Ankylosing Spondylitis and fibromyalgia: Woman describes treatment ‘life-changing’

A WOMAN who suffers from debilitating illnesses Ankylosing Spondylitis and Fibromyalgia has found a way of easing her pain which she has described as ‘life-changing’.

 Ankylosing spondylitus and fibromyalgia

The conditions cause Lucy Gorton, 42, from Stroud, to suffer severe pain, with muscle spasms, trapped nerves and no energy.

But she has since tried out a vibration training platform which she said has improved her symptoms.

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic condition in which the spine and other areas of the body become inflamed.

Fibromyalgia causes pain, including aches, a burning sensation and sharp, stabbing pains all across the body. Her condition has even caused her to stop working.

I suffer from Ankylosing Spondylitis and Fibromyalgia, amongst other debilitating illnesses,” said Lucy.

“My various conditions cause severe joint pains and inflammation, muscle aches and fusing of the back, and I often feel drunk with fatigue and no energy.

“I frequently pull muscles and they spasm and spread. I get a burning sensation down my spine and frequently get trapped nerves in my lower back and down my legs.”

Both Ankylosing Spondylitis and Fibromyalgia leave individuals with extreme tiredness and all-over pain, meaning Lucy has been forced to drastically alter her formerly-energetic lifestyle.

Experts argue the onset of long-term debilitating illnesses can be difficult to contend with, but for previously fit and active individuals, they can change lives beyond recognition.

Routine exercises gradually become too painful to bear, meaning general fitness can often decline.

“I am unable to lead a normal life like that of someone my age. I have to plan my day around my energy levels and pains, whereas before I was an outdoor person who had horses and animals,” said Lucy.

“I have had to change my life.”

Desperate to find a solution to her daily problems and pain, Lucy bought a Vibrostation Home Studio – a piece of vibration training equipment which works by sending pulses around the body, causing rapid involuntary contractions.

Ankylosing spondylitus and fibromyalgia

The process exercises almost every muscle in the body and has been used by both Olympic athlete training programmes and space agencies, with the latter deploying it to help counteract the osteoporosis effects of weightlessness.

“I bought Vibrostation specifically to help manage my aches and pains and to keep as mobile as possible,” Lucy explained. “It is a great way to start the day.”

“It wakes up all the joints and muscles, increasing my energy levels to begin my day without wearing me out. It has made me feel more stable and less fragile, with my muscles toning up and feeling stronger.

“When you cannot face driving to the gym, or changing into gym kit it is so easy just to get on the Vibrostation.”

Lucy now uses the technology for 10 minutes every morning and has said it helps her to control her illnesses.

Ankylosing spondylitus and fibromyalgia can cause extreme pain

It isn’t a cure for the conditions but it helps to manage them.

Lucy said before she used the equipment she was pulling muscles continuously.

She added: “My flare-ups of the Ankylosing Spondylitis are extremely painful but thanks to the Vibrostation the motion eases and controls the spread of muscle and joint spasms.

“My recovery, therefore, is so much quicker. I rarely have muscle aches and joint pains throughout the day anymore.

“I suffer from a liver disease, primary biliary cholangitis, and I’m regularly scanned for osteoporosis.

“Weight bearing exercise is crucial and by using the Vibrostation I feel I am being proactive in delaying the onset of it.”

Lucy has been using the vibration training for six months, and described it as ‘life-changing’.



one way to practice pain management- 5 Benefits massage therapy for fibromyalgia

neck and shoulder massage for fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia causes pain throughout the body, with tenderness in joints, as well as in muscles, tendons and other soft tissues. Although there is no cure for this painful syndrome, pain can be managed—and massage for fibromyalgia patients is one way to practice pain management.

This condition still remains a mystery to allopathic caregivers.

Fibromyalgia is seen in approximately 5 million Americans, according to the NIAMSD, and affects females more than males by a 9:1 ratio. Primary age range to acquire this condition is between 20 and 50 years old.

massage for fibromyalgia patients

The Fibromyalgia Patient

Particular characteristics and certain demographics of fibromyalgia sufferers were studied recently, within the context of a national health survey. Results from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) conducted by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, released in late 2015, indicated that:

  • People with fibromyalgia had high levels of pain, non-pain symptoms, and psychological distress.
  • Their fibromyalgia-like symptoms were severe and continuous.
  • About 27 percent were diagnosed with fibromyalgia by a physician.
  • About 73 percent who were not diagnosed with fibromyalgia were told they had rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus or low-back pain.
  • They were more likely to have co-occurring major medical conditions, such as heart attack; hypertension; diabetes; depression or other mental illnesses; rheumatoid arthritis; or lupus.
  • They had relatively high levels of medical costs, Social Security disability and work disability.
  • Certain demographic factors and health behaviors were more highly associated with the presence of fibromyalgia, including: being female; residing in the Midwest; possessing an educational level lower than college; being divorced or separated; obesity; smoking; and being a U.S. citizen rather than a noncitizen. Fibromyalgia occurred about equally across all racial and ethnic groups, but was less common in Asians.

face down for massage

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

The main symptom of fibromyalgia is pain, which can range from mild to severe. Pain may be characterized as shooting, burning or a deep, unrelenting ache. Soft tissue around joints may develop tender points. Pain can improve during the daytime and worsen at night, although for some people the pain remains all day.

If one has had three months or more of widespread pain, with more than 10 tender-point areas, there is a good chance that she will be diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

Today, a newer method of diagnosing this condition is being adopted by physicians. This includes a 19-item checklist in which a patient indicates which body parts have felt painful in the prior week. Patterns are witnessed over time as the patient completes this checklist weekly.

Almost all fibromyalgia patients suffer from hallmark symptoms: unrefreshing sleep, fatigue and cognitive issues. Other common symptoms include headaches, anxiety and depression. Although symptoms can improve, fibromyalgia is a long-term disorder with pain and symptoms continuing years.

getting a massage

Massage for Fibromyalgia

There are many benefits of massage for fibromyalgia patients, and various types of massage, including myofascial release, Swedish and shiatsu have been indicated by research studies to help this clientele. Here are five of the benefits of massage for fibromyalgia patients:

  1. The first will be relaxation to improve sleep. Sessions in the evening will benefit the patient to allow better quality of sleep at night, thereby helping the body repair and rejuvenate at night more effectively.
  1. The second benefit is improved muscle tonicity. This benefit will aid lethargic muscles and help restore strength and vitality to your client’s body. Be sure to include more petrissage strokes to accomplish this goal.
  1. A third benefit will be to improve mental clarity. A relaxing session can raise healthy awareness and relieve mental stress. This can improve the client’s cognitive issues.
  1. Headache relief is the fourth benefit a fibromyalgia patient may receive.Improving blood flow to the brain can relieve the physical source of headache, while the relief received can further keep the person’s mind in a healthier space.
  1. A fifth benefit is diminishing the effects of any anxiety or depression. These effects include hormonal fluctuations, interference with appetite and chronic fight-or-flight mode. Massage can restore homeostasis of the body, thereby diminishing these effects.


The Role of Empathy

A final consideration is to remain compassionate and supportive in the fibromyalgia patient’s treatment-plan efforts. A client who presents with fibromyalgia has likely grown accustomed to family, friends and practitioners not taking her condition seriously.

A massage therapist who treats this client with empathy and respect, holding her feelings in high regard and without judgment, will make the greatest impact and produce the most favorable treatment results.

Information presented in an article is never intended to replace advice from a medical professional.



Shakeology and Fibromyalgia


Fibromyalgia is a disease that is charactarized by fatigue, chronic pain, tenderness, and more. It is very hard to diagnose, and maybe people spend years without a diagnose, or even misdiagnosed (which means treatment likely isnt working either).

As someone who has struggled with symptoms of Fibromyalgia for close to two years, I spend a lot of time researching what I put into my body, and what I can START putting into my body to feel my best.

Shakeology is something that has greatly improved my Fibro symptoms. Many treatments for fibromyalgia include various vitamins and supplements, so it got me thinking. How many of these supplements am I already getting in my daily glass of Shakeology.

*Vitamin D: Vitamin D is proven to help with pain and fatigue. Shakeology has over 500IU of Vitamin D in each serving.

*Camu Camu Berry: Full in Vitamin C and has tons of anti-inflammitory ingredients to reduce joint pain that Fibromyalgia often brings.

*Sacha Inchi: This ingredient has high levels of tryptophan, which many scientists believe can help alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms. Tryptophan helps your body produce serotonin, so low levels will result in increased fibromyalgia symptoms, including increased insominia and tummy troubles.

*Goji Berry: If you struggle with fibromyalgia, you are likely aware of the term “Fibro Fog”. It can get really bad, and alleviating it has always been at the top of my priorities. Goji Berry has 18 amino acids, it is a top anti inflammitory, and it can help improve memory and the fibro fog.

*Reishi Powder: Another anti inflammitory that will help rid your body of the pains you feel daily.

*Schisandra Berry: Helps improve your central nervous system so your body handles and recieves pain signals more efficiently.

*Maca Root: A Superfood from the Andes mountains, this supplement is proven to improve fatigue and keep you feeling your best.

I am especially grateful I do not need to hunt down all of these superfoods from all over the world, and I can get them all in ONE glass for under $4 a day. When I am having a flare I have an extra glass and take comfort in knowing the superfoods I am putting in my body are helping me heal.



5 Ways to Better Deal With Fibromyalgia During Your Period

young woman in stomach belly period pain suffering in bed

According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), it isestimated that 80-90 percent of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia, are women. The diagnosis of fibromyalgia for men and children is estimated between 10-20 percent. Many women diagnosed fibromyalgia are still able to menstruate, yet there is very little information available for fibromyalgia patients about dealing with their periods.

At 6 years old, I started to have fibromyalgia symptoms. By 11 years old, I was finally diagnosed. I was just starting to get used to my symptoms before I started puberty.

Now, in my mid-twenties, not only do I better understand my fibromyalgia, but I’ve also learned how to better deal with my fibromyalgia symptoms during my period:

1. Experiencing more intense pain. This is obvious for two reasons. One, it is common for women on their period to be more susceptible to pain. Two, any illness or bodily change does cause my fibromyalgia pain to increase. Though I was told it was “completely normal” to have some discomfort on my period, I was unprepared for what I would really feel. At times, I feel like I was just hit by a car. The pain can become so frequent, I have to stay in bed.

2. Experiencing increased fatigue. When I’m on my period, my fatigue syndrome feels twice as bad. I also have a harder time sleeping during the first two nights of my period. For the rest of my period, I’m exhausted. To compensate for my exhaustion, I try to sleep as early as possible, nap, or at least rest for a few minutes.

3. Avoiding overexertion. Having work, school, home and family obligations, I do my best to not over do overexert myself. With less energy and more pain during my period, it’s twice as difficult to function. So I try to pace myself by prioritizing what must be done, versus what I’d like to do.

4. Not feeling guilty for doing lessWith all of my obligations, I feel guilty I cannot do everything I normally would do.  I feel I’m “lazy” for only doing the bare minimum. But when I’m overexerting myself, I wind up running myself ragged. This begins a vicious cycle of increased pain, less mobility and more fatigue. I end up doing less than I can normally on my period. Listening to the guilt is not worth the price I have to pay.

5. Creating a reasonable daily schedule. The best way to handle my period is to make myself a daily schedule. A few days before my period, I try to get larger obligations done, i.e. major projects and test/exams. This also helps to reduces my stress during my period. Because my schedule can change without a moment’s notice during my period, I have a dry erase board, listing everything that I need to do and what I would like to do. This helps me to prioritize my day. When I am able to erase a chore or obligation off the dry erase board, it not only gives me a feeling of achievement, but also encourages me to complete the rest of my list. Though I might not be able to do everything I want, I still have the next day to catch up.

After my period, I take time to evaluate what helped me the least and most, during my period. Was I able to complete my obligations? Can I do a little more next time? Or do I need to pull back? Other factors that also impact me, especially during my period, include the weather (generally, I feel more pain during cold weather), an illness, or an accident — for example, falling.

Although fibromyalgia is a daily, unpredictable challenge, I have had it long enough to find patterns. I use the patterns to determine what helps me when I’m having increased pain. Though fibromyalgia is a constant challenge, I don’t let it control me.