Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by generalized musculoskeletal pain, associated with fatigue, mood disorders, and problems with memory or sleep. It is common in women, and may cause significant impairment in functioning.
The exact cause behind fibromyalgia is not known. It is thought to be a mixture of genetic, biological, and environmental factors. It may also be due to the after-effects of trauma or physical injury. It occurs when the pain pathways in the brain are amplified. Risk factors for fibromyalgia are:
- Female gender
- Family history
- Other disorders such as SLE, Rheumatoid arthritis etc.
- Stressful lifestyle
Symptoms of this health condition may arise suddenly or after a trigger event, such as a traumatic accident or incident, surgery, injury, etc. Common symptoms include:
- Dull, constant pain in both sides of the body lasting for more than three months
- Disrupted sleep, insomnia, sleep disorders
- Cognitive difficulties, such as difficulty concentrating and paying attention
Fibromyalgia can often co-exist with other conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), migraine or tension-type headaches, bladder infections, and temporomandibular joint disorders.
Widespread body pain for more than three months with no underlying disorder explaining the presence of the pain can be diagnosed as fibromyalgia after careful exclusion of all other possible conditions.
Medication that can be used to relieve symptoms for fibromyalgia include:
- Pain relievers
- Anti-seizure drugs
Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and counseling can also be opted for.