5th Annual Fibromyalgia Awareness event

ST. PETERSBURG — Keep Hope Alive, a local Fibromyalgia Awareness Support Group, is hosting its 5th Annual Fibromyalgia Awareness event this Sun., May 17 from 3:30–5:30 p.m. on the corner of 22nd Street and Ninth Avenue during Sunday Market on the Deuces.

The goal of the support group is to provide support, education and information to individuals diagnosed with fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and chronic fatigue syndrome in a positive, encouraging and up-beat environment. Event organizer, Valerie Dorn Roberts, invites the entire community out.

Often fibromyalgia is described as a chronic condition that is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. It is a condition that results in chronic widespread pain and tenderness all over. Chronic means that the pain lasts a long time, at least three months. Many people experience this condition for years before being diagnosed. Widespread means that the pain is all over the body. Tenderness means that even a small amount of pressure can cause a lot of pain.

Fibromyalgia, which translates as “fibrous tissue muscle pain, is not related to muscular strain, rather it appears to stem from stress related hormonal changes. These changes affect the muscles’ ability to heal themselves properly.

Muscles typically undergo a process of tissue breakdown and restructuring, but in those affected with this disease, the process goes off center leading to the development of painful “knots” and spasms in the muscles. While the disease does not cause permanent damage to the body, the ongoing discomfort, accompanied by feelings of fatigue and mental fogginess, can be physically and emotionally grueling.

Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain conditions. It affects more than 5 million people in the United States. That’s nearly one in every 60 Americans. Mostly women have it, but the condition also affects men. Most people begin feeling the symptoms of fibromyalgia when they are middle aged, but symptoms can start before then.

Join Dorn Roberts this Sunday to find out more about the fibromyalgia and enjoy the market.

Sunday Market on the Deuces, a local vendor and produce market, runs through June 7. There is currently a promotional special for the purchase of fresh produce, purchase $5 get $5 free, limited to the first 20 customers each Sunday. Promotional special is for produce vendor only.

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