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Fibromyalgia Syndrome
Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Definitions: central nervous system dysfunction causing many complex set of symptoms;
"fibro" - connective tissue of the tendons and ligaments
"myo"- muscle
"algia" - pain
Syndrome - group of signs and symptoms that  make up a condition

"Myo" - muscle
"Fascia" - connective tissue that surrounds muscle fibers.
Syndrome - see above

Causes: stressful event or cumulative trauma; genetic predisposition? ; sleep deprivation or a lack of deep stage sleep; adrenal stress, thyroid imbalances, hormonal imbalances, poor nutrition (too much caffeine, sugar, white flour and not enough vegetables, fruits and whole grains), lack of exercise, improper posture, hyper acidity of the body tissues,

-Tenderpoints: hypotonic areas that generate local pain with pressure, usually feel soft (mushy) to touch found in all four quadrants of the body.
-usually diagnosed if they have pain for 3 months or more in 11 (or more)of 18 tenderpoints
-found more in females
Myofascial pain syndrome
- Triggerpoints- tight bands of hyper-irritable tissue usually found in the myofascial system
-TP's are usually in one region of the body
-found in men and women
-diagnosed by number of triggerpoints

-don't wake up rested,  no deep stage sleep, sleep apnea
-paresthesia: burning, tingling, pins an needles
-hypersensitivity to smells, sounds, lights, pressure, temperature
-worse in cold, damp weather
-allergies, bruises easily, restless leg syndrome, PMS, hormonal changes, teeth grinding
-depressed immune systems
-reduced mental capacity; loss of concentration, memory loss
-limited or restricted breathing
-improper posture - forward head, asymmetrical body,
-cramps, bloating
-asthma, sinus conditions, post nasal drip
-hypoglycemia, sugar imbalances
-dry, itching skin
-dizziness, clumsiness, motor coordination problems, ringing in the ears
-dry throat, eyes: problems swallowing,

Coexisting Conditions:
Irritable bowel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Esophageal Reflux
Multiple Sclerosis
Chemical Sensitivities
Restless Leg Syndrome
Raynaud's Phenomenon
Seasonal Affective Disorder

Massage Treatment Goals:
-reduce stress
-induce relaxation and sleep
-treat tenderpoints (slowly as intense may exacerbate condition)
Myofascial Pain Syndrome
- restore function to muscle
-relieve spasms
-reduce waste build up

Other Treatments:  Acupuncture, Naturopathic medicine for nutritional support, exercise, stretching.
Natural Hygiene, Breathing Exercises, Meditation

Web resources:
Fibromyalgia Web Ring
Medline Plus
Fibromyalgia Network
Leon Chaitow articles
Biotone - Series of articles by Ruth Werner - author of a "A Massage Therapists guide to Pathology"
Healthcare Information Services: fibromyalgia

Book Resources:



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