Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition in which people experience widespread chronic pain and tenderness in the body, often accompanied by ongoing fatigue and cognitive and memory problems.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia include
numbness or tingling of hands or feet
sensitivity to temperature, loud noises, and/or bright lights
Causes of Fibromyalgia
The cause of fibromyalgia isn't known however, emerging evidence suggests that the condition may be associated with abnormalities in the both the central (brain and spinal cord) and peripheral (nerves) nervous system.
It hypothesised that these abnormalities impair the nervous system's ability to inhibit pain messages.
Fibromyalgia is usually a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning that it is usually diagnosed when all other possible causes of symptoms have been disproven and that pains are not the result of a recent injury but rather ongoing.
There is no blood test, x-ray or scan to diagnose fibromyalgia.
Part of the diagnosis journey will be pressure being put on eighteen tender points, including the upper chest, neck, elbows, knees, shoulders, back and side of the hips.
If eleven of these points are found to illicit significant pain, then fibromyalgia is usually diagnosed.
Treatment and Management of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a life-long condition. Medication alone is rarely successful in treating fibromyalgia but it can reduce pain and improve sleep. Management options vary from person to person but are usually a mixture of medical approaches and self-care.
There are treatments to help manage most symptoms of fibromyalgia and most people have found that a combination of pharmacotherapy, physical therapy, nutrition, exercise, and psychological approaches like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy help. Reducing stress, meditation and yoga can also help.