In this article below, Dr Mohammed Qureshi, a highly esteemed pain medicine specialist, provides us with an expert insight into fibromyalgia, including the causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
What is ﬁbromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain all over the body, fatigue, and other symptoms. People with fibromyalgia may be more sensitive to pain than those who don’t have it. This is known as abnormal pain perception.
What causes ﬁbromyalgia symptoms?
The symptoms often begin after a physical traumatic event, surgery, infection, or significant psychological stress. Women are more likely than men to develop fibromyalgia.
What are the symptoms of ﬁbromyalgia?
There are a number of symptoms related to fibromyalgia. The main ones include:
- Widespread pain. The pain associated with fibromyalgia often is described as a constant dull ache that has lasted for at least three months. To be considered widespread, the pain must occur on both sides of your body and above and below your waist.
- Fatigue. People with fibromyalgia often awaken tired, even though they report sleeping for long periods of time. Sleep is often disrupted by pain, and many patients with fibromyalgia have other sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnoea.
- Cognitive difficulties. A symptom commonly referred to as “fibro fog” impairs the ability to focus, pay attention and concentrate on mental tasks.
Other symptoms you may have if you have fibromyalgia include:
- dizziness and clumsiness
- feeling too hot or too cold
- an overwhelming urge to move your legs (restless legs syndrome)
- tingling, numbness, prickling, or burning sensations in your hands and feet headaches
- irritable bowel syndrome
Can ﬁbromyalgia be cured? How can it be managed eﬀectively?
There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but medications can help control symptoms. Exercise, relaxation, and stress-reducing measures can also help. Patients with fibromyalgia may also experience other pain issues such as back pain and sciatica, which may require treatment alongside the fibromyalgia.
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