Fibromyalgia: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia refers to the condition that causes pain in soft tissues and muscles all over the body. It is a chronic (ongoing) condition that can affect your chest, neck, buttocks, shoulders, back, hips, legs and arms. The pain may worsen in the evening and morning. Occasionally, the pain could last all day long. The pain may also worsen with cold or damp weather, activity, stress and anxiety. Although this condition is most common in middle-aged women, it is usually diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 50.
What causes fibromyalgia?
Although the cause behind this is unknown. Researchers believe there may be a link with stress and sleep problems. It could also be linked to biochemical, endocrine, or immune problems.
What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
Every individual’s symptoms could vary. But chronic pain is the most commonly reported symptom. The pain usually affects the muscles and the points where muscles connect to the bones. These are the tendons and ligaments.
Pain may start in a single part of your body, like your shoulders and neck. But any part of the body could get affected. The pain ranges between mild to severe, with "flare ups" along with times of improvement. The discomfort from fibromyalgia might feel like stiffness, burning, aching, soreness, or gnawing pain, generally with sore spots in specific parts of your muscles. The pain could feel like arthritis. But it doesn't damage your bones or muscles.
Some other commonly reported symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
● Medium to severe fatigue
● Less exercise endurance
● Sleep problems during night
● Painful menstrual periods
● Irritable bowel symptoms, like abdominal (belly) pain and bloating, constipation and diarrhoea
● Trouble thinking clearly
● Restless legs
These symptoms could feel like other health conditions. So make sure to see your orthopaedist or doctor for a diagnosis.
How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?
There are no tests available currently that can confirm a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. However, diagnosis is based on a physical exam, your symptoms and by possibly ruling out other conditions.
How is fibromyalgia treated?
Treatment usually depends on your general health, age and symptoms. It can also depend on how severe your condition is.
There is no cure known for fibromyalgia, but symptoms can be kept under control. Mild cases could get better with lifestyle changes or stress reduction. Cases that are more severe may require an experienced orthopaedist to look over it. This might include your primary orthopaedist, a specialist called a rheumatologist, a pain management clinic, and a physical therapist. Treatment may involve:
● Anti-inflammatory medicines that can help you sleep and ease pain
● Pain medicines
● Medicines like duloxetine, milnacipran and pregabalin approved for treating fibromyalgia
● Antidepressants (Medicines to ease depression)
● Low impact exercises and physical therapy to improve cardiovascular fitness and stretch muscles
● Cognitive behavioural therapy or Relaxation methods
● Cold or Heat treatments
● Alternative treatments like chiropractic and acupuncture or massage therapy
Talk with your orthopaedist about the benefits, risks, and possible side effects of all medicines.
Living with fibromyalgia
Although Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, it could be managed by working with your orthopaedists. Additionally medicines and lifestyle changes can also help reduce symptoms. These include getting enough exercise and sleep.
When should I call my orthopaedist or Doctor?
If your symptoms worsen, or you start developing new symptoms, it is advised that you inform your orthopaedist about it.
Key points about fibromyalgia
● Fibromyalgia refers to a chronic condition that causes pain in soft tissues and muscles all over the body.
● Researchers consider that it may be related to stress, sleep problems, or endocrine, immune, or biochemical problems.
● Symptoms may also include depression, fatigue, headaches, sleep problems,and other issues.
● Although there is no known cure currently, symptoms can be managed.
● Treatments can include relaxation, medicine, exercise, massage, and heat or cold compress.
If you’re looking for an orthopedist in Bangalore for consultation or diagnosis with respect to your pain issues in a single or multiple body parts like: your hand, hamstring, ankle, elbow, knee, neck , shoulder, hip, or back, you can get in touch with 1Health Medical Center. Our experienced Orthopedist will make all the observations required, recommend the correct tests, and later make use of the test results to arrive at a treatment plan which will help you mitigate the problem.