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FMA UK Trustees March 2010 Newsletter

Welcome to the second newsletter from the trustees of FMA UK. Below we have outlined what we have been doing over the last six months.


As a result of the recent resignation of Roger Leadbeater, there are now just 4 trustees with the following responsibilities:

Pam Stewart MBE Chair
Des Quinn  
Vice Chair and Webmaster
Janet Horton
Benefits Helpline
Gerry Crossley
National Helpline coordinator

The trustees will seek a new treasurer as soon as possible and would welcome applications from volunteers with previous financial experience..

Fibromyalgia media coverage

The Guardian carried a cynical article on whiplash injuries by ‘Dr.Crippin’ on 2nd March. The article ended by saying: Family doctors in the UK usually find that patients who have no objective signs of physical injury, but still present with persistent symptoms that they relate to "whiplash", often have more subtle and possibly psychological problems. They may even be on the slippery slope to "fibromyalgia" – whatever that is. There is any amount of bad medical science upon which both doctors and patients rely.”

Below is FMA UK’s response:

“FMA UK takes exception to the flippant, off hand way fibromyalgia is referred to in the article. It shows a lack of understanding and concern for the millions of people who suffer from this chronic condition on a daily basis. We would suggest that the doctor concerned is brought up to date on current research and we would be pleased to send a medical professional booklet to aid with this. Fibromyalgia patients often suffer years of pain before getting a diagnosis.  Although some attribute the onset to an accident involving whiplash, this is not always the case.  Many other traumatic events can act as a trigger.

Research has shown through functional MRIs that people with fibromyalgia do feel pain more acutely than others.  This is due to chemical imbalance in the neurotransmitters which enhance the sensation of pain and increase sensitivity to many external stimuli such as light, noise and temperature.

Fibromyalgia does have a psychological component in that people are having to deal with the symptoms of pain, sensitivities and fatigue every day of their lives.  In common with other long term conditions this has an effect on their psychological welfare.

Treatment for fibromyalgia through the NHS is patchy to say the least.  A recent audit of Musculoskeletal Framework, which is supposed to be responsible for treating people with fibromyalgia, showed that this had not been set up in many PCTs.  Certainly FMA UK had not noticed any improvement in the availability of treatment options since it was launched.

Of course this lack of NHS treatment leaves vulnerable people in search of treatment and can lead to unscrupulous money fleecing.  If effective treatment were available throughout the country through the NHS, money would be saved.  People with fibromyalgia could lead a useful life, perhaps being able to remain in work and not having to rely on benefits or carers to look after them.”


The launch of the magazine was successful with more subscribers than our estimate needed to break even at the end of the year. We have several regular writers and we hope that letters will start coming in now we have given this a kick start. The distributors had a problem with the names on the address labels not matching the address, but this should be corrected next month.




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