Monthly Archives: January 2010

Fibromyalgia and Singing

” The only thing better than singing is more singing”, Ella Fitzgerald

The singer/songwriter Shelly Quarmby has just released  a six song EP entitled Change; the proceeds of one of the tracks will be donated to the  Fibromyalgia Association of the United Kingdom (FMA UK). Her own struggles with fibromyalgia inspired her to make this contribution. Shelly has a Canadian connection, as she lived in Toronto while she recorded her EP there. She has agreed to answer some questions for us regarding both her career and living with fibromyalgia. She is available for viewing on itunes and her music is soothing to the ear!  Her website is: and I urge those of you who need to be uplifted  to buy her music!

Lives that are afflicted by this invisible dis-ease are often spent in social isolation, but the stories of those who carry on with dignity are numerous. Shelly is one such woman. My first questions to you Shelly: When were you diagnosed with fibromyalgia? Perhaps you would be willing to tell us something about your early life and what you think precipitated this syndrome?

Fibromyalgia and Hearing Loss

“Limitations only go so far”, Robert M.Hensel

Hearing loss appears to be common after a prolonged history of fibromyalgia.2010 162 It seems as though sensorineural hearing loss, that is, loss that is due to damage to the inner ear auditory nerve pathways to the brain, occurs more frequently in fibromyalgia than has been reported. Not hearing lovely sounds like that of this wonderful children’s group can have devastating effects on a person’s morale as with most deaf people, but added to which is the physical pain of fibromyalgia. It stands to reason that the tension and anxiety that goes hand and hand with fibromyalgia would result in jaw clenching, teeth grinding and tightened neck muscles, thereby affecting, among other muscles and nerves, the 7th cranial nerve which supplies all the muscles of the face .

Many have written to ask me if TMJ (Temporomandibular Disorder) is common with fibromyalgia. TMJ results in the joint (that slides and rotates just in front of the ear)  twisting during opening, closing or side motion movements. The challenges that occur  can be sensitive teeth (no doubt why so many of us have unexplained tooth pain) and earaches. The jaw muscles with myofascial discomfort refer the pain to the teeth and ears,  and can even cause headaches.

Continue reading