In this randomized clinical trial, 3 cognitive behavioral coping techniques were compared for their efficacy for relieving fibromyalgia pain and anxiety symptoms: (1) an informational patient education program, (2) a general, pleasant guided imagery program and (3) an emotional support program to let the patients talk freely and emotionally about their fibromyalgia problems.
The study tested the post intervention effects of these 3 interventions 30 minutes afterward. A total of 58 fibromyalgia patients participated, with 22 in the patient education group, 17 in the guided imagery group, and 19 in the emotional support talking group.
We got this email a while ago from a man coping with fibromyalgia, who got help for pain by using his own persistence and ingenuity. His latest addition to his FM toolkit was finding meditation for fibromyalgia, using mindfulness. Here are his own words:
As someone who has suffered from the chronic pain of fibromyalgia, I can definitively say that it can feel quite lonely. People can be judgmental and unsympathetic, as if we were making these symptoms up. I have been over-medicated with painkillers and anti-depressants in the past, and I have been told that it’s all in my head. I have fired my fair share of doctors, and now I have competent, understanding medical care.
Researchers from the Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen in Essen, Germany, performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of meditative movement therapies or MMT (Qigong, Tai Chi and Yoga) for fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS).
Data bases were screened for randomized, controlled trials that compared MMT to controls with FMS. Outcomes of efficacy were for pain, sleep, fatigue, depression and health-related quality of life (HRQOL).
A total of 7 out of 117 studies with 362 subjects and a median of 12 sessions (range 8-24) were included.
Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Nursing in Richmond, VA, studied the efficacy of guided imagery on 72 women diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The 10-week randomized trial looked at the impact of guided imagery on self-efficacy, perceived stress, and selected bio-behavioral factors - FMS symptoms and immune biomarkers.
Participants in both the guided imagery(GI) group and in the treatment as usual (TAU) control condition, completed measurement questionnaires and donated 3 cc of blood at baseline, at six and at 10 weeks.
Investigators from Bright Path Yoga in Plano, Texas discuss the benefits of yoga and meditation for fibromyalgia, a chronic syndrome characterized by widespread pain, sleep disturbance, stiffness, fatigue, headache, and mood disturbance. The author outlines a strategy for using yoga and meditation as a therapy for fibromyalgia sufferers.
A preliminary 8-week study with eleven participants found significant improvement in the overall health status of the participants and in symptoms of stiffness, anxiety, and depression. Significant improvements were also seen in the reported number of days "felt good" and number of days "missed work" because of fibromyalgia.
Researchers from Bright Path Yoga in Plano, Texas looked at the efficacy of an 8-week strategy of using yoga and meditation to help manage fibromyalgia symptoms, which typically consist of widespread pain, sleep disturbance, stiffness, fatigue, headache, and mood disorders.
The small pilot study looked at the impact of this program on 11 participants.
Results revealed significant improvement in the overall health status of the participants and in symptoms of stiffness, anxiety, and depression. Significant improvements were also seen in the reported number of days "felt good" and number of days "missed work" because of fibromyalgia.
Researchers from University Medical Center in Freiburg, Germany, investigated the efficacy of an 8 week MBSR intervention (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, a structured training in developing nonjudgmental awareness of moment-to-moment experience) with mindful yoga exercises, on enhanced well being of fibromyalgia patients.
In this 3-armed trial, a total of 177 female patients were randomized to one of the following conditions: (1) MBSR, (2) an active control procedure controlling for nonspecific effects of MBSR, or (3) a wait list.
The major outcome sought was for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) 2 months post-treatment. Secondary outcomes were disorder-specific quality of life, depression, pain, anxiety, somatic complaints, and a proposed index of mindfulness.
Researchers from Barcelona, Spain examined whether a psycho-educational intervention delivered to patients with fibromyalgia (FM) in a primary care setting was more effective than usual care for improving their functional status.
Of the 484 fibromyalgia patients eligible for screening from a database at Viladecans Hospital, 108 patients were randomly assigned to the intervention arm of the study and 108 patients were assigned to usual care. The intervention was made up of nine 2-hour sessions (5 sessions of education and 4 sessions of autogenic relaxation). The patients were assessed before and after the intervention with a battery of instruments (measuring sociodemographic data, medical comorbidities, functional status, trait anxiety, and social desirability).
Because recent systematic reviews of “psychological” therapies for fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) did not include hypnosis/guided imagery (H/GI), the authors performed a meta-analysis of the efficacy of H/GI in FMS.
Looking at outcomes for pain, sleep, fatigue, depressed mood and health-related quality of life, six clinical trials with a total of 239 subjects were analyzed. (The median # of Hypnosis/Guided Imagery sessions was nine, and the median number of patients in the groups was 20. Three studies performed follow-ups).
Researchers from L. Sacco University Hospital in Milan, Italy undertook an updated review of the underlying mechanisms that produce fibromyalgia (FM), and summarize viable treatment options. FM is described as a chronic pain syndrome characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, sleep alterations, and distress.
The authors state that emerging evidence points to problems with augmented pain processing within the central nervous system holding a primary role in the pathophysiology of this disorder.
Recent studies have identified distinct FM subgroups on the basis of clinical, neurochemical, and neuroendocrinological abnormalities. These include increased cerebrospinal fluid levels of substance P; excitatory amino acids; and functional abnormalities in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, as well as in the sympathoadrenal (autonomic nervous) system.