Fibromyalgia is the 2nd most common cause of the musculoskeletal disorder. Often misdiagnosed and misunderstood, it is more common in women. Read more.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic (long-term) disorder or muscle pain that is not a life-threatening illness. It is the second most common condition affecting bones and muscles. Research suggests that fibromyalgia increases painful sensations by affecting how the brain and spinal cord process painful and non-painful signals.
It is a pain syndrome that usually affects 2-4% of people, especially women. Widespread muscle & joint pain is one of its major symptoms, and its cause is not known. The treatment of this medical condition is lifestyle changes, medications, and self-care strategies. Know more about fibromyalgia here.
A study finds that some people who got diagnosed with fibromyalgia faced widespread pain and tenderness in at least 11 of 18 trigger points around the body. The doctors check how many points feel painful when pressed firmly.
The trigger/tender points or areas of the tenderness of fibromyalgia are:
However, these trigger points are not a part of the diagnostic process anymore.
It may feel similar to osteoarthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis. Symptoms of fibromyalgia can make the body feel all achy, and the classic symptom is pain and stiffness at various points in some parts of the body. Here are some more symptoms:
Other symptoms include experiencing headaches, anxiety, bloating, depression, pain in the lower abdomen, frequent urination, cold, flu, bladder problems, weight gain, dizziness, skin problems, dry eyes, numbness or tingling in your face, arms, hands, legs, or feet, sensitivity to cold, heat, light, or sound, dry mouth, nose & eyes, constipation, diarrhea, Postural tachycardia syndrome, Temporomandibular joint disorder, and irritable bowel syndrome.
These symptoms can appear at any time during the individual’s life but are usually seen around the age of 45.
The exact causes are unknown, but it most likely includes multiple risk factors like:
The fatigue, pain, or poor sleep quality linked with can affect the ability to function at home or work. The frustration of dealing with an often-misunderstood condition can also cause anxiety and even depression.
As a part of the diagnostic process of fibromyalgia, the doctors analyze 18 or 19 specific points in five tender regions are axial and left & right upper and lower regions. Also, he/she may ask about the medical history of you and your family members. The probable tests are:
Blood test: It helps check hormonal levels, Erythrocyte sedimentation rate, Cyclic citrullinated peptide test, Rheumatoid factor, Thyroid function tests, Anti-nuclear antibody, Celiac serology, and Vitamin D levels.
An X-ray and other lab tests or imaging scans can help eliminate other possible causes of chronic pain and other symptoms.
The treatment of fibromyalgia includes medications and self-care strategies. These medications may be antidepressants, pain relievers, or anti-seizure drugs. Opioid medicines are not recommended as they may cause side effects. Various therapies can help in decreasing the effect of fibromyalgia has on the body and life.
Physical therapy can help improve exercises, strength, and stamina. Also, occupational therapy can help in making adjustments to the work area or how you perform certain tasks to reduce stress on the body. Counseling can help boost your self-faith and confidence and also tackle stressful situations.
Regular moderate exercise and following dietary measures can help maintain a healthy weight and promote a good lifestyle and thus improve the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Besides fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome is also a painful condition that affects a particular muscle or a group of muscles.
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