FIBROMYALGIA: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Fibromyalgia is perhaps one of the most common types of chronic pain disorders that affect a myriad of people. This condition is characterized by musculoskeletal pain, together with mood, memory, sleep and fatigue issues. According to dozens of studies and research conducted to manage this condition, fibromyalgia is believed to increase the pain sensations felt by tweaking the way your brain process and interpret pain signals.
While people who suffer from this condition go through a host of pain symptoms. Most of the symptoms of fibromyalgia begin with physical trauma, surgery, infections and of course, other forms of psychological stress. In rare occasions, symptoms may accumulate with no definite triggering event.
When it comes to fibromyalgia, studies have shown that women suffer from this condition more than men. And yes, a lot of people who suffer from this condition also experience tension headaches, anxiety and depression, irritable bowel syndrome and other frustrating symptoms such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
Although there is currently no cure for this condition, there are a variety of medications that can help people living with fibromyalgia control the symptoms. More interestingly, relaxation technique, exercises and stress reduction methods can help people manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
There are many symptoms in which people suffering from fibromyalgia may experience. Here are some of the common symptoms :
Pain: Chronic widespread pain is a very common condition experienced by people with fibromyalgia. The chances of having a constant dull ache that may last for up to three months are high. Pain resulting from fibromyalgia can occur on either side of the body, above and below the waist.
Fatigue: Even with adequate rest, people suffering from fibromyalgia tend to wake up fagged out and exhausted. Occasionally, their sleep is disrupted by pain. Patients with fibromyalgia also suffer from other sleep disorders like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome which affects their overall performance.
While fibromyalgia comes with a variety of symptoms, it can also coexist with other painful conditions such as;
Causes of fibromyalgia
While doctors have yet to discover the primary cause of fibromyalgia, many doctors believe that it involves a variety of factors working together. Some of these factors include:
Genetics: Genetics play a huge role in causing fibromyalgia especially if there is a familial history of one or more relative suffering from the disease.
Infections: Some sicknesses and infections have been discovered to trigger or increase the risk of fibromyalgia.
Physical and emotional trauma: Without mincing words, fibromyalgia can be triggered by some form of physical and emotions trauma like accidents.
Why does it hurt so much?
Studies have shown that repeated cases of nerve stimulation results in changes in the brain processes of people with fibromyalgia. This change may include an increase in certain level of chemicals in the brain that triggers pain. More so, the brain’s pain receptors tend to develop a sort of memory for pain. This forces it to become sensitive and overreact to pain.
There are a couple of risk factors associated with fibromyalgia. They include:
Gender: It has been discovered that fibromyalgia occurs more in women than men
Family history: The chances of having fibromyalgia is high if one of your family member has the condition
Certain disorders: If you experience conditions like osteoarthritis, lupus or rheumatoid, you may be at risk of having fibromyalgia
Frustrations that come with fibromyalgia
Generally, the pain that comes with fibromyalgia together with lack of sleep can interfere with your ability to function at home or on the job. The chances of suffering from depression is also very high.
Yes, there is no cure at the moment for fibromyalgia. However, there are a number of medications and self care options to help the patients manage the condition. Medications like painkillers, anti-seizure drugs and antidepressant have proved to be very helpful in managing fibromyalgia. Also, physical therapy, occupational therapy and counselling are other options available to people with fibromyalgia.