Pain All Over? You May Be Experiencing Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that can be debilitating due to its wide-ranging symptoms. These include pain as well as tenderness that is felt throughout the body and over a long period of time. Currently, it is thought that about five million adults in the United States alone are affected by this long-term condition. While anyone can have fibromyalgia, including children, it is most often seen in women with many of them being diagnosed during the middle years of their lives.
Here are the answers to some common fibromyalgia questions:
What is Fibromyalgia?
A key factor in fibromyalgia is the fact that it affects a widespread area of the body. This medical disorder can often start after a significant negative life event such as surgery, psychological stress, infection or physical trauma. Some people, instead, notice that their symptoms gradually get worse over time with no single event that triggered it.
In addition to musculoskeletal pain and tenderness that is experienced throughout the body, people with fibromyalgia also experience issues with their mood and memory. Because their sleep is also often affected, ongoing fatigue is also a symptom.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
Though fibromyalgia is not completely understood, scientists think that having the condition negatively affects the brain’s ability to process pain and pain signals. This, in turn, increases the painful sensations that a person feels. While there is currently no cure for this condition, there are a variety of treatments that can help curb symptoms for those who suffer from it.
What is a Fibromyalgia Flare?
If a person has fibromyalgia, it is likely that they experience certain symptoms, such as sleep disturbances, memory disruptions and mood issues on a regular basis. Many people, however, have pain with fibromyalgia that tends to worsen in intensity. Every person experiences these fibromyalgia flares differently, and they can often appear without any warning. The range of time that a flare-up can last is wide and can span a few days to several weeks — or even longer.
What Causes Fibromyalgia Flares?
A fibromyalgia flare can often occur if the person is under a great deal of pressure or is stressed. In addition, there are other triggers — for example, weather changes, hormones, sleep issues, a change in diet, disruptions in the person’s schedule — that can set off a flare.
Can Fibromyalgia be Treated?
Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that is often misunderstood. By the time many of its sufferers are diagnosed with it, they have been struggling with patching together a treatment plan for months or even years. Pain medications that are available over the counter are often the first line of defense, but many don’t find the desired relief in them. A medical provider could also prescribe medications that have traditionally been used to treat depression or epilepsy, as well as muscle relaxants, have been used to help address the pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia.
Alternative Treatments for Fibromyalgia
Alternative treatments have been shown to have a positive effect on the symptoms of fibromyalgia. These include physical therapy, exercise, counseling and occupational therapy. BackFit works closely with our patients to develop a treatment plan that focuses on relieving pain and discomfort.
Schedule an appointment with us today and discover how we can complement your current treatment options.