Fibromyalgia is an increasingly common illness that, due its relatively new status as a medical condition, is often misunderstood. Even those who are diagnosed with this condition are sometimes unsure of specifics concerning causes, symptoms, and complications, as well as the many different types of fibromyalgia treatment. In fact, according to professionals in the medical community and the National Institute of Health, the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. However, even though a cause can’t yet be pinpointed, continued research on fibromyalgia shows that certain individuals are at an increased risk for this disease. Research has also led to the development of a variety of treatments for this illness, which include pharmaceutical remedies, lifestyle changes and alternative therapies.
The following is an in-depth look at fibromyalgia, which includes information on possible causes, risk factors, various symptoms and methods used to treat fibromyalgia pain relief.
The most common symptom reported by fibromyalgia patients is chronic musculoskeletal pain that is often described as dull, deep, aching or throbbing. Pain is typically widespread, which means that it occurs in several areas of the body. Areas of pain are often called tender spots, many of which are common among fibromyalgia patients. Common tender spots for fibromyalgia pain include the back of the head, the inner knees, the elbows, the chest, the hips, the neck and the shoulders. Pain in these spots is usually chronic and worsens when pressure is applied.
In addition to pain in tender spots, many fibromyalgia patients suffer accompanying symptoms and illnesses like the following:
When it comes to an exact cause of fibromyalgia, many experts believe the answer may lie in a number of factors that, combined, lead to the chronic pain associated with this illness. This is because a large percentage of fibromyalgia patients share commonalities in their medical histories, which often includes similarities concerning preexisting physical and psychological illnesses. The following lists possible causes and risk factors associated with fibromyalgia:
There are no known ways to definitively diagnosis fibromyalgia through the use of laboratory testing. Instead, physicians diagnose this condition based on the criteria that the patient has suffered chronic, widespread pain over a period of at least three months, as well as the pinpointing of at least 11 fibromyalgia tender spots.
Although there are several medications often prescribed to fibromylagia patients, lifestyle changes play a large role in the treatment of this condition. The following describes both pharmaceutical and at-home fibromyalgia treatments for relief of fibromyalgia pain.
Medications used to treat fibromyalgia pain include both prescription and over-the-counter drugs like the following:
Several changes to diet, activity levels and other aspects of patients’ lifestyles are often recommended in the treatment of fibromyalgia. A few of those lifestyle changes include the following:
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