Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Latest Poll Results

Just over a month ago, I asked everyone visiting my website to answer a poll asking you all which drug or class of drugs had helped you the most with your fibro; and, thanks to several people being directed my way by Jan Chambers, President of the Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association, and fibromyalgia book author and staunch advocate Celeste Cooper, we ended up with 125 responses.  Here are the results:

As you can see, no one drug did very well, and more than one third of respondents either felt no drug had helped or hadn't tried any. Clearly, then, drugs are not the only answer and the focus of fibro treatment must always be, as I've said repeatedly, trial and error and multi-dimensional. This starts with two things: (1) having a doctor, other health care provider or, best yet, health care team who BELIEVES YOU AND IS WILLING TO WORK WITH YOU; and (2) even before that, BELIEVING IN YOURSELF. Don't let anyone tell you your pain isn't real, or that it is trivial, or that you just need to snap out of it. Your pain is YOUR pain, not theirs. No one, not even some hobnob expert with 72 letters after his name and a pizza created in his likeness has the right to tell you how YOU should feel.

That said, you do have a high degree of control over how you feel and how you react to those feelings.   So believing in yourself is more than just believing that your pain is real... it is believing that you have the power to make a difference in this.

I am not ashamed to say that I have battled addiction in my lifetime... I came by it honestly, growing up in a household with two alcoholic parents, and then working myself almost to death for three decades before finally crashing down in a heap about 8 years ago. I hit rock bottom and all but lost everything (luckily, my family and friends stuck by me).  But then I was told that I had to make the decision to change.  Now, I'm not going to tell you that recovering from addiction is the same as recovering from chronic pain. They are very different. But I am telling you that, at some point, you need to have faith that things CAN get better for you... not perfect... your pain and fatigue may never go away entirely... but how they affect you certainly can improve and, with that, they themselves will improve.

And that leads to my next poll question, which is:

Do you believe that the pain and fatigue of fibro can and often do get better?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't know

Go to my homepage and let other readers know what you think.

Kevin White, MD, PhD
Award-winning author, speaker & researcher


  1. Hi Kevin. I am not sure I can answer this question with a blanket yes or no, because I feel it depends upon what therapies are identified and implemented as helpful. Bringing even one comorbid condition, i.e. migraine, IBS, insomnia, under control can improve symptoms and our ability to cope. The FM pain may be the same, but if another painful stimulus is controlled, life can feel a great deal easier to cope with. Treating peripheral myofascial trigger points also decreases the amount of of pain stimulus to the brain, which in turn decreases malfunction of nociception. I would like to see a poll on what therapies have been most beneficial in helping the patient cope with the pain of FM. Certainly I know that finally finding a neurologist that got to the root cause of my migraines, seeing a physical therapist that specializes in myofascial therapy, helping with my plantar faciitis, and having PT for a torn rotator cuff has helped. Treating theses other aggravating factors and comorbid conditions has helped with painful stimulus, sleep, and the ability to do self treatment of myofascial TrPs and stretching. I will post the poll for you. In healing, harmony and hope, Celeste

  2. What exactly is the very large "other" category, indeed, a whopping 18%, (more than any other one answer, besides "nothing"!). Was there a space for people to name "other"? I would love to see a breakdown of that answer!