Fibromyalgia (FMS) is the commonest cause of widespread pain in fibrous tissues, muscles, tendons, and other connective tissues, resulting in painful muscles without weakness. The cause of this disorder is unknown, although it is a chronic problem that can come and go for years. The nine paired red circles are recognized as common tender points associated with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia Syndrome is pronounced fie-bro-my-al-jia sind-rome. The word "fibromyalgia" is a combination of the Latin roots fibro (connective tissue fibers), my (muscle), al (pain), and gia (condition of). Fibromyalgia is not a new "fad disease". The most common sites of pain include the neck, back, shoulders, pelvic girdle, and hands, but any body part can be affected. Fibromyalgia patients experience a range of symptoms of varying intensities that wax and wane over time. Fibromyalgia can be a source of substantial disability. This is especially true if you have had it for a long period of time without adequate medical support. Nearly everyone with FMS exhibits reduced coordination skills and decreased endurance abilities, although some of this may be due to co-existing chronic myofascial pain. Fibromyalgia pain can mimic the pain that occurs with various types of arthritis. Significant swelling, destruction, and deformity of joints seen in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis does not occur with fibromyalgia syndrome alone. The soft-tissue pain of fibromyalgia is described as deep-aching, radiating, gnawing, shooting or burning, and ranges from mild to severe.
Fibromyalgia sufferers tend to wake up with body aches and stiffness. Physical or emotional trauma may play a role in development of the syndrome. Some evidence suggests that fibromyalgia patients have abnormal pain transmission responses. It has been suggested that sleep disturbances, which are common in fibromyalgia patients, may actually cause the condition. Another theory suggests that the disorder may be associated with changes in skeletal muscle metabolism, possibly caused by decreased blood flow, which could cause chronic fatigue and weakness. Others have suggested that an infectious microbe, such as a virus, triggers the illness. At this point, no such virus or microbe has been identified. Pilot studies have shown a possible inherited tendency toward the disease, though evidence is very preliminary. The disorder has an increased frequency among women 20 to 50 years old. The prevalence of the disease has been estimated between 0.7% and 13% for women, and between 0.2% and 3.9% for men.
Causes of Fibromyalgia Syndrome
Common causes of Fibromyalgia Syndrome
- Physical or emotional trauma.
- Chronic disorder.
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia Syndrome
Common Symptoms of Fibromyalgia Syndrome
- Sleep disorder.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
- Chronic headaches.
- Impaired memory.
- Skin sensitivities and rashes.
- Dry eyes and mouth.
- Ringing in the ears.
Treatment of Fibromyalgia Syndrome
Common Treatment of Fibromyalgia Syndrome
- Common sleep-aid medications include Ambien, Lunesta, clonazepam, and trazodone.
- Muscle relaxants, anti-epileptics (such as Neurontin and Lyrica) and other drug categories may be prescribed as well.
- Medications that boost your body's level of serotonin and norepinephrine (neurotransmitters that modulate sleep, pain, and immune system function).
- Avoiding caffeine may help with problems sleeping, and may help reduce the severity of the symptoms.
- Trigger point injections with lidocaine.
- Physical therapy.
- Occupational therapy.
- Analgesicis a medication or treatment that relieves pain.