Facts

  • More common in women than men

Overview/Description

Fibromyalgia is a condition in which widespread pain and stiffness occurs in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Researches believe Fibromyalgia affects the way the brain processes pain signals leading to amplified pain sensations. Fibromyalgia symptoms may present themselves gradually over time or be triggered by trauma, infection, or stress.

Symptoms

Common symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia include:

  • Widespread, dull musculoskeletal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Cognitive difficulties i.e. impaired focus
  • Muscle stiffness or tightening
  • Reduced physical endurance

Factors that may trigger or worsen the symptoms of Fibromyalgia:

  • Changes in weather
  • Stress
  • Overexertion

Diagnosis

There is no specific test to test for Fibromyalgia. A physical examination and medical history will be completed by a physician. A diagnosis of Fibromyalgia is made if widespread pain has been occurring for more than three months. If needed a blood tests such as a Complete blood count (CBC) may be order to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms.

Causes

There is not a specific cause for fibromyalgia however there are a variety of conditions that are commonly associated with Fibromyalgia. Some of these conditions include:

  • Anxiety or depression
  • Tension headaches
  • Nocturnal myoclonus
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Treatment

There is no cure for fibromyalgia, therefore, the goal of treatment is to relieve or control the symptoms associated with the condition.

  • Acupuncture
  • Physical therapy
  • Medications i.e. pain relievers, weak opioids, antidepressants
  • Regular, low-impact exercise