Fibromyalgia is a fairly common, chronic neurological disorder that causes pain and tenderness in different areas of the body. Fibromyalgia causes musculoskeletal pain that often leads to fatigue, unhealthy sleep habits and memory and mood problems.
Healthcare providers used to treat fibromyalgia as joint inflammation, similar to the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers now believe that the disorder is caused by problems with the pain receptors and the nervous system, caused by inflammation in the brain.
The root cause is still unknown but it is widely believed that fibromyalgia comes from a set of circumstances that include genetic predisposition and past infections, trauma and stress.
Fibromyalgia affects 2 to 4 percent of people and is much more common in women. You may be more likely to develop fibromyalgia if a relative has had the condition.
Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain in areas of the body referred to as “trigger points.” This dull, aching pain can lead to secondary symptoms including chronic fatigue, sleep disorders, headaches and neurological problems, among other possible symptoms.
Fibromyalgia is diagnosed by examining a particular set of symptoms that together are unique to fibromyalgia. It is also common to perform blood tests that can rule out other possible conditions and provide some insight for your overall health.
There is currently no cure for fibromyalgia, however through both medication-based treatments and lifestyle changes the symptoms can be greatly alleviated.
Many people have found success through non-drug therapy that includes low impact physical exercise. Banner Health provides tailored treatment plans for each patient that work to understand and control fibromyalgia triggers.