Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition which currently affects nearly 6 million Americans. The main symptom is pain all over the body and extreme fatigue, but symptoms can vary from person to person. If you find yourself in regular pain and exhausted after completing simple tasks such as walking up a flight of stairs, you might have Fibromyalgia. Here is some more information on the condition, how you can identify it and potential ways to help you manage the condition.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition and can often be hard to diagnose even by healthcare providers due to its symptoms mimicking those of many other conditions. It is often misdiagnosed as conditions like depression, anaemia, and chronic fatigue syndrome. There are not currently any tests to officially diagnose Fibromyalgia but there are medications, therapies and lifestyle changes you can adopt to help make the symptoms more manageable. The Pain Arthritis Relief Center located in Rockville Maryland is here to assist and help diagnose this.
Causes of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia has many causes but can also occur on its own with no apparent trigger. Doctors have discovered a few things about the condition, and they believe it involves the nervous system, affects 2% of Americans and is most prevalent in those who have other types of musculoskeletal pain. Unlike these other conditions, however, Fibromyalgia is not an inflammatory or autoimmune disease. Instead, experts think it is more neurological. Some scientists believe a certain gene or set of genes may be involved in the development of fibromyalgia, but it is also associated with:
- Certain diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, etc.)
- Repetitive injuries
- Stress or traumatic events like car accidents
- Serious illnesses
Main symptoms of Fibromyalgia
The most common symptom of Fibromyalgia is pain which is felt in various muscles and other soft tissues in your body. It can range from a mild ache to severe discomfort and can have a devastating impact on your everyday life. In the past, it was diagnosed if people had this widespread pain and tenderness in 11 of 18 specific trigger points in the body, but nowadays it can be diagnosed if you have pain in four out of the five areas of pain defined in the 2016 revised criteria. The pain seems to stem from an abnormal system response whereby your body overreacts to something that does not need to be painful and can be felt in multiple areas of the body. Other symptoms of Fibromyalgia include:
- Increased sensitivity to pain
- Extreme fatigue
- Stiffness in your muscles
- Sleeping difficulties
- Issues with memory or concentration
- Digestive issues such as IBS
How Fibromyalgia can be treated
Fibromyalgia can be a hard one to treat as there is not presently a cure. However, there are things that can be done to help relieve the symptoms and make the condition a bit easier to live with. The most common ways to help Fibromyalgia consists of a combination of:
- Therapies such as counselling and CBT
- Exercise programmes
- Relaxation methods
At Pain Arthritis Relief Center in Rockville, Maryland, we offer drug-free fibromyalgia treatment methods along with chiropractic therapy, physical therapy, acupuncture and more. Whatever your symptoms, we will come up with a fibromyalgia treatment plan that works for you.