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Friday 4 January 2013
Get the facts about these common fibromyalgia myths. Learning all you can about fibromyalgia is the first step toward gaining control of your symptoms.
Fibromyalgia is a widely misunderstood condition that causes widespread pain and fatigue. If you've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and are trying to learn all you can about the condition, you may come across some myths and misconceptions about fibromyalgia.
In this interview, Connie A. Luedtke, R.N., the nursing supervisor of the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Clinic at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., discusses some common misconceptions about fibromyalgia.
What is the most common misconception about fibromyalgia?
There's a lot that's unknown about fibromyalgia, but researchers have learned more about it in just the past few years. In people who have fibromyalgia, the brain and spinal cord process pain signals differently. As a result, they react more strongly to touch and pressure, with a heightened sensitivity to pain. It is a real physiological and neurochemical problem.
Why does this misconception persist?
How have misconceptions about fibromyalgia changed over the years?
Is there a diet for fibromyalgia?
Can techniques such as meditation help reduce pain?
Many of the people who come to our fibromyalgia clinic are perfectionists who have very high expectations for themselves. They haven't adjusted to more realistic expectations after they developed fibromyalgia symptoms. These people have difficulty learning to relax. They may push through the pain and keep doing activities to the point of exhaustion. However, as people learn to moderate their activity levels, they gradually adjust their expectations, and are able to become more active without overdoing.
People report lower levels of pain when they can slow their heart rate by deep breathing and doing other relaxation techniques. In our clinic, we teach people about tools they can use to tap into what they have within their own power.
Can misconceptions about fibromyalgia be harmful?
The above originally appeared here.
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