Dizziness, Balance and Fibromyalgia

When you check the list of symptoms for fibromyalgia, there are not many functions of the body, mind or emotions that are untouched by this syndrome. Widespread pain, disorientation, IBS, and numerous other health challenges seem to be part and parcel of the experience of FMS. Even your sense of balance and feelings of dizziness are attributable to fibromyalgia syndrome.

Clinical Study Proves What We Know

In a study done at the School of Nursing, Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon to determine whether fibromyalgia patients differ from healthy control subjects in clinical tests of balance ability and fall frequency, the results confirmed yet another symptom of FMS.

In this study, 34 fibromyalgia patients were compared with a control group of 32 healthy people of the same age. They were all administered the Balance Evaluation-Systems Test (BESTest), and were rated on their balance confidence with the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence (ABC) Scale, along with reported number of all in the previous six months. The Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire was used to determine the severity of fibromyalgia.

The results were no surprise to those who suffer with FMS. Fibromyalgia patients had significantly impaired balance in all of the components of the BESTest when compared with the control group. They also scored poorly on balance confidence. Again, it was no surprise when the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire correlated significantly with the BESTest and the ABC scale, both of which matched with the six commonly reported fibro symptoms outside of pain. When the number of falls by FMS patients (37) was compared to the healthy controls (6), the results confirmed again the balance issues.

The obvious conclusion to the study was that fibromyalgia is associated with balance problems and increased fall frequency. FMS sufferers were cognizant of their issues with balance. The results of the study indicate that fibromyalgia may affect the peripheral and/or central mechanisms of postural control. More research is intended in order to determine the connection of neural, musculoskeletal and other types of issues to postural stability.

As Usual, There\'s No Clear Cause

The problem with balance and the often accompanying dizziness is that there is no clear cause - something that is very consistent with FMS. There are trigger points in the neck and jaw that can cause a feeling of dizziness and subsequent imbalance. It is thought that perhaps these trigger points affect the nerves that communicate the position of the body in space to the brain. If the eye signals don\'t match up with the nerve impulses on space, dizziness and disorientation occur.

Table of Contents
1. Dizziness and Balance
2. Feeling light headed?
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