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What are the Signs of Fibromyalgia?

Article Details
  • Written By: Nat Robinson
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 27 March 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Fibromyalgia is a health condition that causes a person to experience pain throughout his or her entire body. The pain can occur anywhere but is most prone in the joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and soft tissues. One of the most dominant signs of fibromyalgia is widespread pain. Another sign can be the sensitivity of tender points in the body. Fatigue, headaches, sleep disturbances, stiffness and body aches can be signs of fibromyalgia as well.

There is not one specific scientific cause of fibromyalgia, however, researchers believe certain factors may contribute to the condition. For instance, an infection may be one possible cause of the illness. As fibromyalgia sometimes affects several family members, genetics may also be one of many causes. In addition, it is believed the condition may be triggered by a traumatic event in a person's life. For example, different types of emotional and physical traumas may lead to the development of fibromyalgia.

The condition is also commonly seen coexisting with other health conditions. One example of this would be the fact that chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia are often seen together. In addition, fibromyalgia and back pain commonly coexist as well. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), depression, anxiety and stress disorders, hypothyroidism and lupus are some additional conditions that frequently coexist with fibromyalgia. When with another condition, the signs of fibromyalgia may include symptoms of the other condition as well.

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Widespread pain is one of the most typical general signs of fibromyalgia. Many people with this condition complain of hurting all over their body. Most commonly, the pain radiates from the joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and soft tissues. In the average case, a person with fibromyalgia does not have selective pain, instead, he or she will typically experience pain from head to toe and on both sides of his or her body. The pain may be intensified under certain conditions, such as stress, changes in the weather and increased activity.

Fibromyalgia signs may also be centered around the level of sensitivity of tender points in the body. The body has tender points located throughout its frame. Some of the most common tender points are found in the head, neck, shoulders, knees, elbows and hips. An individual with fibromyalgia will experience above average pain when these tender points are palpated.

Overall fatigue is another sign of this condition. In fact, fatigue is one of the most common complaints of individuals with this illness. Other signs of fibromyalgia may include headaches, stiffness and body aches. Sleep disturbances are another major symptom. Due to the widespread pain, individuals with fibromyalgia commonly complain of being unable to fall asleep and remain asleep for normal periods of time.

Once an individual receives a clinical diagnosis of fibromyalgia, there are several treatments available. Some doctors may advise exercise to strengthen muscles and ligaments affected by the condition. Certain individuals may also benefit from acupuncture and eating a healthy diet. In addition, medications such as pain relievers, muscle relaxants and sleep aids may also be used to help with many fibromyalgia symptoms.

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