What is Fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia is acommon syndromein which a personhas long term,body-wide pain andtenderness, injoints, muscles,tendons, and othersoft tissues.
CausesThe cause is unknown.Possible causes or triggersof fibromyalgia include:• Physical or emotionaltrauma• Abnormal pain response• Sleep disturbances• Infection, such as avirus, although none havebeen identified.Fibromyalgia is mostcommon in women betweenages 20 and 50.
SymptomsPain is the main symptom offibromyalgia. It may be mild tosevere.• Painful areas are called tenderpoints. They can be on the back ofthe neck, shoulders, chest, lowerback, hips, shins, elbows, andknees.• The pain may feel like a deepache or, a shooting, burning pain.• The joints are not affectedalthough it may feel like the pain iscoming from the joints.People tend to wake up with bodyaches and stiffness.Fatigued, depressed mood andsleep problems are seen in almostall patients. Other symptomsinclude IBS, memory andconcentrationproblems, Numbness and tingling
Signs and TestsTo be diagnosed withfibromyalgia, you have to have hadat least 3 months of widespreadpain, and pain and tenderness in atleast 11 of 18 areas:• Arms (elbows)• Buttocks• Chest• Knees• Lower back• Neck• Rib cage• ThighsA urine test will come backnegative but will test for otherillnesses that may cause these
TreatmentThere are many thingsyou can do to help withthe pain of fibromyalgia.The first type oftreatment may bephysicaltherapy, exercise orstress relief methods. Ifthese methods don’twork your doctor mayprescribe you an anti-depressant or musclerelaxer. The goal oftreatment is to helprelieve pain and other
Fibromyalgia is a long-termdisorder. Sometimes the symptomsimprove. Other times, the pain mayget worse and continue for monthsor years. The best advice is to getin contact with your doctor as soonas possible so you can get yourpain care started.