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Fibromyalgia (cont.)

What Happens

For most people, fibromyalgia seems to involve a cycle of muscle pain, increased sensitivity to pain, and inactivity that may be made worse by sleep problems and fatigue.

  • Increasing pain causes a person to be less physically active.
  • Muscles that aren't exercised regularly are more likely to be irritated during activity. And it may be that people with fibromyalgia are more sensitive to pain or have muscles that are more easily irritated.
  • The irritated muscles are painful. Some doctors think that the muscles of people with fibromyalgia stay sore because they don't repair themselves as well as they should.
  • Muscle pain, sometimes occurring with disrupted sleep and daytime fatigue, leads to less and less activity.

Although fibromyalgia is a long-lasting (chronic) condition with no cure, it can be controlled. It doesn't damage the muscles, joints, or internal organs. Most people adjust to their symptoms and are able to keep working and doing their daily activities. For more information about managing fibromyalgia, see the Treatment Overview.

What Increases Your Risk

Certain things may make you more likely to have fibromyalgia. Things that increase your risk (risk factors) include:

  • Being female.
  • Having certain health problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Lyme disease, mononucleosis, or depression.
  • Having been through a traumatic event (such as a car accident).
  • Having a family history of fibromyalgia.

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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