Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia

What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic syndrome of fatigue, pain and tenderness that affects muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Why is it so hard to diagnose?
Two of the main symptoms of fibromyalgia, chronic pain and fatigue, can also be caused by many other conditions. People with fibromyalgia often undergo numerous tests, repeated evaluations and much frustration before they are diagnosed. Fortunately, in recent years, studies have helped establish diagnostic guides, such as the distinctive tender points, which help separate fibromyalgia from other conditions that also cause chronic muscle and bone pain.

What causes Fibromyalgia?
No cause for fibromyalgia has been determined, although many theories are being researched. With proper therapy, most people with fibromyalgia can improve. Although currently there is no cure for fibromyalgia, people with the condition can control their symptoms and maintain a productive life-style with exercise, medication, stress management and physical therapy. Education about fibromyalgia is essential since individuals with the condition must learn to manage their health.

What are the symptoms?
The most common symptoms are pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances and mood changes. Some people also experience numbness and tingling in legs, feet, arms, hands, or face. People with fibromyalgia are also more likely to have:

  • Tension and migraine headaches
  • A history of allergies, especially a runny nose or nasal congestion
  • Irritable bowel symptoms
  • TMJ problems
  • Sleep apnea
  • Swelling and coldness, especially in the hands and feet