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Monday, July 6, 2009

Wool helps those who suffer from Fibromyalgia

An interesting new study caught my eye due to my problems with fibromyalgia. The study was done at the School of Nursing, in Erzurum, Turkey, and the aim of the study was to assess the effect of wool use in patients with fibromyalgia. Various studies concerning the treatment of patients with fibromyalgia using nonpharmacological methods have been carried out. There are, however, no reports on the use of wool clothing and bedding in treating these patients.

The study employed two-group, experimental design. A total of 50 patients with fibromyalgia, based on the criteria of the American College of Rheumatology, were selected for the study. They were distributed equally into two groups: a control group and a treatment group. The 25 patients in each group were randomly selected and the compositions of the two groups were statistically identical. The patients in the treatment group wore woolen underwear (which covered the body from the shoulders to the thighs) and used woolen bedding such as woolen bed liner, woolen quilt and pillow during the experimental period of 6 weeks. All patients were assessed at the beginning the trial (pre-test) and the end of 6th (post-test) week. Data were collected using the visual analogue scale (0-10), tender points count, and Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire.

The results of the study were these:

Patients in the treatment group reported significant improvements in their conditions including a reduction in pain levels, tender point counts, and all scores of the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire CONCLUSIONS: The use of woolen underwear and woolen bedding were effective in reducing the symptoms of patients suffering from fibromyalgia. The use of wool is recommended as a means of treatment for alleviating the pain of fibromyalgia. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Nurses provide professional support to patients with fibromyalgia. They select suitable clothes and sleeping materials for their patients with this object in mind: to keep their patients warm and to protect them from the cold.



"Fibromyalgia, a chronic, widespread pain in muscles and soft tissues accompanied by fatigue, is a fairly common condition that does not manifest any structural damage in an organ. Twenty-five years ago, Muhammad B. Yunus, MD, and colleagues published the first controlled study of the clinical characteristics of fibromyalgia syndrome.

That seminal article, published in Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism, led directly to formal recognition of this disease by the medical community. In the June 2007 issue of Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism, Dr. Yunus once again makes an important contribution to the field of chronic pain and fatigue by meticulously synthesizing and interpreting the extensive body of scientific literature on fibromyalgia and his own insights into the concept of central sensitivity syndromes (CSS).

Fibromyalgia, affecting approximately 2% of the US population, is an example of a class of maladies called CSS. These diseases are based on neurochemical abnormalities and include irritable bowel syndrome, migraine and restless legs syndrome.

Incorporating a critical review of over 225 publications and the author's broad experience in fibromyalgia and related diseases, Dr. Yunus describes 13 separate conditions that are related to central sensitization (CS), where the central nervous system (spinal cord and brain) becomes extremely sensitized on certain parts of the body, so that even mild pressure or touch would cause much pain. Such hypersensitivity may also be associated with other symptoms such as poor sleep and fatigue.

According to Dr. Yunus, "CSS are the most common diseases that are based on real neurochemical pathology and cause real pain and suffering. In some patients stress and depression may contribute to the symptoms but they are all based on objective changes in the central nervous system."

Dr. Norman L. Gottlieb, Editor of Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism, believes that this article "advances our understanding of fibromyalgia, unifies and advances concepts, and suggests that this and several other common disorders have much in common in terms of their biopsychosocial development. This, hopefully, will expand both clinical and research interest in this group of diseases and lead to advances in therapy for many of them."

In an accompanying editorial John B. Winfield, MD, comments, "Without question, Muhammad Yunus is the father of our modern view of fibromyalgia.... Yunus, who took a rather more biological approach to fibromyalgia in the past, now emphasizes a biopsychosocial perspective. In my view, this is tremendously important because it is the only way to synthesize the disparate contributions of such variables as genes and adverse childhood experiences, life stress and distress, posttraumatic stress disorder, mood disorders, self-efficacy for pain control, catastrophizing, coping style, and social support into the evolving picture of central nervous system dysfunction vis-a-vis chronic pain and fatigue ....Science and medicine now have a rational scaffolding for understanding and treating chronic pain syndromes previously considered to be 'functional' or 'unexplained.' ...Neuroscience research will continue to reveal the mechanisms of CS, but only if informed through a biopsychosocial perspective and with the interdisciplinary collaboration of basic scientists, psychologists, sociologists, epidemiologists, and clinicians."

Dr. Yunus concludes that CSS is an important new concept that embraces the biopsychosocial model of disease. He advocates further critical studies to fully test this concept which seems to have important significance for new directions for research and patient care involving physician and patient education. "Each patient, irrespective of diagnosis," says Dr. Yunus, "should be treated as an individual, considering both the biological and psychosocial contributions to his or her symptoms and suffering."

The article is "Fibromyalgia and Overlapping Disorders: The Unifying Concept of Central Sensitivity Syndromes" by Muhammad B. Yunus, MD, Professor of Medicine, Section of Rheumatology, The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, Peoria, Illinois. The accompanying editorial is "Fibromyalgia and Related Central Sensitivity Syndromes: Twenty-Five Years of Progress" by John B. Winfield, MD, University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Both appear in the June issue of Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism, Vol. 36:6, published by Elsevier."

source:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070625095756.htm

Fibromyalgia Can No Longer Be Called The 'Invisible' Syndrome
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ScienceDaily (Nov. 4, 2008) — Using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), researchers in France were able to detect functional abnormalities in certain regions in the brains of patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia, reinforcing the idea that symptoms of the disorder are related to a dysfunction in those parts of the brain where pain is processed.

Fibromyalgia is frequently considered an 'invisible syndrome' since musculoskeletal imaging is negative," said Eric Guedj, M.D., and lead author of the study. "Past imaging studies of patients with the syndrome, however, have shown above-normal cerebral blood flow (brain perfusion) in some areas of the brain and below-normal in other areas. After performing whole-brain scans on the participants, we used a statistical analysis to study the relationship between functional activity in even the smallest area of the brain and various parameters related to pain, disability and anxiety/depression."

In the study, which was reported in the November issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 20 women diagnosed with fibromyalgia and 10 healthy women as a control group responded to questionnaires to determine levels of pain, disability, anxiety and depression. SPECT was then performed, and positive and negative correlations were determined.

The researchers confirmed that patients with the syndrome exhibited brain perfusion abnormalities in comparison to the healthy subjects. Further, these abnormalities were found to be directly correlated with the severity of the disease. An increase in perfusion (hyperperfusion) was found in that region of the brain known to discriminate pain intensity, and a decrease (hypoperfusion) was found within those areas thought to be involved in emotional responses to pain.

In the past, some researchers have thought that the pain reported by fibromyalgia patients was the result of depression rather than symptoms of a disorder. "Interestingly, we found that these functional abnormalities were independent of anxiety and depression status," Guedj said.

According to Guedj, disability is frequently used in controlled clinical trials to evaluate response to treatment. Because molecular imaging techniques such as SPECT can help predict a patient's response to a specific treatment and evaluate brain-processing recovery during follow-up, it could prove useful when integrated into future pharmacological controlled trials.

"Fibromyalgia may be related to a global dysfunction of cerebral pain-processing," Guedj added. "This study demonstrates that these patients exhibit modifications of brain perfusion not found in healthy subjects and reinforces the idea that fibromyalgia is a 'real disease/disorder.'"

According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, fibromyalgia syndrome is a common and chronic disorder characterized by widespread muscle pain, fatigue and multiple tender points. Tender points are specific places—for example, on the neck, shoulders, back, hips, and upper and lower extremities—where people with fibromyalgia feel pain in response to slight pressure. The syndrome is one of the most common causes of musculoskeletal pain and disability and affects three to six million, or as many as one in 50, Americans. Between 80 and 90 percent of those diagnosed are women.

Although fibromyalgia is often considered an arthritis-related condition, it does not cause inflammation or damage to the joints, muscles or other tissues. Like arthritis, however, the significant pain and fatigue caused by fibromyalgia can interfere with a person's ability to carry out daily activities.

source:http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081103084040.htm

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed



Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia



A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed



Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein



The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi



The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller



Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns



Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama



Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -



Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.