Fibromyalgia, otherwise spelled out as FM or FMS, is popularly characterized by a chronic discomfort caused by allodynia – a typically painful response to pressure. It affects 2-4% of the current world population, with a 9:1 female to male occurrence ratio.
For its many symptoms, there is no known definite cause for Fibromyalgia. Experts believe, however, that whatever leads to the development of the condition include psychological, neurobiological, genetic, and environmental factors. Continue Reading →
Last month, we focused on how important sleep is in the management of the fibromyalgia (FM) and the relationship between sleep dysfunction and Restless Leg Syndrome. Now that it’s clear that the sleep and FM pairing is so important, how can we improve sleep quality? As stated last month, FM and sleep dysfunction go hand in hand and is a consistent complaint of the FM patient. The need to establish better “sleep hygiene” has been found to be one of the most important treatment strategies for those suffering from FM. This can help decrease pain, fatigue, and the “fibro fog” that is often described that impairs the ability to concentrate and work efficiently. Listed below are some sleep strategies that work very well, all you have to do is try them!
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- SLEEP QUANTITY: The advice is to only sleep as much as is needed to feel refreshed and alert the following day. Getting too much sleep does not equate to good quality sleep. In fact, reducing the time in bed seems to improve the quality of sleep, as excessively long periods of time in bed result in fragmented, superficial or shallow sleep and doesn’t allow one to enter the deeper, restoring stages of sleep.
Fibromyalgia (FM) management can be as difficult as making a definitive diagnosis. FM is characterized by generalized body aches and feeling exhausted, and yet, in spite of the exhaustion, the inability to sleep is a “classic” FM complaint. Some have referred to FM as “blowing a fuse” or as an “energy crisis,” as more energy is expended than what’s being made. FM sufferers, as well as the caregivers, know how physically and mentally difficult it is to manage this controversial condition. Many management strategies that have been published; SHINE is one approach. SHINE stands for Sleep, Hormones, Infections, Nutritional supplements, and Exercise. By focusing treatment strategies on these 5 areas, significant benefits can be achieved.
SLEEP: Some feel this is the most important problem to manage in order to gain control of FM. If we cannot reach “deep sleep,” (which is the sleep stage that is usually reached after about the 4th hour into sleep) then the body cannot fully rest. When discussing sleep problems with the FM patient, it is common to hear them say, “…I wake up every 1-2 hours and can’t get back to sleep for at least 15-30 minutes.” Continue Reading →
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a disorder that includes widespread musculoskeletal pain along with fatigue, sleep disturbance, memory changes, mood changes and more. Studies show that FM amplifies or increases painful sensations by changing the way the brain processes pain signals. FM is NOT a psychological disorder that only people with a troubled past or present acquire. Nor is it due to being inactive or lazy. If ANY doctor suggests that, PLEASE find a different doctor who understands the pathogenesis of FM. Unfortunately, this can be a challenge!
FM symptoms can begin after a physical trauma, surgery, an infection and/or after a significant stress experience. Continue Reading →
Fibromyalgia (FM) and sleep dysfunction seem to go hand in hand. In fact, most people who have FM complain of problems associated with sleeping. Sleep problems can include difficulty falling asleep with or without waking up one to multiple times a night. Also, the inability to reach “deep sleep” results in waking up un-restored. People with fibromyalgia frequently state, “… I feel exhausted when I wake up; I have no energy.” They often feel more tired in the morning, and many go back to sleep during the day to ease their fatigue. Another common FM complaint is having great difficulty concentrating during the day, often referred to as, “…fibro fog.” Other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome are also often associated with FM. Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurologic disorder that is characterized by an overwhelming urge to move the legs at rest, thus interfering with sleep. Continue Reading →