After osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia is the most common musculoskeletal syndrome. At the same time, it is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed because a biological explanation alluded physicians who could not make sense of symptoms that seemed to appear from nowhere. Furthermore, some of those same physicians believed it was all in their patient’s head. However, further study led to confirmation that Fibromyalgia is a legitimate syndrome and may have potential treatment options.
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome with intensified sensation of pain due to abnormal behaviour of the brain and nervous system and how pain is processed. Fibromyalgia symptoms tend to manifest themselves after surgery, infection, or a traumatic event—either psychological or physical. Oftentimes, there seems to be no significant incident, but rather a steady accumulation of symptoms over time. Fibromyalgia affects 2 to 6 percent of people, while women are 10 times more likely to have the syndrome.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
People with Fibromyalgia frequently describe certain points of their bodies that are tender when touched. Rather than the muscle or joints, it is the tissue surrounding the muscles and joints that is sore. Normally, the tender points are superficial, that is to say, rather than being located within deep tissue, the tender areas are near the surface.
Widespread Muscle Pain
People with Fibromyalgia often complain of unexplained muscle pain, aches and stiffness. This is considered as the most debilitating symptom of the pain disorder as it can cause difficulty in the simplest act or movement like walking. Muscle pain can also cause a domino effect of other symptoms like sleeplessness, fatigue and brain fog.
People who suffer from Fibromyalgia will often report long periods of sleep, but will wake up and still feel tired and drowsy. Further, pain associated with Fibromyalgia disrupts sleep meaning many wakeful nights. Even more, people with Fibromyalgia suffer from other sleep orders include sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Chronic abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea are symptoms found in many Fibromyalgia patients, about 40 to 70 percent.
Patients with Fibromyalgia occasionally report an inability to pay attention and a lack of focus, which may deter their ability to concentrate on mental tasks. This symptom is frequently referred to as “fibro fog.” As a result of these symptoms, increase anxiety could result which may lead to decreased job performance. Tasks that were once completed with ease become progressively problematic.
Other Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Other Fibromyalgia symptoms include lower abdomen cramping, chronic headaches, and even depression. Fibromyalgia is also linked to other medical conditions or pain disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, myofascial pain syndrome, temporomandibular disorder, chronic sinusitis etc.