Fibromyalgia can be defined as a chronic pain condition occurring in a defined pattern reproduced by pressure on specific tender points. It is often associated with widespread pain, stiffness, fatigue, un-refreshing sleep, cognitive difficulties, anxiety and/or depression & functional Activities of Daily Living (ADL) impairment.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is known as a syndrome because it is a collection of symptoms rather than a specific disease process that is well understood. Besides pain and fatigue fibromyalgia symptoms often include:
- Non refreshing sleep
- Waking up tired and stiff
- Headaches ranging from ordinary types to migraine
- Irritable bowel
- Frequent diarrhoea or constipation, sometimes accompanied by gas in the abdomen or nausea
- Cognitive disturbances including lack of concentration and word mix up
- Clumsiness and dizziness
- Sensitivity to changes in the weather and to noise, bright lights, smoke and other environmental factors
Do I have Fibromyalgia?
Once other medical conditions have been ruled out through tests and the patient’s history, diagnosis depends on two main symptoms:
Widespread pain for more than three months together with
Pain in at least 11 out of 18 tender point sites when they are pressed.
You may suffer from chronic diffuse pain, associated fatigue, poor sleep & multiple somatic complaints. you might of heard yourself say “I feel like I hurt all over all of the time”.
Some people have:
A 3 month duration & history of:
- Diffuse pain in neck, lower back, upper trap.
- Fatigue, poor sleep (key finding)
- Cognitive problems (“fibrofog”) – confusion, poor concentration & communication
- Personality & mood changes; allergic symptoms (e.g. nasal congestion)
- Symptoms may decrease then flare-up
- Morning stiffness is common
What treatment may help me?