On May 12th and throughout the month of May of each year, people worldwide spread awareness of fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions through live events, online activities, and personal efforts. In the UK our awareness day is 2nd – 9th September but we can still raise awareness in the UK this May.
Join the millions of people who will be participating on this day by holding various events to raise awareness for fibromyalgia, an invisible and debilitating chronic condition.
Awareness and funding are the keys to battling the enigma that is Fibromyalgia, and this day was created for just that.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia may include heightening skin sensitivity – especially to pain, muscle stiffness, some difficulties sleeping, problems with memory and concentration, extreme tiredness, and headaches.
These symptoms are not uncommon in other diseases – and some sufferers don’t even experience all these symptoms – so it’s easy to see what makes fibromyalgia so tricky to diagnose.
There is no cure for fibromyalgia, so at the moment the only option for sufferers is to have a number of treatments. For example, medication such as painkillers and antidepressants are often prescribed.
Fibromyalgia Association has been involved in producing an online fibromyalgia learning package for professionals and patients. Fibromyalgia UK have it and It is free and after testing a certificate can be printed off. While some of it may obviously fit the American system rather than the NHS, it is still a useful resource with much valuable information.
Here are thirteen facts about back pain that you may not know.
1. Back pain costs the NHS approximately £12.3 billion per year on back pain related costs, with £1.6 billion spent on treatments.
2. Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, it is the second most common reason for visits to your GP.
3. Most back pain cases are mechanical and non-organic which basically means it’s NOT caused by a serious condition, but rather from poor posture and poor use of your body.
4. Low back pain is the second most reason to visit to your GP.
5. Back pain is the most frequent cause of limited activity in people younger than 45 years old.
6. Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives. 30% of those will have recurring problems.
7. Most back pain goes away on its own, whether or not you treat it with medication or other therapies.
8. According to the Office for National Statistics, almost 31million work days were lost in the UK in 2016 due to musculoskeletal problems and back pain.
9. Bed rest is NOT helpful for the back pain.
10. Exercise is good and safe for back pain.
11. Maintaining a healthy weight will help prevent back pain.
12. Surgery is rarely needed for back pain.
13. Your back is stronger than you think.
According to My Fibro Team, tai chi is one of the first choice of treatments for Fibromyalgia pain.
A new study was led my Dr. Chenchen Wang, of the Causes for Complementary and Integrative Medicine at Tufts Medical Centre in Boston.
His study included 226 adults who had Fibromyalgia for an average of nine years. The patients were an average age of 52 and the vast majority were females. None of the patients had tried tai chi nor any other type of alternative therapy for six months before the study started.
The findings showed that NONE of the patients who engaged in the tai chi reported any negative side effect or complication. One patient said it had helped to improve balance, reduce anxiety and manage pain.
The NHS has a guide to tai chi which says Tai chi, also called tai chi chuan, combines deep breathing and relaxation with flowing movements. Originally developed as a martial art in 13th-century China, tai chi is now practised around the world as a health-promoting exercise.
It is essentially a gentle activity that is unlikely to cause injury if done correctly. The exercises involve lots of flowing, easy movements that don’t stress the joints or muscles.
Fibromyalgia flares are something most Fibromyalgia sufferers go through and is a dreaded part of Fibro. They can make your life very miserable.
One thing I found helped me with a flare-up was by writing it in my diary when it happened and what I did to help with it and if it helped.
I also have a list of all the things I enjoy that take me away from my pain like one of my hobbies (making cards) and baking but maybe for you it’s Tai Chi or Yoga that helps. Just knowing something that works will help get through the flare-up.
Make a note in your diary of a particular treatment that helped or a medication or piece of equipment like a tens machine that helped.
Knowing that there is something you can do, use or otherwise for your flare-up, will get you through the worst days and back to controlling it as you normally do.
Low-level laser therapy is a red or near infra-red light, applied from a low power laser specifically for therapeutic usage, where the light penetrates deep into the tissues. But is it suitable for chronic neck and back pain? Clinical Trials say Low level laser light therapy, with its proven anti-inflammatory ability, offers a simple non-invasive option for the reduction of chronic neck and shoulder pain.
Apart from it being used for back pain, it is also employed to treat musculoskeletal injuries and disorders, as well as Fibromyalgia. A low-level laser differs in that it operates at very low levels of power and unlike high-power lasers, it does not heat or damage human tissue.
It can help back pain by reducing pain and inflammation. You would probably need several treatments before you notice much pain relief and combined with exercise can be more beneficial than exercise alone. They call it the cutting edge of nonsurgical pain relief and tissue repair. Laser therapy uses light waves to stimulate healing in soft tissues. It has a similar effect to ultrasound.
It is a low-level cold laser and is pain-free; it works from the infra-red spectrum which penetrates up to 3cm into the muscles tendons and ligaments of the body. The laser light then stimulates the cell body within muscles, tendons or ligaments causing them to oxidize and increase healing at twice the normal rate.
It can improve healing, pain reduction, increase circulation and decrease swellings. It is not available on the NHS, but there are a number of clinics throughout the UK which perform this type of pain relief. There are a number of hospitals that do this type of treatment from the City Back Pain Clinic in London, the Orchard Clinic in Northants to The Secret Glowin Manchester, with lots more clinics throughout the UK.
Pain News Network wrote Positive results have been reported for a very broad range of conditions, including the following:
- Wound healing
- Back and neck pain
- Muscle fatigue
- Peripheral nerve injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Postherpetic neuralgia (lingering pain after shingles)
LLLT speeds up healing significantly in acute injuries and substantially reduces or eliminates chronic pain. Effects are long lasting. There are no negative effects.