Health Beat

Health Beat: Fibromyalgia device

MIAMI - Pamula Floyd has been dealing with the pain of fibromyalgia for the past 15 years.

"The first time it happened, I woke up, I could not move," Floyd recalled.

Dr. Erik Hiester said the condition affects up to six percent of the population, mostly women, and causes a myriad of symptoms.

"Such as fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and cognitive problems, difficulties with mental clarity," said Hiester, the chief medical officer of Vital Motion.

Medications to treat symptoms have been the main option for patients, until now.

"Hummingbird is a new option for the treatment of fibromyalgia without the side-effects of medications," Hiester stated.

The bathroom scale-like device made by Vital Motion is controlled through an app on your smartphone.

"That produces a very gentle vibration that helps to stimulate and activate the muscles in the calf," Hiester explained.

Hiester said that stimulation is called the calf muscle pump.

"That activation results in the return of the venous fluids and lymphatics back to the heart and back to the rest of the body," Hiester continued.

He said that increased circulation helps patients without pills.

"We've found significant improvement in sleep, in fatigue and in cognitive dysfunction," Hiester stated.

Floyd said the first night after using the Hummingbird, she didn't wake up with leg cramps.

"By the third night, the hip pain was gone, the thigh pain was gone, my legs were not swelling like they usually do," Floyd said.

Allowing her to enjoy the little things, like taking a walk without pain.

Floyd added the device has also helped her with what she calls "fibro fog." The Hummingbird is not covered by insurance and costs around $300.

The doctor is now studying to see if it can help people with chronic fatigue syndrome.


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