Uncontrollable and widespread pain wracks the musculoskeletal system. Fibromyalgia is not limited to musculoskeletal pain. Fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood complications often arise with this painful condition. Since the root cause of fibromyalgia is unknown there does seem to be risk factors involved. Many people who suffer from this disorder are often left with more questions than answers.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Characterised by widespread pain felt in the musculoskeletal system, fibromyalgia disorder affects the way the brain can process pain signals. Oftentimes pain signals are amplified into extremely painful sensations. Symptoms of the disorder seem to happen one of two ways. After a physical trauma, surgery, infection, or psychological stress, symptoms of this disorder begin to grow and escalate. For others, the symptoms gradually build up without an identifiable trigger.
While women tend to develop fibromyalgia more than men, men are not excluded from this painful disorder. No cure means that symptom control is the most effective treatment. Symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Widespread pain: Pain that occurs on both sides of the body and above and below the waist.
- Fatigue: Waking tired even after long periods of sleep, sleep disrupted by pain, and comorbid sleep disorders (restless legs, sleep apnoea, etc.).
- Cognitive difficulties: “Fibro fog”, difficulty focusing, paying attention, and/or concentrating on mental tasks.
Fibromyalgia often does not come alone. Other painful conditions co-exist with this disorder. These can include: irritable bowel syndrome, migraine and headaches, painful bladder syndrome, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
Fibromyalgia causes an increased sensitivity and pain perception. The pain experienced can occur in any part of the body including tendons, joints, and back, etc. As fibromyalgia disorder continues to be studied, doctors are beginning to identify inflammation as a strong implication in the pathophysiology of the disorder.
Irritable bowel syndrome relief
A common coexisting disorder that some fibromyalgia patients have is irritable bowel syndrome (IBD). Inflammation and pain are the two common ailments that cause IBD.
Insomnia and sleep
Sleep allows the body to relax and heal itself but when sleep is disturbed, symptoms of fibromyalgia can grow out of control. Difficulty sleeping due to pain and discomfort is not uncommon for those with fibromyalgia. Side effects and possible dependency stemming from prescribed medications used for sleep are eliminated when a natural, herbal approach is used.
Pathophysiology of fibromyalgia
Physical, widespread pain is not the only traumatic symptom of fibromyalgia. Many patients also suffer from stress, anxiety, depression, and even PTSD. Management of the psychological symptoms can lead to improvements in pain, fatigue, and overall discomfort symptoms.
Fibromyalgia is a painful disorder that causes physical widespread pain and other physical and pathophysiology symptoms. If you or a loved one are suffering from painful symptoms, speaking with your healthcare provider is always the first step to getting help. While there is no cure for this disorder, it should be monitored by a doctor.
This article is written from personal opinion based on research and consumer reviews. At no point does this article provide medical advice.