Fibromyalgia – An Invisible Enemy

Posted Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Did You Know? Over 12 million Americans are affected by Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is Most Common in Women Ages 30 and Older 

What You Can’t See CAN Hurt You

For years, thousands suffered in silence as medical professionals dismissed their symptoms as merely aches and pains, hypochondria or even a mental illness known as muscular rheumatism.  

Fibromyalgia has appropriately been recognized as a true medical condition by the medical community and although no known cure is available, the symptoms are treatable. This summary has been developed to help patients understand symptoms and treatment of Fibromyalgia and how to live well with the condition. 

01 | The Causes and Symptoms

Unfortunately, the exact cause of Fibromyalgia has not been determined – some believe the cause is related to a malfunction in the central nervous system. Studies have also determined the presence of the Epstein Barr virus as well as other infections in people affected by Fibromyalgia. 

One of the primary determining factors for Fibromyalgia is the presence of one or more of eighteen trigger points located from the back of your head to your inner knees. Fibromyalgia also causes a number of symptoms including:

  • Chronic muscle pain, stiffness and spasms
  • Moderate to severe fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Memory or concentration problems
  • Sensitivity to light, noise and climate
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Numbness and tingling in the face, arms, etc.
  • Increased urinary urgency or frequency

02 | Diagnosis

Fibromyalgia often goes misdiagnosed, but as more focus has shifted on the condition, a correct diagnosis has improved. Some determining factors used are the presence of the trigger points, as well as symptoms. 

03 | Treatment

Since the cause is unknown, treatment for Fibromyalgia focuses on relieving symptoms and improving the patient’s general health. Disease management may include:

  • Dietary changes
  • Physical therapy and exercise
  • Prescription medication
  • Massage and/or acupuncture

04 | Lifestyle Recommendations

Many patients have found that the best way to manage Fibromyalgia is to pace themselves and not push beyond what their body allows. Though it may be difficult to accept that the limitations of Fibromyalgia, working within these confines will reduce physical and mental stress and muscle tension, which in turn will lesson symptoms and improve well-being. 

For additional information, please visit the National Fibromyalgia Association:   

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