When every muscle in your body seem to be shouting out in pain, with some tender areas that are unusually painful when touched, and you somehow feel tired as if devoid of all energy, and don’t get enough sleep, you may be experiencing symptoms of Fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is a medical condition characterized by widespread chronic pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points.  Tender points are parts on your body where even a slight pressure may cause pain. They may be found on the neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms, and legs which may hurt when pressure is put on them.  More women than men are afflicted with fibromyalgia, and it shows up in people of all ages.  It used to be known by other names such as fibrositis, chronic muscle pain syndrome, psychogenic rheumatism and tension myalgias.

Signs and symptoms may vary depending on the severity of the condition.  In some cases, symptoms will probably never disappear completely.  At any rate, it may be reassuring to know that fibromyalgia is not progressive or life-threatening.  There are available treatments and self-care procedures which can improve this condition and one’s general health.

Signs and Symptoms

Many factors can affect symptoms of fibromyalgia such as the weather, stress, physical activity or even the time of day. Common signs and symptoms include:

Other common signs and symptoms include:

Possible Causes

There is no known cause of fibromyalgia.  Recent findings focus around a theory called “central sensitization” which states that people with fibromyalgia have a lower threshold for pain due to increased sensitivity of the brain to pain signals.  This is why people with fibromyalgia seem to overreact when a slight pressure is applied on a certain part of the body which would not hurt if done to a person in normal condition. However, what initiates this process of central sensitization still baffle most research experts.  Other theories cited as to the cause of fibromyalgia include:

Psychological stress and hormonal changes also may be possible causes of fibromyalgia.

Seek Medical Advice

Whenever you experience general aching or widespread pain that lasts several months and is accompanied by fatigue, it is time to see your doctor. Many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia mimic those of other diseases, such as low thyroid hormone production (hypothyroidism), polymyalgia rheumatica, neuropathies, lupus, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.  Only your doctor can tell if one of these other conditions may be causing such symptoms.

Fibromyalgia isn’t progressive and does not lead to other serious conditions or diseases.  Nevertheless, it can cause pain, depression and lack of sleep.  These problems can then interfere with your ability to function at home or on the job, or maintain close family or personal relationships, thus, require medical attention.

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