Fibromyalgia, Loss Of Balance & Falls
A Serious Problem


Many studies have shown once more that fibromyalgia is associated with increased falls and balance problems frequency

This is a reality that is often under-diagnosed. The mechanism is most likely multi-factorial, involving many processes. It is important to report it to your doctor because some of the causes are treatable.

For example orthostatic hypotension whereby the arterial blood pressure drops from the lying down to standing up position. It is easily measurable and can be prevented.

Often a medication may be the cause of it and adds to the misery of fibromyalgia sufferers.

Whatever the cause, treatment of fibromyalgia should include preventative measures against fall and their consequences. Railings in the house, teaching of techniques to avoid falling by physiotherapists and fibromyalgia chiropractor are some of the measures that can avoid drama.

Do not suffer in silence and get your doctor to help you!

References

Jones KD et al. Fibromyalgia is associated with impaired balance and falls. J Clin Rheumatol. 2009 Feb;15(1):16-21

Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether fibromyalgia (FM) patients differ from matched healthy controls in clinical tests of balance ability and fall frequency.

METHODS: Thirty-four FM patients and 32 age-matched controls were administered the Balance Evaluation-Systems Test (BESTest), rated their balance confidence with the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence (ABC) Scale, and reported the number of fall in the last 6 months. The Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire was used to assess FM severity.

RESULTS: FM patients had significantly impaired balance in all components of the BESTest compared with controls. They also scored more poorly on balance confidence. Overall FM severity (Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire) correlated significantly with the BESTest and the ABC scale. The BESTest and ABC correlated significantly with 6 commonly reported FM symptoms (excluding pain). FM patients reported a total of 37 falls over the last 6-months compared with 6 falls in healthy controls.

CONCLUSION: FM is associated with balance problems and increased fall frequency. Patients were aware of their balance problems. These results suggest that FM may affect peripheral and/or central mechanisms of postural control. Further objective study is needed to identify the relative contributions of various neural and musculoskeletal and other impairments to postural stability in FM to provide clinicians with methods to maximize postural stability and help fall prevention.

Jones CJ, Rutledge DN, Aquino J. Predictors of physical performance and functional ability in people 50+ with and without fibromyalgia. J Aging Phys Act. 2010 Jul;18(3):353-68.

Abstract

The purposes of this study were to determine whether people with and without fibromyalgia (FM) age 50 yr and above showed differences in physical performance and perceived functional ability and to determine whether age, gender, depression, and physical activity level altered the impact of FM status on these factors. Dependent variables included perceived function and 6 performance measures (multidimensional balance, aerobic endurance, overall functional mobility, lower body strength, and gait velocity-normal or fast). Independent (predictor) variables were FM status, age, gender, depression, and physical activity level. Results indicated significant differences between adults with and without FM on all physical-performance measures and perceived function. Linear-regression models showed that the contribution of significant predictors was in expected directions. All regression models were significant, accounting for 16-65% of variance in the dependent variables.

Russek LN, Fulk GD. Pilot study assessing balance in women with fibromyalgia syndrome. Physiother Theory Pract. 2009 Nov;25(8):555-65.

Abstract

The purpose of current study was to assess postural control and balance self-efficacy in people with fibro-myalgia syndrome [FMS]. Thirty-two females with FMS completed the Activity-specific Balance Confidence Scale, Berg Balance test, NeuroCom Balance Master sensory-organization test, and limits of stability. There was a high prevalence of reported falls and a low mean score on the Activity-specific Balance Confidence Scale. A significant number of subjects scored below the population norm fifth percentile score on the sensory-organization test composite, visual, and vestibular sections. Preliminary evidence suggests that women with FMS may present with deficits in postural control, sensory organization, and balance self-efficacy.

























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