Fibromyalgia is a common syndrome in which a person has long-term, body-wide pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues.
Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, depression, and anxiety.
How do you get Fibromyalgia?
Possible causes or triggers of fibromyalgia include:
- Physical or emotional trauma
- Abnormal pain response – areas in the brain that are responsible for pain may react differently in fibromyalgia patients
- Sleep disturbances
- Infection, such as a virus, although none has been identified
Symptoms & Tender Points
Fibromyalgia is most common among women aged 20 to 50, and although it is often considered an arthritis-related condition, it is not truly a form of arthritis because it does not cause inflammation or damage to the joints, muscles, or other tissues. Like arthritis, however, fibromyalgia can cause significant pain and fatigue, and it can interfere with a person’s ability to carry on daily activities. Also like arthritis, fibromyalgia is considered a rheumatic condition, a medical condition that impairs the joints and/or soft tissues and causes chronic pain.
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome rather than a disease. A syndrome is a collection of signs, symptoms, and medical problems that tend to occur together but are not related to a specific, identifiable cause. A disease, on the other hand, has a specific cause or causes and recognizable signs and symptoms.
Treatment & Remedies
Some scientists speculate that a person’s genes may regulate the way his or her body processes painful stimuli. According to this theory, people with fibromyalgia may have a gene or genes that cause them to react strongly to stimuli that most people would not perceive as painful. There have already been several genes identified that occur more commonly in fibromyalgia patients, and researchers are currently looking at other possibilities.