Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain in muscles and soft tissues all over the body. It is an ongoing (chronic) condition. It can affect your neck, shoulders, back, chest, hips, buttocks, arms, and legs. The pain may be worse in the morning and evening. Sometimes, the pain may last all day long. The pain may get worse with activity, cold or damp weather, anxiety and stress.
What causes fibromyalgia?
The cause is unknown. Researchers think there may be a link with sleep problems and stress. It may also be linked to immune, endocrine, or biochemical problems.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Each person’s symptoms may vary. But chronic pain is the most common symptom. The pain most often affects the muscles and the points where muscles attach to bones. These are the ligaments and tendons.
People with fibromyalgia may also have:
- Medium to severe tiredness (fatigue)
- Less exercise endurance
- Sleep problems at night
- Depressed mood
- Irritable bowel symptoms, such as belly (abdominal) pain and bloating, diarrhea, and constipation
- Restless legs
- Painful menstrual periods
- Trouble thinking clearly (called “fibro fog”)
How Fibromyalgia is treated
Although there’s currently no cure for fibromyalgia, there are treatments to help relieve some of the symptoms and make the condition easier to live with.
Treatment tends to be a combination of:
- Medicine, such as antidepressants and painkillers
- Anti-inflammatory medicines, to ease pain and help you sleep
- Talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and Counselling
- lifestyle changes, such as exercise programmes and relaxation techniques
- Exercise and physical therapy, to stretch muscles and improve cardiovascular fitness
- Heat treatments
- Cold treatments once in a while
Key points about fibromyalgia
- Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain in muscles and soft tissues all over the body.
- Researchers think it may be linked to sleep problems, stress, or immune, endocrine, or biochemical problems.
- Symptoms may also include lack of energy (fatigue), sleep problems, depression, headaches, and other problems.
- There is no cure, but symptoms can be managed.
- Treatment can include medicine, exercise, relaxation, heat or cold, and massage.
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