Common symptoms of fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia initially known as fibrosis is a common disorder that causes intense pain in bones and muscles originating in the tissues of the body. It is associated to the tenderness in the body which are called trigger points. In these areas the lightest pressure can cause unbearable pain. The pain caused by these trigger points are termed as a constant dull ache. It is one such ailment that cause physical, mental and social discomfort.
Two to four percent of Americans suffer from this problem. Age doesn’t become a hindrance for this sickness to trap a person. As per the records of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), round about 5 million adults aged 18 years and above in the United States have fibromyalgia, wherein 80-90% of fibromyalgia patients are women. Females having close relatives suffering from fibromyalgia syndrome are more vulnerable to experiencing it themselves.
This disorder is centuries old but was confused with rheumatism. But as medical science progressed and learnt that the fibromyalgia syndrome symptoms were different as compared to the other arthritic diseases where, the former affects the body tissues and not the joints unlike the latter was recognized in the fall of 1990’s to be a distinct medical condition.
The symptoms and signs of fibromyalgia are subjective in nature hence in many cases this sickness is misdiagnosed. The struggle to endeavor the pain leads the person into depression.
Healthcare providers, through various relevant symptoms of fibromyalgia, or based on the overall well being of the individual can diagnose this sickness. Often lab tests are also conducted to confirm the diagnosis. But unfortunately, there is no accurate laboratory tests for the condition. Fibromyalgia may also come to a person hereditarily.
Having not seen a cure, a combination of medical and other courses can provide relief from this condition. These multi-disciplinary resorts to treat the condition could be medical course, cognitive behavioral therapies, acupuncture and gentle exercise.
Antidepressants and over the counter pain relievers are used to treat some symptoms of fibromyalgia however patients should specify to the doctor if they are doing any other medical course. This avoids the possibility of adverse effects of these drugs.
Generally, it has been seen that when exercise is done under a personal trainer or along with a partner it proves to be more effective. Aerobics and resistance training have helped people overcome the fibromyalgia syndrome symptoms.
Some patients have shown improvements in their condition after resorting to acupuncture therapy for treating the signs of fibromyalgia like muscle pain, tenderness, fatigue, unsatisfactory sleep, etc.
Patients having a medical history of rheumatic disease or arthritic problems are at a high risk of showing signs of fibromyalgia.
American College of Rheumatology has set the fibromyalgia symptom checklist for enabling effective and early diagnosis.
- Pain and symptoms of fibromyalgia over a week.
- Along with extreme tiredness, lack of sleep, or cognitive problems
- Fibromyalgia syndrome symptoms that have been persistent for a period of 3 months.
The signs and symptoms may vary from person to person; however, the fibromyalgia symptom checklist commonly includes the following items:
- Widespread muscle soreness: It is one of the most seen and evident symptom. Here there is severe pain running through the entire body of the person. If the pain is on both the sides of the body and above and below the waist then it can be said that it is a case of fibromyalgia. Factors that can affect the pain could be stress, anxiety, physical activity, weather conditions, fatigue, etc. In many cases patients have complained the pain to have stated from the most common areas like the shoulders and the neck.
- Muscle spasms: Causing a hindrance to daily routine and disrupting sleep this symptom is caused when muscles clench and unclench by themselves.
- Headaches or migraines: Being a common component of the fibromyalgia symptom checklist it routes the pain down to the shoulders, neck and back. Such headaches are caused by loud noise, blinding lights or strong smell.
- Rebound pain: As the pain vanishes naturally a person is overjoyed, with the excitement the entire day may be planned with much enthusiasm and adventurous activities consequently leading to severe pain and torment later that night.
- Nausea: Pain caused by the condition may turn out to be so immense that a person can be sick to the stomach making him/her lose appetite.
- Increased sensitivity to pain: Another very common fibromyalgia syndrome symptom that affects the brain in a way that the body responds more sensitively to pain.
- Forgetfulness: Patients going through this sickness happen to forget things that they do daily basis. This symptom is seen along with reduced fluency in the language.
- Fatigue: Efforts put in to deal with lack of sleep, struggling to do little things and bearing the pain gets a person extremely exhausted. These people don’t get peaceful sleep hence they wake up feeling weary.