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Showing posts from January, 2015

Focus on Fibromyalgia: The "Don't" List!

Everyone has a "to do list"; seems perpetual sometimes, doesn't it?

Today, I am paraphrasing an article I read about the "don't" list for people with fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue syndrome.  It all seems like good advice to me for most anyone, so I am passing it along! You can read the article in entirety here.




1) Don't overdo it.
2) Don't blame yourself.
3) Don't be self critical.
4) Don't have unrealistic positive expectations.
5) Don't have unrealistic negative expectations
6) Don't believe others' negative opinions.
7) Don't give up too soon.
8) Don't put yourself last.
9) Don't ask why this happened to you.
10) Don't let stress overwhelm your life.

Sources: About.com; wikimedia

Focus on Fibromyalgia: Abnormal MicroRNA

In the first study of its kind, researchers have found something that sets people with fibromyalgia apart from others.  The study leads its authors to believe that  circulating micro RNAs are abnormal in those with fibromyalgia..





What is RNA?
RNA is an abbreviation for ribonucleic acid, a substance that is present in all living cells in the body. It serves as a messenger--carrying signals from DNA (genetic material) to the protein making portions of a living cell.  micro RNA is a fragment of RNA that serves to target specific portions of the RNA molecule, impairing their function.  This impairment can cause deficiencies or abnormalities in protein production

micro RNA and Fibromyalgia

The study mentioned about looked at 374 micro RNAs in women with fibromyalgia and healthy subjects.  Eight microRNAs were different in the fibromyalgia group.  It is believed that this abnormality may be responsible for some aspects of this condition, specifically:


PainPain thresholdSleep qualitySleep quan…

Focus on Fibromyalgia: Exercises that work...and why

For this post, I am sharing some information that I gathered from a fibromyalgia post on About.com--along with my own perspective about exercise and fibromyalgia.




So, according to author Adrienne Dellwo, there have been three recent studies that indicate consistently that exercise is beneficial to patients with fibromyalgia. The first study looked at using a variety of exercise types. Most studies up till now have tended to focus on single types.  The newer study focuses on using a combination of self awareness, stretching, strength training, spine flexibility, and aerobic exercises.  According to its authors, this exercise format was well-tolerated and and patients still felt its benefits six months into the program.
A second study mentioned in this article investigated the effect of strengthening exercises on the autonomic nervous system(ANS) which regulates temperature, heart rate, hormone levels, etc. Apparently exercise did not really effect these things too much one way or anot…

Massage Therapy Gaining Ground in Nursing Homes

Here's an insightful article written by a massage therapist about a developing trend in nursing home care.  The addition of massage therapy to a nursing home's spectrum of care is a safe, practical modality for patients who are confined to such a facility.  Note that this is not a curative treatment.. it's a it is a compassionate non-pharmacological means for a nursing home to help those who are have chronic pain, dementia,anxiety, etc.



Sources: MassageToday, livelighter.org


Healthy Hands, Healthy Heart???

Have you ever heard of the Framingham Heart Study?  It is an ongoing study,authored by he National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute beginning in 1948.  As per the study's website, the objective of the study was to identify the common characteristics of cardiovascular disease. This study has followed many people over the course of their lifetimes to give more insight to heart disease and what can be done to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Recent news from this study shows that cardiovascular events overall, including congestive heart disease and atherothrombotic brain infarcts occur more often in patients radio graphic or symptomatic osteoarthritis of the hands (18 per 1,000 person-years) than in those who without OA (8 per 1,000). Some suggest that this is possibly due to higher use of NSAID drugs (ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.) in this population, but the jury is still out as to the exact relationship of the two health conditions.

You can read an article about this findings by click…

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Have you ever heard of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation?
It is a new form of therapy being studied for various medical conditions, including,Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's Disease, MS, Stroke, and Bipolar Disorder.  During a treatment session, a device is placed against a patients head, allowing magnetic impulses to pass into the brain. The procedure is believed to alter activity levels in relevant parts of the patients brain and may actually restructure neural pathways.




In early 2014, a French study revealed some promising results for patients with fibromyalgia. Repetitive TMS  (rTMS) was studied as a treatment for an 11 week period.  The researchers measured mental and physical quality of life, pain mood, and anxiety over the course of the study. At conclusion, they reported that there was some improvement of condition in the study subjects, mainly in the emotional and social aspects.

It is still too early to know whether or not TMS or rTMS will be the fibromyalgia tre…

New Findings Indicate Link Between Migraine and Bell's Palsy

Have you ever heard of...or knew someone who had Bell's Palsy?  According to Web MD, Bell's Palsy is defined as a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of the face. The lack of muscle control causes the affected side of the face to droop. The nerves on that side of the face are damaged by inflammation; this may affect the ability to make tears or saliva, and numbness can occur.

Look at this picture (courtesy Wikipedia) of a person who has Bell's Palsy. You can see that something is wrong; the poor man can hardly smile or raise an eyebrow!




To date, the cause of this condition has been somewhat of a mystery...I had heard (unofficially) sometime in the past that it might be associated with a recent viral illness, such as a cold, or perhaps an ear infection.  But some new findings reported in Neurology suggest that migraine headache sufferers have a two-fold risk of developing Bell's Palsy.  The researchers believe that the two conditions have a common underlyi…

Chronic Wounds...A Common Cause of Chronic Pain

If you are reading this, you have probably experienced a scraped knee, a cut finger, maybe even requiring sutures at one time or another in your life.  These are acute wounds; they require some attention for a short time, the healing process takes hold, and they are forgotten.  Some disease states however, are known to lead to chronic wounds, or put another way, wounds that do not heal too quickly. Weeks to months of treatment may be required to achieve resolution.  
Some examples of what we're talking about here are:
diabetic ulcerationulcer formation following chemotherapypressure ulcers (bed sores)


At some point or other, these types of wounds will require treatment, maybe even amputation.  It is not unusual for pain medications to be prescribed for relief of discomfort.  But there are many things that help to relieve the painful condition brought about by these conditions that don't involve medication at all.  Hyperbaric oxygen chambers are one example of this.  The choice…

Play Therapy for Pain

Many of the children's hospital in this country use alternative treatments to enhance pain management practices for their pediatric patients.

For instance, some time ago I posted a story about one pediatric hospital that uses "Carly Consults"...Carly is a dog and she is used for animal therapy at their institution.  Many forms of occupational therapy are used in these hospitals as well..for instance, music therapy and/or crafts.















The reason I am bringing these up in today's posts is this:  these kinds of activities are forms of distraction therapy.  They are just as useful in the adult population as they are for children.  Why not learn a new craft technique or buy a new jigsaw puzzle and put it together?  It might be much more beneficial than you might think!

Sources: East Valley Tribune; Wikipedia

Vertebroplasty: A Novel Approach to Chronic Back Pain

A new approach to some forms of chronic back pain is on the horizon...and it appears to begin working rapidly when it is used!  The treatment we're talking about here is an interventional radiology procedure that can be used for compression fractures due to osteoporosis, or spinal cancer.




The technique involves using x-ray guidance to guide a needle into the involved area of the spine. Bone cement is injected into this space..as it is injected it is the consistency of toothpaste, but within a short time becomes hardened.  Once hardened, it stabilizes the affected area..an "internal cast" of sorts!

This procedure, known as vertebroplasty originated in France in the 1980s.  It is a minimally invasive procedure, and many patients notice a reduction in pain within 24 hours of undergoing treatment.  It is usually a one-time procedure but re-treatment may be indicated if new problem areas develop.

Sources: HometownFocusUS; Wikipedia


Take a moment to meditate...

When you suffer from a chronic condition, especially one that prevents you from feeling fully functional, it is sometimes difficult to feel like you are the contributing member of society that you wish to be.  I choose to think that all persons have purpose; sometimes that purpose is to inspire others who are going through physical challenges, or to give others a lesson in character building that they would not otherwise be able to receive...

The short meditation  above may help you to feel more positive today.  Have a look!


Sources: YouTube, Wikimedia



Omega 3 Fatty Acids Lessen Severity of Osteoarthritis in Mice

Here is an interesting Newswise article about the role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in arthritic mice. While it remains to be seen how this translates to humans with arthritis, there's a lot of discussion in the nutrition world about  many health benefits  of Omega 3 Oils, including cooking oils,eggs, nutritional supplements, and natural food sources such as certain types of fish, seeds and nuts.






You can read this article by clicking the link below.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids Lessen Severity of Osteoarthritis in Mice

Sources: Newswise, Wikimedia