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When every day feels like you have climbed a mountain...

you may have fibromyalgia

What is Fibromyalgia?

According to the CDC... Fibromyalgia (fi·bro·my·al·gi·a) is a condition that causes pain all over the body (also referred to as widespread pain), sleep problems, fatigue, and often emotional and mental distress. People with fibromyalgia may be more sensitive to pain than people without fibromyalgia. This is called abnormal pain perception processing. Fibromyalgia affects about 4 million US adults, about 2% of the adult population. The cause of fibromyalgia is not known, but it can be effectively treated and managed.

What are the signs and symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

According to the CDC...

The most common symptoms of fibromyalgia are

  • Pain and stiffness all over the body.

  • Fatigue and tiredness.

  • Depression and anxiety.

  • Sleep problems.

  • Problems with thinking, memory, and concentration.

  • Headaches, including migraines.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet.

  • Pain in the face or jaw, including disorders of the jaw, known as temporomandibular joint syndrome (also known as TMJ).

  • Digestive problems, such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and even irritable bowel syndrome (also known as IBS).

What are the risk factors for Fibromyalgia?​​

According to the CDC... 

Known risk factors include:

  • Age. Fibromyalgia can affect people of all ages, including children. However, most people are diagnosed during middle age and you are more likely to have fibromyalgia as you get older.

  • Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis. If you have lupus or rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you are more likely to develop fibromyalgia.

Some other factors have been weakly associated with onset of fibromyalgia, but more research is needed to see if they are real. These possible risk factors include:

  • Sex. Women are twice as likely to have fibromyalgia as men.  

  • Stressful or traumatic events, such as car accidents, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

  • Repetitive injuries. Injury from repetitive stress on a joint, such as frequent knee bending.

  • Illness (such as viral infections).

  • Family history.

  • Obesity.

How is Fibromyalgia Treated?

According to the CDC...

Fibromyalgia can be effectively treated and managed with medication and self-management strategies. You can learn about self-management strategies in the section below titled How can I improve my quality of life?

Fibromyalgia should be treated by a doctor or team of healthcare professionals who specialize in the treatment of fibromyalgia and other types of arthritis, called rheumatologists. Doctors usually treat fibromyalgia with a combination of treatments, which may include:

  • Medications, including prescription drugs and over-the-counter pain relievers.

  • Aerobic exercise and muscle strengthening exercise.

  • Patient education classes, usually in primary care or community settings.

  • Stress management techniques such as meditation, yoga, and massage.

  • Good sleep habits to improve the quality of sleep.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to treat underlying depression. CBT is a type of talk therapy meant to change the way people act or think.

At Chicagoland FMCPO we recommend the following...

Educate yourself as much as possible, there are plenty of websites regarding fibromyalgia out there and we recommend you do your homework. However, remember the golden rule... If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  We will continue to update our site regularly as information about the illness is released from reputable sites that we are familiar with and are actually working with to educate the community together. Those sites would include,www.fmcpaware.org, GGPainAdvocacy.com, www.cdc.gov, www.greenhouseil.comwww.rabinsslaw.com,www.hhs.gov