Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points—places on your body where slight pressure causes pain.
What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
The pain of fibromyalgia has no boundaries. People describe the pain as deep muscular aching, throbbing, shooting, and stabbing. Intense burning may also be present. Quite often, the pain and stiffness are worse in the morning and you may hurt more in muscle groups that are used repetitively. Recurrent migraine or tension-type headaches are also seen in about 70% of fibromyalgia patients and can pose a major problem in coping for this patient group. Other common symptoms that may occur are painful periods, chest pain, morning stiffness, cognitive or memory impairment, numbness and tingling sensations, muscle twitching, irritable bladder, the feeling of swollen extremities, skin sensitivities, dry eyes and mouth, dizziness, and impaired coordination can occur. Fibromyalgia patients are often sensitive to odors, loud noises, bright lights, and sometimes even the medications they are prescribed.
What is the cause of fibromyalgia?
There are several theories, however, many experts believe or say there is no explanation at all. But while there is no clear consensus about what causes fibromyalgia, most researchers believe fibromyalgia results not from a single event but from a combination of many physical and emotional stressors.
How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?
There are no blood tests or X-ray tests that specifically point the doctor to the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. These tests are done to exclude other possible diagnoses such as facet arthropathy disc related pain and radiculopathy. Therefore, the diagnosis of fibromyalgia is made purely on clinical grounds based on the doctor's history and physical examination.