Fibromyalgia (Fibrositis)

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a condition where a person feels musculoskeletal pain all over the body and is hypersensitive to pressure. Additionally, sufferers of this disease may have cognitive issues, mood issues, and fatigue.

The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but too much stress and poor overall health can certainly contributors. Genetics and infections are likely to trigger the illness as well. Women are more likely to develop the disorder more than men. Post-traumatic disorder has also been linked to fibromy.

Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression. Researchers believe repeated nerve stimulation causes the brains of people with fibromyalgia to change. This change involves an abnormal increase in levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain neurotransmitters.

What are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

Symptoms include chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and painful tender points or trigger points, A symptom commonly referred to as “fibro fog” impairs the ability to focus, pay attention and concentrate on mental tasks.

Other symptoms include

Many people who have fibromyalgia also may experience depression, headaches, and pain or cramping in the lower abdomen, anxiety, stiffness.

Fibromyalgia Causes

The exact cause of fibromyalgia or fibrositis is unknown. Even though fibromyalgia occurs on its own, many researchers think the disease may occur due to several factors. Some of these factors include car accidents, body injuries, being sent to war, and infections or illness. People with a family history of fibromyalgia and those who are frequently exposed to traumatic or stressful events also suffer from fibromyalgia. Poor sleep also plays a part in the severe tiredness that most fibromyalgia patients often complain about.

Most rheumatic conditions, like the ones which usually affect the joints, bones, and muscles, are also reported to cause fibromyalgia. Research has found patients with osteoarthritis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and temporomandibular disorder (TMD) do suffer from fibromyalgia a lot. To be aware of the underlying cause of fibromyalgia, a person should see a doctor first to get a clear view on what’s spreading the disease.

How is Fibromyalgia Treated?

Since there is no cure for fibromyalgia, physicians can only address the medical and psychological symptoms.

Treatment includes

The treatment plan can include a series of approaches that go from medications to talk therapy to mitigate the chronic pain and discomfort.

Stress management and physical exercise together with relaxation techniques and psychotherapy (group or individual) are used to control pain and other psychological issues connected to the disease. Analgesic, nerve pain and muscle relaxant medications are often prescribed in combination with anti-inflammatory and Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) drugs.

This condition requires long-term follow-up monitoring and continuous physical therapy.

Fibromyalgia Prevention

Unfortunately, fibromyalgia can’t be prevented or treated. But by monitoring and treating symptoms, it may subside and minimize how long a flare-up lasts. Moreover, fibromyalgia and body exercises usually go hand-in-hand. Moderate exercises are vital to build muscle strength, increase circulation, and promote healthy sleep. Exercises are also essential in the production of natural painkillers (endorphins) in the body. Similarly, massaging with simple oils also draws a soothing effect and stops fibromyalgia flare-ups in patients.

Other factors, like getting adequate sleep and rest, maintaining an appropriate weight, and eating a healthy diet are all equally helpful and effective. Cutting down on processed foods replete with preservatives and artificial coloring also comes in handy for fibromyalgia prevention. Refined sugars should also be cut from diets to prevent fibromyalgia. People should have a diet jam-packed with beans, vegetables, nuts, fruits, and whole grains to prevent the occurrence of fibromyalgia. Frequent indulgence of alcohol and tobacco use should also be avoided to stop the spread of fibromyalgia.

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Last Reviewed:
September 13, 2016
Last Updated:
July 04, 2018