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Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Fibromyalgia (FMS) is a chronic disease that affects about 2% to 4% of the total population. The cause of fibromyalgia is not known, but it is believed that it may start after an illness or some event that was traumatic. To be able to diagnose fibromyalgia, conditions such as any kind of disturbance in the thyroid, Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other such conditions need to be eliminated. Once this is taken care of, diagnosing FMS with the help of fibromyalgia trigger points which are present all over the body, becomes possible.  

These fibromyalgia trigger points are essentially 18 tender points which can be used in diagnosing the disease.  If the patient has a minimum of 11 out of the 18 fibromyalgia trigger points, diagnosing FMS becomes easy.  These tender points are generally found in clusters around the shoulder blades, lower back, shoulders, neck, knees, and elbows. Although the medical fraternity is still in the dark about what causes FMS and has yet to develop a “cure” for it, Fibromyalgia symptoms can be lessened to a great extent with fibromyalgia treatment, thus, helping you to lead a life that is closer to normal.

Fibromyalgia literally means pain in the muscles and the soft tissues.
Your muscles and their point of attachment to bones are mainly affected by this disease. You may feel like you have some arthritic disease of the joint. However, keep in mind that Fibromyalgia is not really a form of arthritis and does not lead to any deformities of your joints. It causes muscle pain which is due to muscular rheumatism.

Doctors are better able to understand Fibromyalgia symptoms today as compared to a few years ago. They are better able to understand the interrelatedness of the various factors that are involved and use it to their advantage in treating patients. For example by disturbing the sleep patterns of healthy people they have been able to reproduce symptoms that are similar to fibromyalgia.

Here is a list of Fibromyalgia symptoms:
  • Pain that is widespread and has been going on  for more than three months
  • Soreness and tenderness of the knee, shoulder, upper buttock, and thigh area
  • Problems sleeping
  • A tired feeling in the morning and sometimes late in the day
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Numbness and tingling in your hands, arms, feet, legs, and face
  • Bloating
  • Problems in concentrating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain in the pelvic region
  • Restless leg syndrome.

Patients who are suffering from FMS may be slightly depressed and some may also suffer from clinical depression. Others might find it difficult to concentrate and undergo chronic anxiety. In some cases, patients feel some kind of numbness and tingling in their hands and feet. Some patients find that they are more sensitive to light and temperature.

Treatment For Fibromyalgia

The main area of focus in the treatment of fibromyalgia is pain management. Medication can be used to relieve pain and your doctor might sometimes prescribe anti-depressants to help you sleep well and deal with the pain. Sometimes, injections that are locally administered into the tender areas might be helpful. As in the case of most diseases, it is important that you modify your lifestyle and start following a healthy lifestyle pattern. You can do this by exercising regularly, developing good sleep habits, and seeking emotional support. Make sure that you visit your doctor on a regular basis. If you do decide to go in for some medication, make sure you know what the side effects are and always take them under your doctor’s supervision.
Submitted on January 16, 2014