World Fibromyalgia Day – Raising Awareness

12th May 2018 is World Fibromyalgia Day and to participate on this day Plym Physio wanted to help raise awareness of ‘FM’. It is a condition that affects approximately 2-5% of the world’s population in predominantly young to middle aged women and is described by sufferers as an invisible and debilitating condition. There is a lot that is unknown about this syndrome which makes a diagnosis very difficult. Essentially it can come down to whether a person doesn’t have any other disorder that would explain the pain, which also explains why diagnosis can take up to 7 years!

It is a complex musculoskeletal long-term condition characterised by chronic, widespread pain. The list of all symptoms is really long and this list isn’t exhaustive:

PHYSICAL NEUROLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGICAL
Pain Cognitive dysfunction Anxiety
Fatigue Dizziness Depression
Tender points Word finding difficulties Panic attacks
Headaches Lowered pain threshold Stress
Neck and shoulder pain Sensitivity to temperature PTSD
IBS Sensitivity to light
Raynaud’s Sensitivity to noise
Clumsiness
Restless legs
Non-restorative sleep
Exercise intolerance
  • There is evidence the effects of fibromyalgia on sleep and exercise intolerance – alterations in serotonin mechanisms  and endorphin release – contribute to fatigue.
  • Exercise and non-pharmaceutical treatments are advocated.
  • Aerobic fitness and strengthening exercises are evidenced alongside Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), hydrotherapy, relaxation and education.

So, there are a lot of unknowns with no Gold-Standard guidelines, however people need to live so managing fibromyalgia is the best we can do at the present time.

Plym Physio can help with the exercise bit, our Clinical Pilates classes operate at varying levels and we have fibromyalgia sufferers attending. We also have our own CBT Therapist, Rachael Crook, to help with the non-physical symptoms. If you feel you are floundering in the dark there is some light at the end of the tunnel, and you are not alone. If you feel Plym Pilates or CBT may help you or want to give it a try, contact us confidentially using our contact page, call the clinic directly on 01752 656340 or come in and see us (but please check our opening times first), or visit our Facebook page and send us a private message.


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