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Byline: Miriam Stoppard

I SUFFER from fibromyalgia. This is never treated seriously by the NHS nor by my family. Yet I have lots of pain and have to lie down to ease it.

All these problems are tiring, painful and debilitating to say the least. Do you have any advice as to what to do?

FIBROMYALGIA is a type of "rheumatism" which affects the muscles and ligaments but not the joints. It doesn't cause permanent damage but it can last for months or years.

Tender points are usually present in certain areas of the body and they help the doctor to make the diagnosis.

If enough pressure is applied to these places, most people will find it uncomfortable but in fibromyalgia there's a change in the threshold at which pressure causes pain and many of these points can be extremely tender. As I know myself, aerobic exercise improves fitness and reduces pain and fatigue in people with fibromyalgia.

Aerobic exercise means doing enough to get you breathing heavily and your heart beating faster for 30 minutes a day.

Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise for fibromyalgia. Gradually your muscles will become stronger and there will be more muscle fibres to move your limbs smoothly and avoid jarring of tendons and ligaments.

You can also write to The Fibromyalgia Association UK, PO Box 206 Stourbridge, West Midlands, DY9 8YL enclosing an A5 SAE or visit their website They provide support for newly diagnosed and existing sufferers and have over a hundred support groups throughout the UK.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 5, 2003
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