FIBROMYALGIA with Tim Wright

Gower Acupuncture (Swansea)

Having treated a number of patients for fibromyalgia in my clinic recently I thought I’d do some research to see how many people suffer from this condition in the UK. I was shocked to see estimates as high as 1 in 25.

Back and spine disease. Closeup portrait tired woman massaging her painful neck isolated on gray wall background. Face expressionWhat Is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a functional disease. There are no tests to objectively diagnose the disease. Instead patients are diagnosed by subjective perception of painful points in the body. Tense and tender knots in muscles are located around the body, often focused in the back, shoulders and hips.

A patient with the symptoms of fibromyalgia may also suffer from the symptoms of other functional conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ME, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or recurrent headaches.

Symptoms can vary widely from patient to patient and may closely mimic other similar diseases. It’s important to get a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis or hypothyroidism ruled out from the start.

When Fibromyalgia May Not Be Fibromyalgia

In medical terms fibromyalgia is classed as a functional somatic syndrome. Arguments have been proposed (by Professor Wessley of Kings College London) that separating fibromyalgia from its functional cousins; IBS, Chronic Fatigue, ME, tension headache is not useful. Each disease has its own separate specialist; gastro-enterologist for IBS, neurologist for headaches. A patient who suffers multiple symptoms can often end up seeing multiple specialists separately with limited continuity in treatment. A more joined up approach would surely benefit patients more.

The Treatment Plan
Anti-inflammatories (NSAID) and perhaps anti-depressants are often prescribed to deal with the pain and associated low mood. A course of counseling may be offered. Counseling generally focuses on developing coping mechanisms for the pain.

Modern medicine is also recognizing the value of exercise. Exercise can help by reducing weight, strengthening muscle and lifting mood and reducing perception of pain through the release of endorphins.

Acupuncture & Tui Na (Chinese Massage)

Contrary to western medicine, Chinese medicine treats the patients symptoms rather than the diagnosis.

Acupuncture and tui na treatment focus on improving circulation and reducing pain levels. Tui na can, in particular, be very beneficial in treatment, breaking down painful adhesions in muscle and improving circulation.
If you’d like to discuss how acupuncture or tui na could help you please don’t hesitate to contact me. Tel: 07764 254881

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