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FAQ

WHAT IS FIBROMYALGIA?

Fibromyalgia is a widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue disorder that is considered a syndrome because there are so many symptoms and conditions associated with it. Fibromyalgia means pain in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons—the soft fibrous tissues in the body. Most patients say that they ache all over, like a chronic case of a bad flu. Their muscles may feel like they were pulled or overworked. Sometimes the muscles twitch and other times they burn. More women than men are afflicted with fibromyalgia (75% versus 25%) and it shows up in people of all ages.
 

WHAT CAUSES FIBROMYALGIA?

Although the cause is not known, there appear to be many triggering events that often precipitate its onset. Examples include: infections (bacterial or viral), physical trauma (such as an automobile accident), or the development of another disorder, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or hypothyroidism. These triggering events probably do not cause fibromyalgia, but rather, they may awaken an underlying physiological abnormality that is already present. Abnormalities that may be related to your symptoms include the following: 1 .Alterations in pain-related chemical transmitters (particularly substance P, nerve growth factor, serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and glutamate) 2. Immune system dysfunction (e.g., abnormally elevated levels of cytokines that form the communications link between your immunologic and neurologic systems). 3. sleep disturbances. 4. Myofascial trigger points, which are the source of tight and knotted muscles, may interact with your nervous system to amplify your many symptoms. 5. Hormonal irregularities. 6. Differences in the way your brain functions, which may increase pain, brain fog, mental fatigue, and sleep disruption. 7. The body’s response to exercise and stress. 8. Dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system (the one that operates in your peripheral tissues to control your organs). 9. Elevated substance P and nerve growth factor are increased threefold and fourfold (respectively) in the spinal fluid of people with fibromyalgia, but researchers are still working to figure out how these elevations are related to the symptoms. 10. Increases in certain receptors used by your nervous system for communicating muscle pain and fatigue (and perhaps sleepiness in the brain)
 

HOW IS FIBROMYALGIA DIAGNOSED?

For the most portion, routine laboratory breakdown reveals nothing. However, upon swine psychoanalysis, patients will be longing to pressure in unqualified areas of the body, called sore points. To meet the systematic criteria (set forth for research purposes), patients must have widespread headache in all four quadrants of their body for a minimum duration of three months and at least 11 of the 18 specified sore points. The 18 sites used for diagnosis cluster concerning the neck, shoulder, chest, hip, knee, and elbow regions (more than 90% of these areas are myofascial beginning points). However, if a person has widespread sore, at least six or more passionate points and many of the commonly related symptoms of fibromyalgia (such as troubled snooze, irritable bowel syndrome, frequent headaches, fatigue, and memory problems), they should still be diagnosed and treated for fibromyalgia. Roughly 75% of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)-diagnosed patients will meet the fibromyalgia criteria. If you have been diagnosed once fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome but you are undecided roughly the diagnosis, or you are concerned you have something else that mimics these conditions, click here for more details.
 

HOW IS FIBROMYALGIA TREATED?

Traditional treatments are geared toward reducing pain and improving the quality of sleep, meaning that a sleep study may aid with individualizing your therapy. Deep level (stage 4) sleep is crucial for many body functions (such as tissue repair, antibody production, and the regulation of various neurotransmitters, hormones, and immune system chemicals). Therefore, the sleep disorders that frequently occur in fibromyalgia patients should probably be treated first because they may aggravate the symptoms of this condition. Ambien, Lunesta, clonazepam, and trazodone are just a few of the medications that may be used to aid sleep. For addressing the pain and the symptoms in general, medications that boost serotonin and norepinephrine (neurotransmitters that modulate sleep, pain, and immune system function) are commonly prescribed in low doses, such as amitriptyline, cyclobenzaprine and Cymbalta. Ultram may help with the pain, although stronger opioids may be needed. Muscle relaxants, anti-epileptics (such as Neurontin and Lyrica) and other drug categories may be prescribed as well. In addition to medications, most patients will need to use other treatment methods, such as trigger point injections with lidocaine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, acupuncture, acupressure, relaxation/biofeedback techniques, osteopathic manipulation, chiropractic care, therapeutic massage, or a gentle exercise program.
 

WHAT IS THE PROGNOSIS?

Long term follow-going on studies have shown that fibromyalgia is chronic, but the symptoms may wax and wane. The impact that fibromyalgia can have harshly daily bustling activities, including the proficiency to plan a full-era job, differs along surrounded by patients. Overall, studies have shown that fibromyalgia can be as disabling and sparkle-impacting as rheumatoid arthritis.
 

WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP MYSELF?

Lifestyle modifications may help you conserve energy and minimize pain. Learn what factors aggravate your symptoms and avoid them when possible. Many patients find warm water (hot tub or shower) to be soothing. Hot wraps for particularly painful areas are also beneficial. Maintaining a rigid sleep schedule (e.g., ensuring that you receive at least eight hours of sleep per night and that you have a routine for easing you into sleep) is one method endorsed by patients to help minimize daytime fatigue and reduce nighttime sleep difficulties. Gentle movement and stretching exercises will help you maintain your function, which is essential when the body is tired and the muscles hurt.