The Supermoon and fibromalgia / chronic fatigue – friend or foe?

Does the moon affect your sypmtoms of chronic pain and fatigue?

friend or foe

Does the supermoon cause you increased pain and affect you adversely?

I have been fortunate enough to work with some lovely clients in the clinical Pilates rehabilitation setting which lends itself well for those who suffer with the likes of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and inflammatory conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis. These types of clients tend to see us longer term due to the nature of chronic pain and fatigue with  their conditions.

Having now worked with various clients over a number of years – it has become apparent that a fair few would tend to have a “flare up” at the same time. I would notice one would come in “bad” then the next and so on-  so over the space of a week a few would have had  ‘flare up” of their symptoms – whether that be  of pain, stiffness, fatigue or everything!

Pain and chronic fatigue flare ups

We all know that these type of clients can be really sensitive – they can be fine and then bang things have gone hay wire. Our strategy has been to be work when they are able to work – both within the limits of pain and fatigue. When in a flare up – to settle the pain and work more on control and flexibility within what their limits allow, and then to push them to gain strength and endurance  when the flare up passes.

The occurrence of this with a number of clients presenting in the same week with a flare up prompting me to look at what may have been the cause – a change in weather/ temperature/air pressure etc – but the main denominating factor appears to have been the full moon!

Management of these clients has been widely known now that when in a fatigue or flare up – to push and try and stress them causes adverse effects with worsening of symptoms – so during this time we work as state don motor control, flexibility and stretching – resting as required – with the emphasis on  damage control so any prior gains are not lost – and as the transition back to better health occurs so the focus shifts back to increasing strength, tolerance and endurance to continue improving function.

Pain, Fatigue and the Moon

These flare ups appeared to co-incide with the phases of the moon cycle – so much so that now some of our clients can now predict when they may have a flare up and we have a fair few converts to this belief! This has lead to us developing a management strategy that now includes the moon cycle for those who feel they are affected – empowering them to have more control over their lives.

For example – limiting the harder jobs that may have been a trigger such as gardening, heavy house work or strenuous activity whilst the moon is in its full phase – much like we would advise breaking up bigger jobs or avoiding aggravating activity in the norm. Or if you have to do strenuous activity – break  it up and take regular rests.

A handful of our chronic fatigue clients do get more fatigued during this cycle and a couple who have the added myalgia find their pain also flares at this time. It seems a little arrogant to dismiss this as a potential cause because we don’t understand the actual mechanism – whether its a change in the gravitational pull or air pressure or clients are more sensitive – who knows – just observation has shown a high correlation in an increase in physical symptoms of pain and fatigue during the full moon – and more prevalent  with the super moon.

I have yet to investigate further and look for any corresponding literature or research that has been done specifically on the moon and pain syndromes or chronic fatigue/ fibromyalgia although I am sure something may be out there….in the meantime our clients are mindful of the cycle and have a management strategy in place…

Any thoughts or references to works in progress or completed on this interesting topic are most welcome!

 

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About Saree Hewlett (135 Articles)
Saree has 20 + years as a physio, training in the UK and completing her Masters in Manual Therapy in Perth, UWA. She has integrated Pilates into her practise having trained in the Polestar method and currently owns and runs two Studios in Perth's Northern Suburbs. A previous international Artistic Skater she understands the needs of sports people and also those suffering from chronic pain and reduced function - we all want the same thing - to be the best we can be! She is married with two active young boys!

3 Comments on The Supermoon and fibromalgia / chronic fatigue – friend or foe?

  1. Interesting post. Did you ever find any research about this? I‘ve been searching for a few hours and haven’t found anything even investigating a connection between the moon and pain.

    I have a club foot, and am having a major pain flare up right now during the supermoon. Think I‘ll do a pain diary and see if anything happens with future full moon… and maybe avoid heavy activities. Good read, cheers

  2. I’ve been noticing the week before and on full moon, it triples from the normal! I put it together about 4 years ago. I have pain daily, but it unbearable durning that week.

    • that’s great that you can link it – we generally say if you know it’s an issu eyou can at least be proactive and deal with it and know you’re not just imagining things :)!

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