Knowledge is Power
The more you know about fibromyalgia the better you'll be equipped to manage your symptoms and lead your fullest life possible. Understanding a complicated and often misunderstood condition can be tricky though. If decoding medical lingo gives you a headache and investigating current clinical research opportunities and findings isn't your jam, not to worry. As a former Certified Clinical Research Coordinator and general nerd when it comes to this stuff, it's my jam. I'll do the legwork and summarize my findings to help share what I'm learning in my own exploration.
Find Clinical Research Studies
Clinical research studies are a critical way the medical (and I'm including in that the pharmaceutical) community gains information about diseases. What causes them, how best to diagnose them, and ultimately how best to treat (or ideally, cure) them. The biggest reason clinical trials fail? Not enough people participate. Fibromyalgia is (in my humble opinion) an understudied condition. Learn how you can help change that. Fibromyalgia News Today gives a nice FAQ summary about the basics of Clinical Trials I'd recommend checking out if this is totally new to you.
Clinicaltrials.gov is a website where all clinical trials in the country are required to register. Info includes the basics of what the study is about, where it's located, and if they are still looking for participants to sign up. This is a great place to start investigating what studies are going on near you.
Research Match is a website that aims to help match up willing participants in research studies with studies relevant to them. Essentially it's the Tinder of the clinical research community. Fill out a brief profile noting what type of studies you're interested in, and if the study swipes right on you, they'll be in touch.
Academic Medical Centers - Live near an academic medical center? (Think University with a medical school affiliated with a health care system if you haven't heard that term before.) Investigating the website of a local/regional academic medical center can be another great resource.
Not even kidding. I'm new to the world of the Twitter, but legit, there's a lot of great resources and information to be found on there. Some Canadian physicians recently live-Tweeted an entire conference about chronic pain. It was both hilarious and informative.
Posts on My Blog Page
In blog posts where I'm highlighting summaries of new research or discussing specific helpful resources, look for those posts to have a category of Research or Resources to help make them easy to find.
Websites and Other Fibromyalgia Blogs
There are a lot of great resources just a search and a click away. Here are some helpful ones I've come across and recommend checking out.
American Chronic Pain Association