Fibromyalgia : Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Fibromyalgia : Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

 

Fibromyalgia is a condition that impacts the pain receptors of the brain and spinal cord and causes widespread musculoskeletal pain. The pain is accompanied by tiredness, joint pain, fatigue, drowsiness, and mood swings.

Females are at a higher risk of developing this condition and it is usually triggered by some traumatic event such as an accident or surgery and psychological stress. However, it develops gradually and there’s no single symptom that can be associated with it solely as its defining characteristic. One of the unique things is specific locations on the body that, when pressed, hurt. There are multiple symptoms that develop along with pain such as joint disorders, headaches, mood disorders, and even depression.

A variety of medications can help control symptoms. Exercise, relaxation, and stress-reduction measures also may help.

Symptoms

Pain: In order for it to be classified as fibromyalgia, the pain needs to last for a minimum of three months and should affect both sides of the body.

Chronic Fatigue: Despite sleeping for long hours, fibromyalgia is shown to cause immense fatigue and people also experience other disorders such as restless leg syndrome, painful bladder syndrome, and postural tachycardia syndrome.

Attention Issues: People with fibromyalgia have difficulty focusing and staying attentive for too long. This is termed a fibro log and is associated with cognitive distress.

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Causes

According to research, fibromyalgia is a result of an abnormal rise in certain chemicals that is responsible for signaling pain. The pain receptors of the brain and the spinal cord of people suffering from fibromyalgia get altered over time and become abnormally sensitive to pain signals. 

A number of factors are responsible for causing fibromyalgia and are listed below: 

The very first is genetics. Fibromyalgia tends to run in the blood and thus certain people are more prone to developing it than others. It is more often seen in females than males.

A traumatic event such as a car accident can also trigger fibromyalgia. Other than physical strain, the long-term emotional strain has also been shown to contribute to this condition.

There are certain risk factors involved with this condition. It is more likely to impact women than men and if you have somebody in your family with fibromyalgia, you also have a chance to develop it over time.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will conduct a physical exam and check for symptoms relating to the condition. The defining characteristic of this condition is extensive pain in the entire body which has lasted for a minimum of 3 months.

Your doctor will also ask you to perform certain tests in order to rule out other similar disorders. The tests include complete blood count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, Anti cyclic citrullinated peptide test, thyroid function test, and Vitamin D test to name a few.

Treatment

The treatment for fibromyalgia is a combination of medicine and gentle exercises to tackle symptoms and reduce pain. Over-the-counter painkillers are very helpful in managing pain. Muscle relaxants are also prescribed to calm the restless muscles and promote sleep. These treatments are used along with physiotherapy to minimize side effects and maximize recovery. Your physical therapist will teach you movements to slowly restore the body’s strength and mobility while also preventing injury to the body. A multidisciplinary treatment approach proved beneficial in fibromyalgia.

Other than these, you can undergo certain lifestyle changes to adjust better to your condition. Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy sleep routine can be great for reducing symptoms and promoting healing.