What is Fibromyalgia (fye-bro-mye-AL-ja) ?
Fibromyalgia is a pain syndrome which is not due to tissue damage or inflammation, and is fundamentally different from rheumatic disorders and many other pain conditions. It is a chronic pain syndrome in the tendons, ligaments, and other fibrous connective tissues in the body. Doctors classify Fibromyalgia as a syndrome, which means it has a group of signs, symptoms and characteristics that occur together.
The question, “What is fibromyalgia?” is a complicated one that doctors and patients have been trying for decades to answer. It affects more than 6 million people in the United States.
Fibromyalgia is also considered a disorder causing aching muscles, tiredness, sleep disorders, and fatigue, associated with raised levels of the brain chemicals that transmit nerve signals neurotransmitters.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
- Cognitive and memory problems (sometimes called “fibro fog”)
- Trouble sleeping
- Morning stiffness
- Painful menstrual periods
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Numbness or tingling of hands and feet
- Temperature sensitivity
- Sensitivity to loud noises or bright lights
- Restless leg syndrome
- Widespread pain
- Un-refreshing sleep
- Abdominal complaints
What types of pain do you feel with Fibromyalgia?
Everyone may describe their pain a little differently because of its intensity. However, the common descriptions of Fibro pain are:
- Dull deep aching
- Blunt jabs
- Lightening bolts
How to help reduce the discomfort of Fibromyalgia pain
- Taking medicines as prescribed
- Moise heat and Massage
- TENS Unit (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
- Hydrotherapy/laughter therapy
- Eating well
- Making work changes if necessary
If you are taking medications, it is good to consult the following resource for updates or questions you may have:
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Toll Free: 888–INFO–FDA (888–463–6332)
For more information: The Painful Reality of Fibromyalgia