What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic widespread types of pain in the U.S. Patients with fibromyalgia often experience:
* Chronic widespread body pain in the neck, shoulders, back, arms, and legs
* Deep tenderness, soreness, and flu-like aching
* Poor sleep, stiffness, and fatigue
* Dull pain in muscles, tendons, and ligaments
Who is affected?
* It’s estimated that approximately 5% to 7% of the U.S. population have fibromyalgia
* Women are more likely to have fibromyalgia
* It affects all ages and races
* Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50 years old
* Fibromyalgia has a serious impact on patients' families, friends, and employers.
What are the symptoms?
Fibromyalgia is characterized by the presence of multiple tender points and a collection of symptoms.
* Profound, widespread, and chronic
* Migrating to all parts of the body and varying in intensity
* Described as deep muscular aching, throbbing, twitching, stabbing, and shooting pain
* Neurological complaints such as numbness, tingling, and burning are often present and add to the discomfort of the patient
* The severity of the pain and stiffness is often worse in the morning
* Aggravating factors that affect the pain may include: cold/humid weather, not feeling refreshed or feeling more tired after sleeping, physical and mental fatigue, excessive physical activity, physical inactivity, anxiety, and stress
* The fatigue of fibromyalgia is much more than being tired. It is an overwhelming exhaustion
* It feels like every drop of energy has been drained from the body
* It can leave the patient with a limited ability to function both mentally and physically
* Many fibromyalgia patients have an associated sleep disorder
* This disorder prevents them from getting deep, restful, restorative sleep