Fibromyalgia is a disorder that is associated with muscle pain and fatigue. People suffering from the disorder have tender points on the body. The tender points are at specific places like the back, hips, legs and shoulders. And when pressure is put on these points they hurt.
The exact factor causing Fibromyalgia is still unknown, but it is believed that a variety of factors work together. The factors include:
: There are chances that certain genetic mutations may make a person more susceptible to develop the disorder, as Fibromyalgia tends to run in families.
: Some infections or illness in a person may trigger or aggravate Fibromyalgia.
Physical or emotional trauma
: Any person undergoing an emotional trauma or dealing with post traumatic stress is at high risk of developing Fibromyalgia.
The pain that is associated with Fibromyalgia arises from the muscles and is often termed as dull ache. The disorder is basically characterized when additional pain is felt after firm pressure is applied to the tender points.
The tender points located in the body are:
- Back of the head
- Between Shoulders
- Top of the Shoulders
- Front Side of the neck
- Upper chest
- Outer elbows
- Upper hips
- Side of the hips
- Inner knees
Many people with Fibromyalgia may also have:
- Chronic Headaches
- Irritable bowel movement
- Sensitivity to heat or cold
- Abdominal pain
People with the disorder often wake up tired, even after sleeping for a longer period of time. Sleep is usually disturbed by pain, and many people also have sleep disorders like restless legs and sleep apnea (suspension of external breathing), which can further worsen the symptoms.
One should consult a General Physician or a Rheumatologist for Fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia does not lead to any other diseases or conditions, but the pain, lack of sleep and other various systems associated with Fibromyalgia can disrupt the ability of a person to function properly at work or at home. The frustration of dealing with such a disorder often results in anxiety and depression.
Fibromyalgia is not curable as its cause is not yet known, but with medication and lifestyle changes are effective in relieving pain and reducing symptoms.
Self-care is the most important in managing Fibromyalgia.
Reduce Stress: A proper plan should be made to avoid and limit emotional stress. Stress management techniques, like meditation, yoga and breathing exercises should be done regularly to reduce stress.
Get enough sleep: One should get enough sleep, as fatigue is one of the main reasons of Fibromyalgia. Good sleep habits should be followed like enough time for sleep, going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. Daytime napping should be avoided and reduced.
Exercise regularly: For people with Fibromyalgia, exercising at first may be a painful task. But eventually with regular workouts, the symptoms of the disorder will gradually decrease. Proper exercise may also include cycling and swimming. Along with proper exercises, stretching and relaxation exercises are also helpful.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Healthy foods should be consumed and intake of caffeine through coffee or other beverages should be limited.