Fibromyalgia… it’s more than just minor aches and pains
Fibromyalgia Worsens Psoriatic Arthritis Outcomes
Caitlyn Fitzpatrick writing in MD reported on a recent study. Published in The Journal of Rheumatology, the researchers looked at 73 patients with psoriatic arthritis. Forty-two participants (57.5%) were females and the average age was nearly 52. Clinical disease activity was measured using multiple different scales. Also, using the American College of Rheumatism criteria, fibromyalgia was diagnosed in 13 patients (17.8%) – 12 of which were female.
Twenty-six patients (43.3%) with just psoriatic arthritis met the criteria for minimal disease activity, however, none of the participants who had fibromyalgia did.
The big takeaway here is that the presence of fibromyalgia worsened all psoriatic arthritis disease activity scores.
Comment: Not surprising. The association of fibromyalgia with all forms of inflammatory arthritis is not a good combination.
If you have fibromyalgia, you no doubt have tried many treatments. Have you ever wondered if there is something that is not a pill, is relatively safe, and definitely effective? While some physicians are skeptical about this one form of treatment, a recent study has shown that there is hope… next
Acupuncture Can Relieve Fibromyalgia Pain, If It’s Tailored Per Patient
Caitlyn Fitzpatrick writing in MD reported according to a new study, scientists have figured out the factor that separates successes from failure with acupuncture in fibromyalgia.
It was just recently that a study conducted in Brazil concluded that acupuncture does not relieve pain in women with fibromyalgia. However, like many other studies, this one looked at the effects of standard acupuncture treatment. A new analysis by researchers in Spain found that the therapy does alleviate pain – when it’s individualized for each patient.
The cohort included 153 patients with fibromyalgia who were at least 18 years old. The participants were randomly assigned to either receive individualized acupuncture or simulated “fake” acupuncture. Each treatment consisted of one 20-minute session per week for 10 weeks, and they also used pain medication.
“This treatment produced an improvement in the participants’ condition, reflected by a reduction in pain intensity and enhanced functional capacity and quality of life after the intervention and during the follow up period,” the authors summed up in Acupuncture in Medicine. Side effects were mild and not common.
Previous studies have not observed these kinds of outcomes because they focused on standardized acupuncture as opposed to individualized treatment.
Comment: I think the results definitely make sense.
Electricity… it’s not just for breakfast anymore… next
NIH, pharmaceutical companies fund research on “electroceuticals”
Sharon Begley writing in the Boston Globe reported that scientists across the world “are exploring the potential of devices dubbed electroceuticals to treat conditions from heart failure and asthma to diabetes, incontinence, and arthritis.” The first of the new class of devices, “to treat obesity, reached the market this year, and the US government and drug companies are pouring tens of millions of dollars into further research.” This fall, the National Institutes of Health will announce “the first funding from its $248 million Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions, or SPARC, program.”
Comment: Looks like we’ve come full circle. Electricity has been touted for its healing powers since the days of the medicine show charlatans.
So what is truly an effective treatment for fibromyalgia? Find out next…
Exercise May Activate Brain Centers Associated With Pain Modulation In Patients With Fibromyalgia.
Laird Harrison writing for Medscape reported that a study using functional MRI suggests that “exercise activates brain centers associated with pain modulation in patients with fibromyalgia and may prove an effective treatment.” Investigators found that “the brain scans showed significantly greater activity in the patients’ left anterior insulae after exercise than after rest.” The findings were presented at the American Pain Society 34th Annual Scientific Meeting.
Comment: Not a surprising finding. The three legs of an effective fibromyalgia treatment program are medications, cognitive behavioral therapy, and exercise.
Which patients should be extra cautious about getting joint replacement? Next…
Total Hip or Knee Replacement Not Recommended for Some Patients With Fibromyalgia-Like Symptoms
Rosemary Frei writing in Pain Medicine News reported total hip or knee replacement is not advisable for some patients with both severe hip or knee pain and fibromyalgia-like symptoms, according to a new analysis of predictors of pain outcomes after total knee and hip arthroplasty.
Researchers focused on the pain scores of 635 patients with fibromyalgia-like symptoms—but not necessarily a clinical diagnosis of fibromyalgia—before arthroplasty and six months after. The study indicated that a patient self-report survey for the assessment of fibromyalgia was the only statistically significant predictor of patients who had long-term postoperative pain as measured by the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) pain subscale and other tools.
Comment: This is a phenomenon reported by others and comes as no surprise.