Do you suffer from
- Widespread pain in most of your body for months together without a pain free period
- Morning stiffness/don’t feel like leaving the bed
- Abnormal tingling and numbness in arms and legs
- Generalised fatigue
- Lack of freshness after overnight sleep
- Depressed mood/irritability
- Have you visited multiple doctors, been subjected to various investigations without any definitive diagnosis?
IF YOUR ANSWER TO MOST OF THE QUESTIONS ABOVE IS YES, THEN YOU MAY BE SUFFERING FROM FIBROMYALGIA
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is an increasingly recognized chronic pain illness which is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal aches, pain and stiffness, soft tissue tenderness, general fatigue and sleep disturbances. The most common sites of pain include the neck, back, shoulders, pelvic girdle and hands, but any body part can be involved.
Causes of Fibromyalgia
The exact cause of this condition is not known. However, the pain pathways, hormonal changes and immune system disturbances have all been studied and found in patients with fibromyalgia. This suggests a deeper and multifactorial causation of the condition.
Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia
The condition may often be a challenge to diagnose. This is because there are no clear cut sensitive tests that diagnose the condition with conviction. Much of the diagnosis is based on detailed examination of the patient and presence of symptoms.
Top Ten Fibromyalgia Symptoms
- Pain all over the body > 3months durationneck-1-267×300
- Day time tiredness/Fatigue
- Sleep difficulties
- Brain fog/depression
- Morning stiffness
- Muscle knots, cramping, weakness
- Short term memory loss
- Presence of multiple tender points
- Affects 7-8 percent of the general population
- Occurs in people of all ages, even children
- More common in women, although men develop fibromyalgia too
- Symptoms are chronic but may fluctuate throughout the day
- Roughly 25% of people with fibromyalgia are work-disabled
- Three drugs are FDA-approved for fibromyalgia treatment
- Fibromyalgia is Manageable with medications and exercises
The mainstay of treatment is physical therapy. Optimal physical therapy can only be carried out once adequate pain relief is achieved. Adequate pain relief can be achieved by a combination of nerve medicines to quieten the nerves and safe pain killers, which are continued for longer periods of time.