Newsletter excerpts: Fibromyalgia July 2016

Michelle Burns
July 12, 2016

Every month I send out a newsletter to subscribers with the most recent evidence and studies on specific body work topics. The newsletter may include summaries and links to studies and articles, videos that provide support information about exercises, new techniques or lectures. There are five main focuses for the newsletters and each newsletter is repeated twice a year. The five main focuses for the newsletters are: Shoulder and rotator cuff, fibromyalgia, fascia and trigger points, upper cross and neck, and business/ethics. If you would like to receive the newsletters with more complete information than is found in the excerpts, please sign up to receive the newsletter on my contact page.



Tips & Tidbits

  1. An excellent description of fibromyalgia—published in 2012 and updated in 2013, can be found on Pain Research and Treatment, titled Fibromyalgia Syndrome: Etiology, Pathogenesis, Diagnosis and Treatment
  2. An excellent article, published in Arthritis Research and Therapy in 2013, focused on the often forgotten aspect of fibromyalgia—Fatigue. Beyond pain in fibromyalgia: insights into the symptom of fatigue.
  3. In January 2016, the biotech research company, Premier Biomedical, filed for a provisional patent for a second drug to treat fibromyalgia.
  4. An article summarizing the results of a study published in Arthritis Care Research in 2015 found two distinct subgroups in fibromyalgia symptoms: those who demonstrated widespread significant pain and those who demonstrated less pain but more fatigue. It points to the need for individualized treatment protocols
  5. New Headgear Device Delivers Pain Relief for Fibromyalgia and Migraine. The device has been studied for eight years with positive results and has been approved for sale as a medical device. However, it is currently only available in the European market. The PainX headgear works by either controlling perception of pain or altering the reaction to pain
  6. A study looked at the relationship between fitness, fatness and cognitive function and found a definite correlation between fitness and cognitive function but no relationship between fatness and cognitive function.
  7. Innovative Med Concepts announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track designation to IMC-1 for the treatment of fibromyalgia. IMC-1 has successfully completed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study (PRID-201) in patients with fibromyalgia. The study was designed to confirm the hypothesis that latent herpes virus may have a role in fibromyalgia symptoms or recurrence. Suppression of chronic tissue-resident herpes virus, the mechanism of action of IMC-1, may significantly improve fibromyalgia-related symptoms. The company is currently working with the FDA to meet all the necessary requirements for the initiation of Phase 3 trials for IMC-1 in fibromyalgia. IMC-1 is a fixed-dose combination of famciclovir, an antiviral nucleoside analog, and celecoxib, a COX-2 inhibitor.
  8. Leptin, an appetite-regulatory hormone, is also known to act as a proinflammatory adipokine. One of the effects of increased systemic leptin concentrations may be greater sensitivity to pain. Leptin appears to be a predictor of body pain both within- and between-individuals and may be a driver of generalized pain states such as fibromyalgia.
  9. An article, published in 2016 in Current Molecular Medicine, focused on the association between fibromyalgia and bipolar disorder. Their conclusion: Overlapping neural circuits may underpin parallel clinical manifestations of both disorders. Fibromyalgia and BD are both characterized by functional abnormalities in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, higher levels of inflammatory mediators, oxidative and nitrosative stress as well as mitochondrial dysfunction. An overactivation of the kynurenine pathway in both illnesses drives tryptophan away from the production of serotonin and melatonin, leading to affective symptoms, circadian rhythm disturbances, and abnormalities in pain processing. In addition, both disorders are associated with impaired neuroplasticity (e.g., altered brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling).

Studies, Articles, and Resources

  1. A review of all studies regarding massage and fibromyalgia, published in Rheumatology International in Jul 201, found few controlled studies and those did have some flaws. However, short-term relief from pain with massage was found with all the studies and only one study found possible long term relief.
  2. A study, published in Journal of Manipulative & Physiology Therapy in Feb 2009, Comparison of manual lymph drainage therapy and connective tissue massage in women with fibromyalgia: a randomized controlled trial, found both MLD and CTM appear to yield improvement. However, manual lymph drainage might be preferred and have slightly more benefit.

Alternative and Complementary Approaches

  1. A study, published in Clinical Rehabilitation in Jan 2011, A randomized controlled trial investigating the effects of craniosacral therapy on pain and heart rate variability in fibromyalgia patients, found craniosacral therapy improved medium-term pain symptoms.
  2. A study published in Feb 2016 in Acupuncture Medicine, titled Acupuncture for fibromyalgia in primary care: a randomized controlled trial, found: Individualised acupuncture treatment in primary care in patients with fibromyalgia proved efficacious in terms of pain relief, compared with placebo treatment. The effect persisted at 1 year, and its side effects were mild and infrequent.

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