What is it?
Fibromyalgia is chronic pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points.
Women are much more likely to develop the disorder than are men, and the risk of fibromyalgia increases with age. Fibromyalgia symptoms often begin after a physical or emotional trauma, but in many cases there appears to be no triggering event.
How do I recognise it?
The pain associated with fibromyalgia is described as a constant dull ache, typically arising from muscles. To be considered widespread, the pain must occur on both sides of your body and above and below your waist.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by additional pain when firm pressure is applied to specific areas of your body, called tender points. Tender point locations include:
- Back of the head
- Between shoulder blades
- Top of shoulders
- Front sides of neck
- Upper chest
- Outer elbows
- Upper hips
- Sides of hips
- Inner knees
Doctors don't know what causes fibromyalgia, but it most likely involves a variety of factors working together. These may include:
- Physical or emotional trauma.
Current thinking is around a theory called central sensitization. This theory states that people with fibromyalgia have a lower threshold for pain because of increased sensitivity in the brain to pain signals.
How do you treat it?
Like any disease, even if there is no cure, there is almost always something you can do to manage it and take control. There are three main areas involved in the treatment of any disease:
How do you live with it?
Certain adjustments may be needed to get on with your life, and often, some simple tips and advice can go a long way to making these changes.
When you come to a Lynch's Pharmacy Clinic, we give you all the necessary information available to make your life more manageable and allow you to better live with your condition.
Fibromyalgia, information for patients- http://www.cks.nhs.uk/patient_information_leaflet/fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, a comprehensive overview- http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fibromyalgia/DS00079