The Stick and Fibromyalgia

13 Dec

Fibromyalgia can be debilitating to say the least!!

Currently, I have spoken to many people about Fibromyalgia and have found that using The Stick can be extremely beneficial.  Here are some common FAQ’s about Fibromyalgia taken from RPI of Atlanta, the creators of The Stick and Intracell Technology.

Q: What is Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS)?

A: The condition can affect people in many different ways, however the major symptoms include diffuse muscular pain, ache, soreness and stiffness. Frequently waking during sleep and rising unrefreshed are companion symptoms. Memory loss and irritable bowel complaints are other symptoms that often accompany fibromyalgia syndrome.

Q: Is FMS difficult to diagnose?

A: Since the official criteria for diagnosis were established in 1990, it is said that FMS can be identified with an 88% accuracy.

Q: How does the healthcare practitioner diagnose FMS?

A: By performing a thorough history and examination. The diagnosis of FMS does not rely on laboratory findings or radiographic studies, but on a physical examination that must demonstrate diagnostic pain in at least 11 of 18 characteristic tender point sites. The tender point locations are actually 9 on each side of the body to total 18. The patient history must document widespread pain of at least 3 months duration. Widespread refers to right and left side of the body, above and below the waist, including the anterior and posterior axial skeleton.

Q: What is meant by diagnostic pain?

A: As the examiner presses or palpates the tender point site, diagnostic pain will occur with roughly 4 kilograms of pressure. If you press down with your thumb until you notice a blanching of your nail, then you have applied roughly 4 kilograms of pressure. This is known as the “Yunus Rule of Thumb”, from Muhammad Yunus, MD who published the first controlled study on Fibromyalgia in 1981.

Q: Are tender points and trigger points the same thing?

A: A safe and easy way to differentiate between the two is by pain patterns. Remember, the pain of fibromyalgia syndrome is widespread, hence the tender points will also be widespread. Trigger point pain is found in a condition known as myofascial pain syndrome which may be highly localized or regional. An active trigger point will also refer pain when deeply palpated, while a tender point is more likely to just cause more pain at the local site. Also, the prognosis for trigger points is more favorable than tender points.

Q: Do muscle spasms occur in Fibromyalgia Syndrome?

A: When examining muscles of the FMS patient they often feel tight and like a rope that is twisted and knotted. These shortened muscles and twisted fascia biomechanically compromise blood supply to the area. Remember that fascia has a tensile strength of 2000 pounds per square inch; it’s no wonder noncompliant muscles feel so tight when they are palpated. Without a copious blood supply muscles can not relax enough to recover, therefore the FMS patient exhibits a persistent low energy level regardless of their dietary habits. Remember it takes as much energy to relax a muscle as it does to work a muscle.

Q: What does noncompliant muscle mean to the FMS patient?

A: In order to understand the role of noncompliant or unhealthy muscle it is necessary to discuss complaint or healthy muscle. Compliant muscle can be stretched, shortened, twisted or compressed without restriction or pain. It exhibits good circulation, flexibility, strength and endurance. On the other hand non-compliant tissue is stiff, tender and sore with a feeling of painful knots or tight bands in the muscle. Noncompliant muscle also exhibits poor circulation, reduced flexibility, weakness and it easily fatigues. It is susceptible to injury in the same way a worn tire invites a blowout. Remember, the way we diagnose the FMS patient is by compressing noncompliant muscle at characteristic spots.

Q: Does therapeutic massage or myofascial release help the FMS patient?

A: Frequent use of myofascial release or therapeutic massage is the secret to the management of symptoms. The Intracell Stick allows the FMS patient to self-manage symptoms, between clinic visits, with a high degree of accuracy. Waiting for an appointment to get help, often triggers an unnecessary flare up for the patient.

Q: Can Fibromyalgia Syndrome be cured?

A: At present there is no cure for the syndrome. Dr. Stuart Silverman is quoted as saying, “Tricyclic drugs can be used to improve the quality of sleep or reduce pain sensitivity, but they are only mildly effective in alleviating the symptoms.” On the brighter side, Dr. Andrew Bonci, Professor, Department of Diagnoses at Cleveland College states,” advances in exercise science and manual medicine are evolving practical and promising solutions for the fibromyalgia patient.”

Q: How does the healthcare practitioner attract FMS patients to his or her office?

A: One of the best ways is to contact a local support group and request to speak at one of the meetings. If you don’t speak, go listen . . . you can learn a great deal about this condition from the ones who have it.

A great resource:

I have also found a fantastic resource called the Fibromyalgia Journal that has everything you want to know about the syndrome.

In particular, I was most interested in the information concerning myofascial release and trigger points.  Here is a quick exert:

The goal of myofascial release is to release fascial restrictions and allow the layers to move freely, thus allowing the muscles to shorten as well as to lengthen, as they should in a healthy human body.” – To read more click HERE.

Here is another great article I found – Fibromyalgia Syndrome & Trigger Points

To summarize, The Stick is an excellent tool for for people who suffer from Fibromyalgia.  This is because The Stick has the ability to break down trigger points and help to heal myofascia by increasing circulation and relieving pain.

 Visit www.TheStick.ca

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