infectious diseases division at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor.

The diagnosis also may depend on whether your doctor is more familiar with the criteria for CFS, developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or those for fibromyalgia, developed by the American College of Rheumatology.

There are a few documented differences between the conditions. Fibromyalgia often is traced to an injury or physical or emotional trauma, whereas CFS tends to have a flu-like onset. Researchers have found that people with fibromyalgia may have abnormal levels of several chemicals, such as substance P and serotonin, used by the body to transmit and respond to pain signals. Also, people with CFS only do not have tender points.

These findings have led to different trends in research. Many fibromyalgia researchers have explored problems with pain transmission and pain amplification that may affect the condition. Researchers who study CFS have tended instead to investigate what role viruses may play in triggering CFS.

Until researchers determine conclusively the fundamental biological, neurological and psychological differences between the syndromes, the diagnostic label makes little difference as long as both the physician and the patient take a comprehensive approach to treating symptoms. “Rational treatment consists of maintaining good general health — in other words, a balanced diet and exercise as tolerated, and symptomatic relief of pain, sleep or mood disorders with carefully selected medications or cognitive behavioral therapy,” says Dr. Elgleberg.
Massage Is Useful In Managing Fibromyalgia.

A study of people with fibromyalgia done by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine found that those who got 30 minutes of massage two times a week for 5 weeks had less anxiety and depression and lower levels of stress hormones. Over time they reported less pain and stiffness, less fatigue, and less trouble sleeping.

Massage Treatment Goals:
-reduce stress
-induce relaxation and sleep
-treat tenderpoints (slowly as intense may exacerbate condition)
– restore function to muscle
-relieve spasms
-reduce waste build up


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