Overview of Fibromyalgia (FMS), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) & Central Sensitivity Syndrome (CSS)

Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is a progressively recognized chronic pain syndrome, which is characterized by it’s constellation of musculoskeletal aches, pain and stiffness, soft tissue tenderness, general fatigue and sleep disturbances. The most common sites of pain include the neck, back, shoulders, pelvic girdle and hands, but any body part can be implicated. Fibromyalgia patients confront an array of symptoms of varying intensities that are fluxional over time such as; morning stiffness, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, cognitive disorders such as concentration, memory problems, attention deficit disorder, and anxiety. It is estimated that approximately 3-6% of the U.S. population has FM.
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6 Rheumatoid Arthritis Mistakes to Avoid

6 Rheumatoid Arthritis Mistakes to Avoid

You do your best to live a full, active life with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). But do you recognize any of these common missteps? If they sound familiar, it’s not too late to get back on track.
1. Not Seeing a Rheumatologist
Your regular doctor may have diagnosed your RA. It’s still a good idea to see a specialist, too. Rheumatologists are doctors who are experts in treating RA and other types of arthritis. A rheumatologist will have the most training in the medicines that treat RA and in finding the right ones for you. If you don’t have one, ask your primary care doctor for a referral.

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Sleep, stress and environmental factors

Sleep, stress and environmental factors

Chronic pain can vary from day to day and can sometimes flare-up dramatically (see also ‘Coping with flare-up’). Those we talked to explained how pain could affect their sleep patterns. They also discussed the impact that fatigue and everyday stresses had on their pain. Pain could also be affected by other illnesses and environmental factors such as temperature.

Living with pain and coping with daily life can be tiring and many people that we talked to complained of fatigue. Getting to sleep and being disturbed at night were big issues for most people. Lack of sleep could often lead to increased pain.

Some found that taking sleeping tablets or pain medication at night was helpful while others preferred to use relaxation techniques (see also ‘Pain management’ relaxation and distraction’). Having a good bed was important and several people said that their electric blankets were “indispensable”.

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Communicating with healthcare professionals

Communicating with healthcare professionals

Most of the people that we talked to felt that a good relationship with their GP was crucial and many said that their GPs were supportive, enthusiastic and took a genuine interest in their pain. People valued GPs who gave them their full attention, listened to and understood how pain was affecting their life, made helpful suggestions for treatment and referred them when necessary.

Some felt that it was important to work in partnership with their doctor to find the most effective ways of managing their pain. Good partnerships were felt to be ones where they could discuss their current and potential treatments as well as complementary approaches that they had heard about.

It was particularly helpful when the GP followed up on this and found out more information. A woman explained that her GP was happy to discuss new treatments with her and felt it was important to keep him informed about the complementary approaches that she was trying.

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Coming to terms with pain

Coming to terms with pain

Many of the people that we talked to felt that coming to terms with the reality that pain is likely to be a permanent part of their life was a vital process in living life with chronic pain. The alternative was thought to be pointless anger, aggression and bitterness that could ruin the person’s life and destroy their most important relationships.

Some people said that they were still struggling to come to terms with their pain and move on with life. Some people contrasted coming to terms with living with pain with their early and optimistic belief that they could and should ‘fight’ the pain. Others talked about not letting pain rule or ruin their life anymore.

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Pain management: pacing and goal setting

Pain management: pacing and goal setting

Chronic pain can change the way that people live their lives and carry out their daily activities. For example many people found that they could no longer perform certain tasks without experiencing increased pain and fatigue. This could lead to them becoming increasingly inactive, or catching up on jobs when they had a good day, which then lead to a flare-up of pain and the need to rest up for a few days (see also ‘Coping with flare-up’).

Many of the people that we talked to had learned techniques to manage their activities, minimize their pain and help prevent flare-ups. Usually these techniques had been learned on NHS Pain Management Programs through healthcare professionals, or support groups, but others had learned through the Internet or books (see also ‘Learning about pain management'; ‘NHS pain management programs’).

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FACING SERIOUS ILLNESS (Questions to Ask Your Doctor)

FACING SERIOUS ILLNESS (Questions to Ask Your Doctor)

By exercising your right to ask pertinent questions early in your relationship to your physician, you can find out if he or she is prepared to communicate with you in the way that you expect. If not, you can decide if you should seek another physician with whom you can have a more comfortable relationship. The following questions can help you talk to your physician.
Questions About Your Specific Illness
•How will this illness and its treatments likely affect my family and me?

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Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome in Men (CPPS) or Bacterial Prostatitis

Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome in Men (CPPS) or Bacterial Prostatitis

Chronic pelvic pain is the most common reason for men under 50 to visit a urologist. Yet it is very poorly understood. Doctors have called it prostatitis (say: pros-tuh-TIE-tis) for many years, mainly because when the doctor does the exam on a man with this condition, the prostate is very tender. “-itis” means inflammation. When you look at samples of an affected prostate under the microscope, there is no inflammation (swelling), so prostatitis is not a very good name. We have also traditionally treated this condition with antibiotics. It turns out that there are very rarely any bacteria involved, either.

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