Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition wherein the person suffering from it feels constant muscle pain. Also known as fibrositis, fibromyalgia is often compared with rheumatoid which is the arthritis-type disorder. However, in fibromyalgia, there is no damage caused to the joints, muscles, or any other tendons or tissues but only severe muscle pain. People suffering from fibromyalgia often complain about a constant, sharp sense of pain.
People suffering this chronic muscle ache fear that this health issue might worsen with time. But it is necessary to understand that fibromyalgia is not a progressive disease and does not become worse and affect any other part of your body over the period of time.
There is no particular cure for fibromyalgia available yet, but there are surely some treatments that can help reduce the chronic pain and improve your quality of life.
It is important to know the fibromyalgia symptoms in order to know when to consult a doctor and get the associated treatments. However, before we get into the different types of fibromyalgia symptoms, let us look at what are the causes of fibromyalgia and other related risks.
Prevalence of fibromyalgia
One of the most common chronic pain issues, fibromyalgia affects a large number of adults in the US. As per the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, there are about 5 million adults in the country who are affected by fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia can occur both in men and women but is more prevalent in women. As per the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association, anywhere between 75 to 90% of women are affected by fibromyalgia. The fibromyalgia symptoms can show up at any age but is mostly seen when a person is middle aged. However, in some cases, fibromyalgia can affect children too.
Causes of fibromyalgia
The cause of fibromyalgia is not exactly known to the researchers. However, it has often been concluded that a person suffers from fibromyalgia when the central nervous system of the body is unable to process the sense of pain.
When a person suffers from any type of physical trauma, injury, illness, infection, etc., the symptoms of fibromyalgia begin to occur. There have been reports stating that fibromyalgia symptoms may also be triggered due to some spontaneous events. The development of this disorder can also be independent of any physical trauma at times. Therefore, it is necessary to trace the cause as well as the symptoms of fibromyalgia to determine the effective treatments.
Family health history also plays a part in showing fibromyalgia symptoms in a person; genetics, too, play a crucial role. Families that have the history of fibromyalgia puts one at the greater risk of getting this disorder.
Some of the other health issues that can occur with fibromyalgia:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Anxiety or depression
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Temporomandibular joint syndrome, which causes jaw pain
- Problem in the vision
- Neurological problems
It has been observed that fibromyalgia symptoms may strengthen as per the time of the day. Most often, the pain tends to be severe in the evenings. Therefore, fibromyalgia symptoms also tend to get worse with other issues such as tension, fatigue, weather changes, overexertion, hormonal changes such as menopause, and depression, to name a few.
In case, these issues are not diagnosed on time and are left untreated, the fibromyalgia symptoms may get worse and recur.
Some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia:
- Muscle spasms, chronic muscle pain, tightness in the muscle
- Loss of energy and fatigue
- Facial tenderness
- The person might feel swelling in the hands and feet; however, this is not actual swelling
- Frequent urination and irritable bladder
- Constant muscle pain without exercise
- Abdominal pain
- Constipation that can also include diarrhea due to irritable bowel syndrome
- Numbness in the hand, legs, face, etc.
- A person can also generate sensitivity towards certain food items, odors, medications, or cold weather conditions.
What are the best ways of treating fibromyalgia?
Once you know about fibromyalgia symptoms, you can understand how severe the pain is and then treat it accordingly. It is highly advisable that one should visit the doctor immediately if the pain continues even after taking the prescribed medications.
One can take pain relievers as this is can be an effective measure. Your doctor will give you prescribed medications for the muscle pain. Also, antidepressants can help in relieving severe pain and fatigue. Be sure to consult a doctor before you take any form of medications or treatments on your own.
Yoga can be helpful in improving the mood and release stress and depression. One can practice yoga or meditate for at least for 30 minutes.
Acupuncture has always been an effective treatment for relieving pain. The process of acupuncture includes pricking needles in the skin, which helps in self-healing, encourages blood flow, and treats chronic pain.