Fibromyalgia is one of the common musculoskeletal disorders characterized by a general weakening of the body, making a person more susceptible to pain and fatigue. Some patients also experience interruptions in the sleep cycle.
This condition is often referred to, and diagnosed as, a syndrome, which is a set of symptoms found commonly in patients. Symptoms of this condition are very similar to those found in bursitis, tendinitis, and osteoarthritis. There are well over 12 million adult Americans who suffer from fibromyalgia, with the most common age group being women between the ages of 25 and 60.
What causes Fibromyalgia?
There are multiple contributing factors of this condition but no singular cause. These include hereditary factors, chronic illness, injury, and hormonal imbalances. One of the more popular theories being investigated as a possible cause is the lack of serotonin in the brain.
Lower serotonin in the body makes the body more susceptible to pain. Women, on average, have 7 times less serotonin in their body than men, which may explain why women are more susceptible to fibromyalgia than men.
The symptoms of Fibromyalgia
When this condition is present, the patient experiences aches and pain throughout the muscles. They may also experience severe fatigue and spots of tenderness on the skin. Swelling in tender areas of the body and complications with the body’s natural sleep cycle may also occur.
Fibromyalgia may also manifest as stiffness in the joints, numbness in the fingers, dryness of the airways and eyes, chronic headaches, and bouts of abdominal pain.
While the symptoms of fibromyalgia closely mirror those of other conditions (namely, osteoarthritis and tendinitis), there is a distinct difference. Other conditions will have their symptoms localized to one area of damage; fibromyalgia can have symptoms appear at any location in the body and in multiple locations at once.
How is Fibromyalgia diagnosed?
Since this condition is often treated as a syndrome (a distinct set of symptoms), it is often difficult to directly diagnose this condition without first taking measures to rule out other conditions that may produce similar symptoms.
Careful examination of the patient’s medical history and the symptoms being experienced can help the physician determine if this condition is the cause. For many patients, this will include blood work. For example, excess glucose in the blood can produce the fatigue symptoms similar to fibromyalgia. It is also performed in order to check for hormonal imbalances and conditions. For example, an underactive thyroid can produce fatigue and aches throughout the body.
In many cases, an accurate diagnosis of fibromyalgia is the culmination of the results of a number of tests compared against the accepted criteria for the syndrome. Having chronic symptoms that have persisted for longer than three months is one key factor in the diagnosis of this condition.
Treatment options for Fibromyalgia
There is no singular cure for this condition as there is no singular cause. Instead, treatment for fibromyalgia consists of determining which factors of the body are contributing to the condition and providing treatment for those. This often is in the form of a multidisciplinary approach that includes medication, physical therapy, exercise, and behavioral modification.
If you or a loved one is suffering from Failed Back Syndrome and would like the best pain treatment in San Antonio, call Texas Pain Network today. The practice has a Double Board Certified pain management doctor accepting over 50 insurance plans at multiple locations.
Call (210) 202-4030 for more information and scheduling!