For those who suffer from fibromyalgia, you know that even the touch of a loved one can be physically painful. The word fibromyalgia comes from fibro, Latin for fibrous tissue, myo, Greek for muscle, and algia, pain. Simply put, fibromyalgia is pain in the muscles and connective tissues.
Symptoms include pain in several tender areas with a diagnosis generally occurring if at least 11 of the 18 tender points are affected. Besides causing physical pain, this musculoskeletal disorder can be accompanied by fatigue, sleep disturbance, mood issues, and memory problems. Symptoms may begin following a surgery, infection, trauma, or significant psychological event; or symptoms can progress slowly over time. Often those with fibromyalgia suffer from additional health concerns including headaches, IBS, chronic fatigue, depression, and anxiety.
Treatment options can include pharmaceuticals, physical therapy, light exercise, massage, and relaxation techniques. Good sleep habits are also necessary and may require the use of sleep aids. Light exercise is encouraged as well.
It is also critical to have a physician who is knowledgeable regarding fibromyalgia and its effect on overall health. There are knowledgeable physicians in family practice, rheumatology, and neurology.
A key for treating fibromyalgia is knowing what increases your pain and what treatment options work for you. Keeping a detailed symptom diary can be crucial for learning your body’s limits. The diary will also help you and your medical team monitor your progress with various medications and therapies and monitor how your condition is progressing.
While fibromyalgia can be a painful and exhausting condition, there is hope! Taking one day at a time, learning to accept the body’s limitations, working with knowledgeable medical professionals, and finding the right treatment regime can open the door to happy, healthy days again!
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This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: Fibromyalgia Questions