Sponsored by the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association (NFMCPA), Fibromyalgia Awareness Day (Saturday, May 12th) is an annual event dedicated to raising awareness of this complex chronic pain disorder. Fibromyalgia (FM) affects an estimated 10 million people in the US, 75-90 percent of whom are women—but it can also occur in men and children.
The 2012 theme for Fibromyalgia Awareness Day is “Make Fibromyalgia Visible.” There are several ways you can help do this:
- Join a Walk to CURE FM event (Logan, UT, or Philadelphia, PA).
- Sign the “Pledge to Care” as a caregiver, friend or provider.
- Sponsor a “Light of Hope” candle in honor of a loved one with FM.
- Add your photo to the NFMCPA’s Faces of Courage Wall.
- Sign this Change.org petition started by a PatientsLikeMe member.
You can also take a moment to brush up on this often-misunderstood condition, which is characterized by pain or aching in the muscles (myalgia) and multiple points of tenderness (trigger points). With more than 23,000 patients, the fibromyalgia community at PatientsLikeMe is a great place to gain knowledge. Some of the most commonly reported symptoms in our community include muscle and joint pain, brain fog, pain in the lower back and balance problems.
What are our members doing to cope? Commonly reported treatments include selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs) such as Duloxetine (Cymbalta) and Venlafaxine (Effexor); analgesic and anti-convulsant medications such as Pregabalin (Lyrica) and Gabapentin (Neurontin); and muscle relaxants such as Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) and Carisoprodol (Soma). Click on each treatment name to see how patients evaluate the effectiveness, side effects, cost and more.
For more insight into living with the “constant, widespread pain” of fibromyalgia, check out this video made by a recently diagnosed patient. And if you’re a PatientsLikeMe member, don’t miss the forum tag Life with Fibromyalgia.