The Facts About Fibromyalgia
Those who are diagnosed with fibromyalgia are happy to finally know what’s wrong, but they’re often depressed when they contemplate living with the condition. There’s no cure for fibromyalgia, but physical therapy is effective in alleviating the symptoms and improving quality of life.
No one knows for sure what causes the disorder, but it’s believed that fibromyalgia amplifies the way the brain processes pain signals. The condition is marked by pain, stiffness and fatigue. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and patients experience flare-ups during which symptoms worsen.
Sleep disorders and poor sleep quality due to restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea are common. Individuals experience mood and memory problems and have difficulty paying attention or concentrating. Other symptoms that individuals may experience include depression, cramping in the lower abdomen and headaches.
More women develop fibromyalgia than men. People who suffer from TMJ disorder, tension headaches, anxiety or depression, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are more likely to develop fibromyalgia, as are those with rheumatic diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
Some cases of fibromyalgia can be linked to a trigger that includes excessive psychological stress, trauma to the mind or body, or an infection or surgery. Other instances are a collection of symptoms that accrue over time. The disorder tends to run in families, indicating a genetic link.