Fibromyalgia syndrome is a chronic condition characterized by intense pain in the muscles, tendons, ligaments, connective tissues and joints along with a range of other associated symptoms. This is disorder of the musculoskeletal system.
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome in which the central nervous system of the body changes its response to pain. As a result of this the body interprets even small things as being painful. In other words the person’s ability to withstand even the smallest of pain is considerably decreased. This is not something that a person has conscious control over.
What causes fibromyalgia is not yet known
The cause of fibromyalgia is yet to be determined. There is no cure for this condition. However certain trigger factors have been identified. These include prior physical trauma as in a major accident, emotional trauma, viral infections and hereditary factors.
Fibromyalgia commonly affects women
Fibromyalgia is more common in women than in men. It is common in the age group of 35 to 45 years. This does not mean it cannot affect children and young adults. It can affect people from all aces, nationalities and ethnic backgrounds.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by intense muscle pain
People suffering from fibromyalgia syndrome complain of intense pain in the joints, muscles and the surrounding structures. This pain can often be described as an aching in the bones. Some people complain of a pulling sensation in the ligaments. People affected by this condition often report a worn down feeling as if the joints are overworked. In some cases burning pain may be present in the joints. The pain is usually worse in the morning just after waking up or when the person just gets out of the bed. This pain may affect all parts of the body or may be present in a particular body part.
The pain is often associated with the stiffness of joints. Other symptoms of fibromyalgia include fatigue and sleep disturbances due to the muscular pain. Some people with this syndrome may also have other associated symptoms such as irritable bowel syndrome, cystitis, swelling and numbness or tingling in the arms and legs.
Duration of symptoms of fibromyalgia may vary
The symptoms of fibromyalgia can last for several months to several years and may vary in intensity and severity in different individuals.
Treatment for fibromyalgia is mainly targeted at symptomatic relief
Treatment is mainly symptomatic. The goal of the treatment is to reduce the intensity of the pain and improve the quality of the person’s life. Treatment is mainly focused on educating the affected person about his condition. Low impact exercises like water based aerobic exercises, yoga and tai chi are recommended. Before starting any new exercise regimen the person suffering from fibromyalgia must consult his physician. Any strenuous exercise may only worsen the existing symptoms. Medication can be used to treat the associated symptoms like headaches, migraines and sleep disturbances. Stress management techniques like deep breathing exercises can also be helpful to relieve the associated stress and anxiety.