Ottawa Fibromyalgia Support Group
What is Fibromyalgia
What is Fibromyalgia?
You hurt all over, and you frequently feel exhausted. Even after numerous tests, your doctor can't find anything specifically wrong with you. If this sounds familiar, you may have fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points - places on your body where slight pressure causes pain.
Fibromyalgia occurs in about 2 percent of the population in the United States. Women are much more likely to develop the disorder than are men, and the risk of fibromyalgia increases with age. Fibromyalgia symptoms often begin after a physical or emotional trauma, but in many cases there appears to be no triggering event.
Signs and symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary, depending on the weather, stress, physical activity or even the time of day.
1. Widespread pain and tender points
The pain associated with fibromyalgia is described as a constant dull ache, typically arising from muscles. To be considered widespread, the pain must occur on both sides of your body and above and below your waist.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by additional pain when firm pressure is applied to specific areas of your body, called tender points. TenTender pointsder point locations include:
* Back of the head
* Between shoulder blades
* Top of shoulders
* Front sides of neck
* Upper chest
* Outer elbows
* Upper hips
* Sides of hips
* Inner knees
2. Fatigue and sleep disturbances
People with fibromyalgia often awaken tired, even though they seem to get plenty of sleep. Experts believe that these people rarely reach the deep restorative stage of sleep. Sleep disorders that have been linked to fibromyalgia include restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea.
3. Co-existing conditions
Many people who have fibromyalgia also may have:
* Chronic fatigue syndrome
* Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
* Post-traumatic stress disorder
* Restless legs syndrome
* Rheumatoid arthritis
Many People with Fibromyalgia also suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
What is CFS?
Source: Mayo Clinic