Definition | Causes | Risk Factors | Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatment | Prevention


Definition

Fibromyalgia is a complex, chronic, and disabling disorder. It causes widespread pain. It also causes poor sleep and fatigue.

Fibromyalgia Trigger Points

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Causes

The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown.

The following are some of the conditions that are commonly associated with fibromyalgia:

Risk Factors

Fibromyalgia is more common in women, and in people aged 20-60 years old. Physical or mental stress may also increase your chance of getting fibromyalgia.

Symptoms

Symptoms and severity of fibromyalgia are different for everyone.

Fibromyalgia may cause:

  • Generlized pain and tenderness
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Poor sleep
  • Reduced physical endurance
  • Problems with concentration, thought, or memory

Factors that may trigger or worsen symptoms include:

  • Weather changes, especially cold, damp weather
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Overexertion
  • Medical illness
  • Surgery

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.

The doctor will look for the following signs:

  • Widespread pain lasting three months or longer
  • Tenderness (on physical exam) in specific areas of the body

Your doctor may do tests to make sure your symptoms are not due to other conditions.

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to relieve or control the symptoms. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options include:

Therapy Programs

Lifestyle Changes

Your doctor may also recommend that you make lifestyle changes, such as:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Learning to cope with physical and mental stress
  • Maintaining a regular sleep schedule
  • Participating in a regular exercise program that includes aerobic activity, strength training, and flexibility exercises. Gentle exercises that may not strain painful areas include walking, biking, and swimming. Talk to your doctor to make sure it is safe for you to start exercising.

Medications

Your doctor may recommend the following to help manage symptoms:

  • Antidepressants
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Sedatives
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Opioids

Prevention

There are no current guidelines to prevent fibromyalgia.