What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes you to have pain and tenderness all over your body, extreme tiredness, and sleep problems.
You may have pain, stiffness, or achiness throughout your body, and certain parts of your body may be tender to the touch
Fibromyalgia is uncomfortable and unpleasant, but it's not dangerous or fatal
There's no damage to your muscles, brain, or nerves
Fibromyalgia is more common in women
You may be more likely to have fibromyalgia if you have stress, have had an infection or injury, or people in your family have it
There’s no cure for fibromyalgia, but doctors can help you manage your symptoms
Some medicines, exercising, putting heat on sore muscles, and getting massages can help
What causes fibromyalgia?
Doctors don't know what causes fibromyalgia. People with fibromyalgia seem to have a greater sensitivity to pain than other people. Their brain seems to deal with pain signals differently.
Although people have pain in lots of muscles, fibromyalgia isn't a muscle disorder.
What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
All-over aching and pain in your muscles
Feeling very tired all the time
Trouble concentrating, like your mind is foggy or cloudy
Tender spots on your muscles
Feeling tired, anxious, or depressed
Symptoms can be ongoing (chronic) or flare up from time to time.
What can trigger fibromyalgia?
Your symptoms may get worse when you are:
Having a lot of physical or mental stress
Sleeping poorly or feeling especially tired and run down
Spending a lot of time in dampness or cold
What problems go along with fibromyalgia?
If you have fibromyalgia, you may also have:
How can doctors tell if I have fibromyalgia?
Doctors will ask about your symptoms. They'll examine you to see if your muscles are tender but still strong.
Blood tests can help doctors determine if you have another disease with similar symptoms, such as polymyalgia Polymyalgia Rheumatica Polymyalgia rheumatica involves inflammation of the lining of joints, causing severe pain and stiffness in the muscles of the neck, back, shoulders, and hips. The cause is unknown. The neck... read more . Fibromyalgia won't cause any abnormal results on lab tests or imaging studies (like x-rays or MRI).
How do doctors treat fibromyalgia?
Doctors will have you treat your symptoms by taking these steps:
Reduce your stress
Recognize that there’s no life-threatening disease causing your pain
Stretch your muscles gently for about 30 seconds and repeat 5 times
Do exercises that don't hurt your muscles or joints such as walking or swimming
Apply heat or gently massage the area that hurts
Get enough sleep
Improve your sleep by:
Avoiding caffeine (in coffee, tea, and soda)
Sleeping in a quiet dark room in a comfortable bed
Avoiding eating or watching TV in bed
Doctors may prescribe medicines to help with symptoms, such as:
Antidepressants (especially to help with sleep)
Some antiseizure medicines
Pain medicines such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen
Sometimes, physical therapy and talk therapy (cognitive-behavioral therapy) can help.
Fibromyalgia tends to be chronic (long-lasting) but may get better on its own if you take care of yourself and have less stress.