Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fibromyalgia: What is it?

Fibromyalgia.  Just the name itself sounds painful.  I hear about it all the time and wanted to know more about it so I hit the internet and this is what I found.

I will be honest, until now, I thought it was diagnosed by process of elimination.  The Doctor couldn't figure out what was wrong so in comes the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia.  I now have a better understanding of what it is. 

Definition By Mayo Clinic staff
Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.

Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event. Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that Fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.
Women are much more likely to develop Fibromyalgia than are men. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression.
While there is no cure for Fibromyalgia, a variety of medications can help control symptoms. Exercise, relaxation and stress-reduction measures also may help.
Although there is no cure or no real explanation of how a person gets it, the Mayo clinic suggest that there are a few factors working together that may cause it:  Genetics, Infections and physical and/or emotional trauma.

So why does Fibromyalgia hurt?  (I love the Mayo Clinic)
Current thinking centers around a theory called central sensitization. This theory states that people with fibromyalgia have a lower threshold for pain because of increased sensitivity in the brain to pain signals.
Researchers believe repeated nerve stimulation causes the brains of people with fibromyalgia to change. This change involves an abnormal increase in levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain (neurotransmitters). In addition, the brain's pain receptors seem to develop a sort of memory of the pain and become more sensitive, meaning they can overreact to pain signals.
WebMD states that before now when a person had Fibromyalgia the Doctor would tell them their pain was "in their head."  New tests are now available to correctly diagnosis Fibromyalgia and now medications are approved.
The researchers developed and tested the new diagnostic criteria on 829 people with fibromyalgia and a matched group of individuals with other pain disorders such as neck or back pain syndromes and osteoarthritis. They found that the widespread pain index, symptom severity, and number of symptoms were the most important variables in making the diagnosis. This new criteria will capture more than 88% of people with fibromyalgia without a physical or tender point exam.

For all your pain contact Premier Back Rehabilitation Center

Like Premier Back Rehabilitation Center on Facebook or visit their website.

Please tell me about your Fibromyalgia story...I would love to learn more.