Self-Care Techniques May Ease Facial Pain in Women, Fibromyalgia Research Shows

Women with facial muscle pain — with or without fibromyalgia — reported that jaw-opening exercises, warm compresses, yoga, and meditation eased their pain better than most commonly used pain management therapies such as oral appliances (mouth guard, splints) and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, according to a study.

The study, “Perceived helpfulness of treatments for myofascial TMD as a function of comorbid widespread pain,” was published in Clinical Oral Investigations.

Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs), also known as temporomandibular joint disorders, are a heterogenous group of conditions that can cause pain in the jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement. The myofascial kind, relating to muscles, is the most prevalent subtype.

Full story at Fibromyalgia News Today

More doctor visits can lower risk of suicide attempts in fibromyalgia patients

Fibromyalgia patients who regularly visit their physicians are much less likely to attempt suicide than those who do not, according to a new Vanderbilt University Medical Center study published in Arthritis Care & Research.

Patients who did not attempt suicide were at the doctor an average of 50 hours per year versus less than one hour per year for the group who committed self-harm, according to lead author Lindsey McKernan, PhD, assistant professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.

“Fifty hours versus one hour – that’s a staggering difference,” McKernan said. “They might have been at one appointment in a year and this disorder, fibromyalgia, takes a lot to manage. It takes a lot of engagement.”

Full story at news-medical.net

Customized resistance exercise helps female fibromyalgia patients improve health

Fibromyalgia and resistance exercise have often been considered an impossible combination. But with proper support and individually adjusted exercises, female patients achieved considerable health improvements, according to research carried out at Sahlgrenska Academy, Sweden.

“If the goal for these women is to improve their strength, then they shouldn’t be afraid to exercise, but they need to exercise the right way. It has long been said that they will only experience more pain as a result of resistance exercise, that it doesn’t work. But in fact, it does,” says Anette Larsson, whose dissertation was in physical therapy and who is an active physical therapist.

As part of her dissertation, she studied 130 women aged between 20-65 years with fibromyalgia, a disease in which nine of ten cases are women. It is characterized by widespread muscle pain and increased pain sensitivity, often combined with fatigue, reduced physical capacity and limitation of activities in daily life.

Full story at news-medical.net

CDC: 40% of Patients With Arthritis Don’t Receive Exercise Counseling From Providers

Better, but still plenty of room for improvement—that’s the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) take on a recent analysis of the rate at which health care providers are counseling patients with arthritis to engage in physical activity (PA). The good news: the percentage of individuals with arthritis who received provider counseling for exercise grew by 17.6% between 2002 and 2014. The bad news: even after that growth, nearly 4 in 10 patients with arthritis still aren’t receiving any information from their providers on the benefits of PA.

The CDC analysis, which appeared in a recent edition of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, uses data from the National Health Interview Survey gathered in 2002 and 2014. In those years, the survey included a question on whether respondents had been told they have “arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia,” as well as a question asking whether “a doctor or other health professional [has] ever suggested physical activity or exercise to help your arthritis or joint symptoms?”

Full story at APTA

Holistic Therapy Programs May Help Pain Sufferers Ditch Opioids

Each year, more than 300 patients with chronic pain take part in a three-week program at the Pain Rehabilitation Center at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Their complaints range widely, from specific problems such as intractable lower-back pain to systemic issues such as fibromyalgia. By the time patients enroll, many have tried just about everything to get their chronic pain under control. Half are taking opioids.

But in this 40-year-old program, they can’t stay on them. Participants must agree to taper off pain medications during their time at Mayo.

Still, more than 80 percent of the patients who enroll remain through the entire program, says Wesley Gilliam, the center’s clinical director. And many previous opioid users who finish the treatment report six months later that they have been able to stay off those drugs. Just as important, he adds, they have learned strategies to deal with their pain.

Full story at NPR

CDC: 1 in 3 Rural Residents Has Arthritis; Over 50% of Those Experience Activity Limitations

America has an arthritis problem, and rural America is being hit especially hard—that’s the finding of a report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that estimates nearly 1 in 3 rural residents in the US has some form of arthritis, with more than half of those with arthritis experiencing activity limitations.

The latest study, which appears in CDC’s May 25 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, describes the results of a detailed study of the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a survey of 426,361 noninstitutionalized adults across the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Researchers asked respondents, “Have you ever been told by a doctor or other health professional that you have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia?” If the answer was “yes,” respondents were then asked, “Are you now limited in any way in any of your usual activities because of arthritis or joint symptoms?”

Full story of arthritis and activity limitations at APTA

Number of Americans Reporting Arthritis-Related Activity Limitations on the Rise

The overall prevalence of arthritis in the US may be about the same as it was 15 year ago, but its burden on Americans is worsening at a rapid pace—and in a particularly troubling way. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of Americans with arthritis who report that the condition limits their activities has jumped by 20% since 2002. It’s a trend the CDC believes can only be countered by “existing, underused, evidence-based interventions,” specifically interventions that promote physical activity, which the CDC describes as “a proven strategy for managing arthritis.”

In its report released March 7, the CDC analyzed results from 3 years of National Health Interview Surveys conducted between 2013 and 2015, focusing on respondents who reported arthritis (for the CDC, that includes osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, and fibromyalgia). The sample was balanced to reflect US population demographics, which allowed CDC to make overall estimates based on the results, and compared with statistics from 2002. Among the findings:

Full story of rising numbers in arthritis-related activity limitations at APTA

European Guidelines Strongly Recommend Physical Therapy With Exercise for Fibromyalgia

Experts from 12 European countries now unanimously recommend supervised exercise as a primary intervention for individuals with fibromyalgia. According to an updated clinical practice guideline (CPG) by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) published in BMJ, physical therapy with graded exercise is the only intervention that received the group’s strongest recommendation.

The previous EULAR guideline found very few studies on pharmacologic or nonpharmacologic treatments for fibromyalgia, but that has changed. The current CPG is based on an analysis of 275 published articles and 107 systematic reviews. Authors looked at how well interventions addresseed, pain, fatigue, sleep, and daily functioning, and assigned levels of support for each intervention: “strong against,” “weak against,” “weak for,” and “strong for.”

Full story of PT exercise for Fibromyalgia at APTA

European Guidelines Strongly Recommend Physical Therapy With Exercise for Fibromyalgia

Experts from 12 European countries now unanimously recommend supervised exercise as a primary intervention for individuals with fibromyalgia. According to an updated clinical practice guideline (CPG) by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) published in BMJ, physical therapy with graded exercise is the only intervention that received the group’s strongest recommendation.

The previous EULAR guideline found very few studies on pharmacologic or nonpharmacologic treatments for fibromyalgia, but that has changed. The current CPG is based on an analysis of 275 published articles and 107 systematic reviews. Authors looked at how well interventions addresseed, pain, fatigue, sleep, and daily functioning, and assigned levels of support for each intervention: “strong against,” “weak against,” “weak for,” and “strong for.”

Full story of PT with exercise to treat fibromyalgia at APTA

County-by-County Analysis Finds Pockets of High Arthritis Prevalence

As if the prevalence of arthritis in more than 1 and 5 Americans isn’t challenging enough, now comes information that breaks down statistics at the county level to find that prevalence is very uneven across the US, with rates as low as 15.8% in some counties and more than 33% in others.

The new statistics are part of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report set for release on May 20. That report describes the results of a detailed study of the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a survey of 464,444 noninstitutionalized adults across the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and US territories.

Researchers analyzed the prevalence rates for respondents who answered “yes” to the question “have you ever been told by a doctor or other health professional that you have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia?” and found that the overall prevalence rate for US adults is 22.7%.

Full story of high arthritis prevalence by County at APTA