Fibromyalgia Causes, Diagnosis, Symptoms and Treatment

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition causing fatigue as well as pain, stiffness, and tenderness of the muscles, tendons, and joints. It affects millions of Americans.
The term fibromyalgia is derived from both Latin and Greek origins.
Fibromyalgia is an arthritis-related condition, but it is not a form of arthritis.
Fibromyalgia is most common in women (80%) in their mid-30s to late-50s.
Fibromyalgia is one of the most common diseases affecting the muscles, yet its cause is currently unknown.
The diversity and severity of symptoms caused by fibromyalgia vary from person to person.
Pain affecting 18 ‘tender points’ (nine symmetrical pairs) of the body are typical signs of fibromyalgia.
The universal symptom of fibromyalgia is pain.
Fatigue is a common symptom of fibromyalgia resulting from lack of deep sleep.
Mental and/or emotional disturbances occur in over half of fibromyalgia patients.
Additional symptoms of fibromyalgia include headaches, dizziness, numbness/tingling, and abdominal pain (IBS).
Your doctor may do X-rays or blood tests to rule out illnesses that mimic fibromyalgia.
There are many conditions that mimic fibromyalgia.
Effective treatment programs for fibromyalgia combine patient education, stress reduction, regular exercise, and medications.
Education is the first step in understanding and coping with fibromyalgia.
Stress levels differ amongst patients so stress-reduction methods must be individualized in the treatment of fibromyalgia.
Low-impact aerobic exercises, such as swimming, cycling, and walking, can be effective treatments for fibromyalgia.
A good way to start identifying the foods that may aggravate your fibromyalgia symptoms is by keeping a daily food journal.
Medications, both prescribed and over the counter, can be helpful in treating fibromyalgia.
Local injections into the tender point areas can help reduce pain in fibromyalgia patients.
A host of alternative treatments has become an option for fibromyalgia pain management.
Acupuncture has also been reported to be effective in treating some patients with fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia can be treated with electroacupuncture, in which electrodes are connected to acupuncture needles in a patient for electrical stimulation therapy.
Chiropractic care is a very common alternative treatment for fibromyalgia pain.
Massage can reduce muscle tension and ease muscle and soft tissue pain in people with fibromyalgia.
Biofeedback is a mind/body relaxation technique that uses electronics to measure and help reduce stress-related responses in the body in the treatment of fibromyalgia.
Preliminary findings suggest that a meditation-based stress-reduction program is effective for patients with fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia patients with an optimal understanding of the condition, as well as sleep improvement, stress reduction, and exercise, tend to do best.

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Reviewed by William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR on Monday, June 18, 2012

Slideshow Pictures: Fibromyalgia -- Photos of Causes, Diagnosis, Symptoms & Treatment

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