WHAT IS FIBROMYALGIA
By literal definition, fibromyalgia means pain that is felt in the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Although fibromyalgia could more than just that as it is also defined as a common and complex chronic pain disorder that causes widespread pain and tenderness to touch that may occur body wide or migrate over the body. For easy understanding of this topic of interest, we need to know the concept of pain.
What is the meaning of pain? Pain can be classified as either acute or chronic. Acute pain is a short term pain that usually roughly 2 weeks on average. It is usually severe. When the pain that arises on your strained muscle disappears when you are relieved, such pain is known as an acute pain. Chronic pain on the other hand is a more severe pain and lasts for a quite long period. Chronic pain usually persists after healing of the injured part of the body. This type of pain is usually attributed to abnormalities in the brain and hormonal secretions which increase sensitivity to pain.
Pain is an uncomfortable feeling as a result of disorderliness in the body system. It is an omen that something is definitely wrong internally which needs immediate interference of your brain. Human brain has 20 different kinds of nerve endings that convey sensations on the skin to the brain. These endings convert mechanical, thermal or chemical to electrical energy for easy conveyance to the brain. When the pain persists for weeks or months, it changes from a mere sign to a disease.
Fibromyalgia-related pain causes you ache all over. No matter the level of the medication, the pain will still have ‘trigger points’ on your body that hurt upon palpation. These trigger points can be around 11 to 18. Your muscles may feel stretched which is usually as a result of overworking even though they are not exercised a bit.
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Approximately 10 million Americans which represent 2-4% of the total population are affected by fibromyalgia. It is usually common in women than in men in the ratio 8:2 of women to men. Fibromyalgia affects people of all ages. It affects both adults and young children.
Signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary in intensity. The symptoms include but are not limited to fatigue, sleep disturbance (sleep apnea), insomnia (Inability to sleep at night), cognitive difficulties (Memory problems or thinking clearly), stiffness, aching joints, painful tendons, depression or anxiety. While you want to exercise and be active, you may suffer with pain and uneasiness in the joints of lower extremities. All these make it impossible to either exercise with friends or play with your kids or grandkids.
People living with fibromyalgia suffer variety of social imbalance and forfeit their social responsibilities. The fibromyalgia pain causes more irritation and difficulty dealings with others, including family members, friends and people at work. For women with this condition who must take care of family members and work full time, coping with this pain is a great challenge. If there is an undiagnosed pain and no effective treatment or medication for the fibromyalgia, the overwhelming feelings can lead to irritability, exhaustion, anxiety, social isolation and depression.
There is no exact cure for this chronic pain disorder yet; however, combination of physical therapy and physiotherapy as well as psychotherapy seems to give observable difference and positive result with some medications.