Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that causes chronic fatigue, painful pressure points and generalized muscle pain. While the syndrome does not cause damage to joints or tissue it does cause significant pain. This can make living with fibromyalgia very difficult. Even though it is not truly a form of arthritis it is considered a rheumatic condition.
The causes of fibromyalgia are not fully understood. Most agree that the theory of central sensitization comes closest to explaining the illness. This theory states that people who have fibromyalgia have a lower threshold for pain due to an increased sensitivity in the brain to pain signals. This causes the sufferer to experience an amplification of pain and other senses.
Recent studies suggest that individuals may have a genetic predisposition for fibromyalgia. Though for some the onset of the disorder is slow, for most people the onset is sudden and triggered by an illness or trauma.
The symptoms of fibromyalgia often mimic other illnesses or disorders. Only a doctor can properly diagnose the condition. Some of the more common signs and symptoms are:
A typical course of treatment for fibromyalgia includes both medication and self-care. Be sure to check with your physician before beginning any new activities or treatments. The primary ways that fibromyalgia are treated are:
Fortunately, if you suffer from fibromyalgia there are many resources available to help you and your family. We hope that the following links will help you better understand and manage your pain.
FAQ’s from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Sink Diseases:
Current articles and chat rooms to connect with others living with fibromyalgia: