Fibromyalgia is a complex chronic pain disorder that happens in people of all ages affecting the muscles, ligaments, and tendons with varying degrees of symptoms from person to person. Women are much more likely to get it than men, and it’s often misdiagnosed as another condition like arthritis (despite Fibromyalgia doing no harm to joints, as it only affects soft tissue).
Fibromyalgia symptoms in women (or anyone really) can vary from mild to severe full-body pain, stiffness, tingling or numbness, tenderness in affected areas, and much more. This typically leads to highly-irregular sleeping patterns which compound the physical and mental fatigue known as “Fibro-Fog.” Our list of Fibromyalgia symptoms could go on for some time, including conditions like depression, anxiety, nausea, and so forth because of the many ways debilitating chronic pain can impact life.
The bottom line is that we simply don’t know what causes fibromyalgia, so, currently there isn’t a cure. In fact, because of its complexity, it’s a highly-debated condition in medical circles. Regardless, history has shed some light on likely risk factors according to Medical News Today which include:
There isn’t a universal fibromyalgia test and guidelines for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia are still evolving, but currently, if you experience widespread pain for longer than three months, including pain that seems to have no physical cause, you may have the condition. Blood tests can be useful only inasmuch as they can rule out other causes. Typically your doctor will diagnose the issue through medical history, an analysis of your symptoms, and a physical examination.
Because fibromyalgia is a syndrome, it’s subjective, and everyone experiences it differently. Pain medication and antidepressants are common, but treatment programs must be personalized and tailored for the individual. At Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab, your chiropractor may combine elements of noninvasive chiropractic care, physical therapy, and professional massage for fibromyalgia. Your program may also include a special exercise regimen, help with nutrition, sleep aids, stress reduction techniques, and more.
As previously mentioned, fibromyalgia is known for widespread pain or full-body pain. Typically it’s reported in the elbows, arms, shoulders, knees, hips, the spinal column, head, etc. Again, it varies substantially from person to person.
The first step to fibromyalgia pain relief is getting your condition properly diagnosed, which for doctors can be rather challenging. Fibromyalgia pain points, or tender points, are 18 points throughout the body doctors use to pinpoint where you’re experiencing the pain or the origin points. To be considered, the American College of Rheumatology suggests you experience pain in at least 11 of the 18.
Yes, but not directly. It’s very common for people dealing with the condition to experience depression, anxiety, fatigue, and a drop in quality of life. This often translates into weight gain from lack of exercise and increased stress and inflammation levels. While there’s not necessarily a fibromyalgia diet, it can be helpful to monitor BMI, maintain a healthy body weight, and eat well to help your body heal and repair itself.