What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition (lasting more than 3 months) that is characterized by widespread muscle pain on a number of areas of the body:1,2
Fibromyalgia is often accompanied by other symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbances and difficulties in remembering.2,3
Although the causes of fibromyalgia are not fully understood, many researchers believe “central sensitization” is involved.3 This means the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), may have a stronger response to a stimulus, such as touch.3 This results in feeling a higher intensity of pain in fibromyalgia patients when mild pressure or heat is applied, which most people would interpret as ‘touch’.2
Factors or conditions that may trigger the development of fibromyalgia include:2
Family history of chronic pain
Some infections , E.G. VIRAL HEPATITIS
Physical/ emotional trauma
If you are experiencing widespread muscular pain, it's important to talk to your doctor to describe your symptoms.
How common is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose and is often missed.3 The first step towards getting the right help and treatment is a correct diagnosis.
Make sure you describe your symptoms to your doctor to help them diagnose your pain.
Fibromyalgia affects an estimated 2.7% of the population, or 200 million people worldwide.4
Women are 3x more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men.4
What does fibromyalgia feel like?
Fibromyalgia is a condition that is characterized by chronic widespread pain.3 It is often accompanied by other symptoms such as fatigue, memory problems, and sleep and mood disturbances.2
The widespread pain in fibromyalgia has been described as aching, throbbing, shooting, stabbing, or burning.5
Co-occurring medical conditions
among people with fibromyalgia6
People with fibromyalgia frequently experience a myriad of other conditions, such as arthritis, migraines, depression and anxiety, and insomnia.6
Nearly 9 in 10 have chronic joint pain or arthritis
Almost two-thirds suffer from migraines or chronic headaches
Over 50% have high cholesterol
Around half are obese (BMI ›30)
More than 2 in 5 have high blood pressure
Nearly one-third have irritable bowel syndrome
MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS
Around 3 in 4 suffer from depression
Over half experience anxiety
ABOUT 1 in 2 suffer from insomnia
ALMOST one fifth have restless leg syndrome
It is important to describe the pain you are experiencing to your doctor as it may assist in helping make the right diagnosis and identifying the most appropriate treatment options.
Don’t ignore your pain
Fibromyalgia can largely affect your quality of life.5 In addition to pain, a delay in treatment or misdiagnosis of your fibromyalgia may further add to the burden of management of other existing co-morbidities like:6
High blood pressure
Type 2 diabetes
Irritable bowel Syndrome
There are specific treatments available for fibromyalgia.If you think you have fibromyalgia, make an appointment to see your doctor.
If you have pain that won’t go away, it’s important to get help..learn more