What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes widespread pain, sleep problems, generalized fatigue, and often emotional and mental distress. People with fibromyalgia may be more sensitive to pain than people without fibromyalgia.
What are the signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia?
The most common symptoms of fibromyalgia are
- Pain and stiffness all over the body
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Depression and anxiety
- Sleep problems
- Pain in the face or jaw, including disorders of the jaw known as temporomandibular joint syndrome
- Digestive problems, such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and even irritable bowel syndrome
What are the risk factors for fibromyalgia?
- Age. Fibromyalgia can affect people of all ages, including children. However, most people are diagnosed during middle age and you are more likely to have fibromyalgia as you get older.
- Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis. If you have lupus or rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you are more likely to develop fibromyalgia.
- Sex. Women are twice as likely to have fibromyalgia as men.
- Stressful or traumatic events, such as car accidents, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Repetitive injuries. Injury from repetitive stress on a joint, such as frequent knee bending.
- Illness (such as viral infections)
- Family history
How do we reach the diagnoses of fibromyalgia?
Doctors usually diagnose fibromyalgia using the patient’s history, physical examination, X-rays, and blood work.
Fibromyalgia can be effectively treated and managed with medication and self-management strategies.
- Medications, including prescription drugs and over-the-counter pain relievers
- Aerobic exercise and muscle strengthening exercise
- Patient education classes, usually in primary care or community settings
- Stress management techniques such as meditation, yoga, and massage
- Good sleep habits to improve the quality of sleep
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to treat underlying depression. CBT is a type of talk therapy meant to change the way people act or think
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