Fibromyalgia News

Browse our library of news below or learn more about fibromyalgia symptoms, diagnosis and causes.

Effective fibromyalgia treatment with whole body vibration


A program of whole-body vibration alongside a traditional exercise regime has been found to be more effective than the exercise regime alone in the treatment of fibromyalgia.

Whole-body vibration (WBV) involves standing on a machine with a flat plate which tilts slightly around an axle and sends vibrations through the entire body. The aim for the person standing on the machine is to keep the head and body steady and upright. In this way the person exercises all the muscles that keep the body in this position. The amount of time spent on the machine varies but even short sessions of only a few minutes are said to be of benefit.

In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Barcelona, Spain, women with fibromyalgia were split into three groups. For six weeks, one group undertook a traditional exercise regime involving aerobic activities, stretching, and relaxation techniques, another undertook the same regime but also had WBV sessions, while the final group did neither.

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Vitamin D deficiency causes chronic pain and may be mistaken for fibromyalgia


Mayo Clinic research shows a correlation between inadequate vitamin D levels and the amount of narcotic medication taken by patients who have chronic pain.

This correlation is an important finding as researchers discover new ways to treat chronic pain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic pain is the leading cause of disability in the United States. These patients often end up taking narcotic-type pain medication such as morphine, fentanyl or oxycodone.

This study found that patients who required narcotic pain medication, and who also had inadequate levels of vitamin D, were taking much higher doses of pain medication — nearly twice as much — as those who had adequate levels. Similarly, these patients self-reported worse physical functioning and worse overall health perception. In addition, a correlation was noted between increasing body mass index (a measure of obesity) and decreasing levels of vitamin D. Study results were published in a recent edition of Pain Medicine.

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Amitriptyline only mildly helpful in fibromyalgia


A new review of research into the use of amitriptyline as a treatment for fibromyalgia finds it to be effective only in the short-term and in low doses.

Amitriptyline is an older generation antidepressant drug of the tricyclic family and is often recommended and prescribed for the treatment of the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Due to its sedative effects amitriptyline is used to help patients with sleep and to reduce the associated symptoms of pain and fatigue. Patients, doctors and researchers generally agree that adequate duration and quality of sleep is essential to improve the patient's overall condition (see: Restorative sleep predicts the resolution of chronic widespread pain).

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Fibromyalgia a real physical disease brain study confirms


A new study using brain imaging has found distinct differences between the brains of fibromyalgia patients and those of healthy individuals.

Fibromyalgia is a condition which leads to widespread musculoskeletal pain which is often so severe that patients are left disabled, unable to work or even perform everyday household tasks unaided. It is estimated that 2-4% of the world's population is affected by the condition, most of these being women, with the prevalence being higher in developed nations; although this could be down to greater awareness.

Along with the pain patients experience various other troubling symptoms including fatigue, stiffness, sleep disturbances, cognitive difficulties such as poor memory and concentration (collectively known as "brain fog"), as well as digestive complaints (irritable bowel syndrome is more common in fibromyalgia than the general population).

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Fibromyalgia pain reduced by hypnosis


New research suggests that the pain felt by fibromyalgia patients can be significantly reduced through the use of hypnosis and suggestion.

In a collaboration between the University of Birmingham and University College London, in the UK, a team of researchers used fMRI scans to determine whether fibromyalgia patients could be taught to cope better with painful sensations through a combination of suggestion and hypnosis.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition in which patients experience physical pain throughout their body as well as other debilitating symptoms such as fatigue and cognitive difficulties. The pain is often severe and can affect the ligaments, tendons and muscles. There seems to be no physical reason for the pain of fibromyalgia and the cause of the condition remains unknown. It is thought however that the problem may lie with how the brain processes pain and other sensations.

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