Focus on Disability Website - Fibromyalgia

Here is an online article on Focus on Disability (excerpt given).

Introduction

The name Fibromyalgia comes from three Latin words:

'fibro' meaning fibrous tissues, such as tendons (tissue that connects muscles to bones) and ligaments (tissue that connects bones to bones)

'my' meaning muscles

'algia' meaning pain

However, the pain of fibromyalgia does not just affect the muscles, ligaments and tendons, but is felt all over the body. It results in widespread pain and extreme tiredness. People with fibromyalgia may also have:

difficulty sleeping

headaches

irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

muscle stiffness

See symptoms for more information.

How common is fibromyalgia?

It is estimated that fibromyalgia affects nearly 1 in 20 people across the globe. In England and Wales, there could be up to 1.76 million adults with fibromyalgia.

Anyone can develop fibromyalgia, although the condition affects more women than men. In most cases, fibromyalgia occurs between 30 and 60 years of age, but it can develop in people of any age, including children and the elderly.

Fibromyalgia can be a difficult condition to diagnose because there is no specific test and the symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions.

Outlook

There is currently no cure for fibromyalgia, because the cause is unknown. However, there are a number of treatments that may ease symptoms. Treatment tends to be a combination of:

medicines – such as antidepressants and painkillers

talking therapies – such as counselling

lifestyle changes – such as better sleeping habits and relaxation

In particular, exercise has been found to have a number of important benefits for people with fibromyalgia, including helping to reduce pain. See treatment for more information.

For most people, the symptoms of fibromyalgia are permanent, although they can vary in severity. There are several lifestyle changes that can help to relieve your symptoms and make your condition easier to live with. See self help for more information and advice.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

There are many symptoms of fibromyalgia and they tend to vary from person to person. The symptoms can also come and go over time, although it is unlikely they will ever disappear altogether.

Your symptoms may sometimes get better or worse, depending on factors such as:

changes in the weather

your stress levels

how physically active you are

The main symptoms of fibromyalgia are outlined below.

Pain

If you have fibromyalgia, one of your main symptoms is likely to be widespread pain. This may be felt throughout your body, but could be worse in particular areas, such as your back or neck. The pain is likely to be continuous, although it may be better or more severe at different times.

The pain could feel like:

an ache

a burning sensation

a sharp stabbing pain

Extreme sensitivity

Fibromyalgia can cause you to become extremely sensitive to pain all over your body, and you may find that even the slightest touch is very painful. If you hurt yourself, for example if you stub your toe, you may find that the pain continues for much longer than it normally would.

You may hear this described in the following medical terms:

hyperalgesia - when you are extremely sensitive to pain

allodynia - when you feel pain from something that should not be painful at all, such as a very light touch

If you have fibromyalgia, you may find you are very sensitive to other things as well, such as smoke, certain foods and bright lights. Being exposed to something you are sensitive to can cause your other fibromyalgia symptoms to flare up.

If you'd like to read in full please Google - Focus on Disability Fibromyalgia. It has quite a lot of information! :)

Hope it helps

Emma :)

6 Replies

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  • Extremely informative, thanks for sharing. :-)

  • Thanks for sharing looks like good info so can I suggest maybe saving this onto a word document for those that find it useful :)

  • Marvellous explanation of fibro.x

  • Absolutely wonderful my friend, thank you so much for sharing x :)

  • Thank you Emma....

  • thanks for sharing emma

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