What is fibromyalgia? Find out.
Fibromyalgia is a disease characterized by a lot of pain in the muscles and bones besides certain parts which feel tenderness and general fatigue. What makes handling this disease tougher is that this is difficulty to measure through tests.
The areas of tenderness are known as trigger points and even slight pressure on these can cause pain. The most common trigger points are the back of the head, upper chest, tops of shoulders, knees, hips and outer elbows. This pain is usually in the form of a dull ache that impacts various areas in your body. If this kind of pain continues for over three months, this could be considered a sign of fibromyalgia by doctors.
Some of the other symptoms could included tingling and numbness of the hands and feet, jaw pain and stiffness, headaches, irregular sleep, sensitivity to cold and heat, trouble with memory and concentration, weight gain, chest symptoms and so on.
Why is there pain?
Researchers found that the repeated nerve stimulation makes changes in the brains of those with fibromyalgia. This results in an abnormal increase in the levels of certain chemicals in the brain which generate pain signals (neurotransmitters). Besides this, the brain's pain receptors tend to overreact to pain signals.
Causes of fibromyalgia
It’s difficult to ascertain what exactly fibromyalgia is but there are some risk factors that may increase the chances of fibromyalgia. Certain illnesses can trigger fibromyalgia. Stress is another factor that can be a trigger especially if one has been going through stress for many years. Traumatic injury, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders can also cause fibromyalgia.
Treatment is generally very individualistic as each person has a different set of symptoms. The treatment may have an active exercise program, acupuncture, behavior modification therapy, massage, low-dose anti-depressants, psychotherapy, medication and so on. OTC pain relievers are also prescribed.