It is our pleasure to have been serving the needs of the fibromyalgia (FM) community for over two decades and to be taking the next steps in order to help improve the quality of life for millions of people living with this life altering disorder.
Having lived with FM myself for over 30 years, and having dedicated my life and career to bringing improved awareness, a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the causes of this disorder, and working to provide information and support to the entire FM community, it is exciting to now be able to offer new help and improved information on how to better understand and manage your pain and fatigue.
Unfortunately, the message that people with fibromyalgia continue to receive is that, FM is a chronic pain condition that is little understood, and there is almost nothing that can be done to help relieve the symptoms of this illness. I hope if you get nothing else from visiting the NFA’s web site, you will know this statement is absolutely NOT true!
YES, your pain and other symptoms are real. And yes, we still need to continue to expand our medical knowledge through research and patient participation, (the sharing of personal experiences and insights on what it is like to live with FM). But what is most important is for over 40 years, a dedicated group of expert researchers have worked to unlock many of the secrets about the causes of FM, and why millions of people (men, women and children) suffer with its intense, body wide pain, and frustrating fatigue. We now understand that FM is dysregulation of pain processing. Evidence has shown that people with central pain, like fibromyalgia, are experiencing pain amplification in the brain. There are many other symptoms that are a part of FM, often caused by central sensitivity. The problem is that it takes time for these research findings to be shared and understood by the medical community and the patients themselves.
In the meantime, misinformation can also be an obstacle when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia. When we are told there is little that can be done to help relieve your pain the result is a feeling of hopelessness, which in turn makes your symptoms worse. Without the correct guidance and support, a person with FM can feel overwhelmed and unsure of appropriate steps to take to help improve their overall health and reduce their FM symptoms.
I hope that you will find the National Fibromyalgia Association ‘s updated web site, with the addition of new information, videos and helpful resources of great benefit in your journey to find improvement in your quality of life!
We can’t promise to what degree of improvement you will have, or how quickly you will improve but with the collaboration of a knowledgeable health care provider and a patient practicing self-management, research has shown that incorporating pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments, (including lifestyle changes), a patient will see health improvement and a reduction in their symptoms. I personally watched myself go from lying in bed for over two years, to finding my way back to an active, basically pain free, happy life. Yes, at times there are challenges, but don’t ever let anyone tell you that you have a mysterious illness, and there is nothing that can be done to help you get better!
Lynne Matallana, Founder/President