Fibromyalgia : introduction
The word fibromyalgia means - (fibro) fibrous tissues such as tendons and ligaments. (my) muscle, (algia) pain.
Fibromyalgia is sometimes called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS).
It is a persistent (chronic) condition. Fibromyalgia does not affect the joints, and so is not an arthritis.
Its a condition that causes pain all over the body.
People may also have:
fatigue (extreme tiredness)
problems with memory and concentration "brain fog"
digestive problems (IBS)
The exact cause is unknown, but it is thought to be related to abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the brain and changes in the way the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and nerves) process pain messages carried around the body.
In many cases it appears the condition is triggered by a physical or emotionally traumatic event, such as:
* injury or infection
* giving birth
* having an operation
* breakdown of a relationship
* death of a loved one
Anyone can develop FM, although it affects around 7 times more women than men. Usually between the ages of 30 and 50 but also affecting children and the elderly. 1 in 20 people could be affected by the condition.
There is currently no cure, but there are treatments to help relieve some of the symptoms and make the condition easier to live with.
A combination of:
medication - painkillers and antidepressants
talking therapies - CBT, counselling
learning to Pace
lifestyle changes - relaxation techniques and exercise/stretches Many people also find that support groups are helpful, as they can talk to people who understand what they are going through.