Fibromyalgia: What It Is And How To Manage The Symptoms

Date November 27, 2017

Fibromyalgia is a disorder, in which a person experiences widespread muscle pain and fatigue. It’s estimated that approximately 5 million adult Americans have fibromyalgia. The disorder is much more common in women than in men. Fibromyalgia is incurable, and researchers are still trying to figure out what causes it. Symptoms of this condition can be improved with a combination of medication and lifestyle changes.

Symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

- muscle pain;

- morning stiffness;

- tender points (areas around joints that hurt when you press on them);

- extreme tiredness;

- sleep problems;

- headaches;

- in women, painful periods;

- problems with concentration and memory, called ‘fibro fog’.

Fibromyalgia is often accompanied by other health conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine, interstitial cystitis, and temporomandibular joint disorders.

Fibromyalgia risk factors include:

- being female – you are much more likely to develop the condition if you’re a woman;

- family history;

- having other painful conditions, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus;

- having experienced severe emotional or physical stress;

- mental disorders, including PTSD, depression, and anxiety.

Medications often prescribed to relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia include NSAIDs, antidepressants, and anti-seizure drugs. In severe cases, opioids may be prescribed, but doctors are reluctant to prescribe them because they are addictive.

READ ALSO: Dealing With Chronic Pain Can Be Difficult, But There Are Ways To Enjoy Your Life In Spite Of It

You can take the following steps to relieve your symptoms:

- decrease your levels of stress, because stress makes your symptoms worse. You can try relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, and tai chi;

- develop a sleep schedule and practice proper sleep hygiene;

- moderate exercise may also help – good options are swimming, walking, biking, and water aerobics;

- eat a healthy, balanced diet and reduce your caffeine consumption;

- therapy may help in dealing with challenges of living with a painful chronic condition.

This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended to provide medical advice. Fabiosa doesn’t take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action, or application of medication, which results from reading or following the information contained in this post. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader should consult with their physician or other health care provider.