Associated Conditions & Fibromyalgia Treatment
Fibromyalgia is a condition in which a person experiences widespread musculoskeletal pain – which is associated with mood, memory issues, sleep, and fatigue. Experts are of the opinion that this condition magnifies painful sensations.
Many people experience symptoms after an event such as significant psychological stress, infection, surgery, or physical trauma. However, in some cases, symptoms develop slowly over a period of time with not even a single event behind such symptoms.
What are the associated conditions?
In many cases, those who have the typical symptoms of fibromyalgia may also have other associated conditions – such as anxiety, mood changes, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorders), and tension headaches. Compared to men, women are at increased risk of developing fibromyalgia.
In a few other cases, post tachycardia syndrome, painful bladder syndrome (interstitial cystitis), cluster headaches and migraines, and chronic fatigue syndrome are associated with fibromyalgia.
What are the causes of Fibromyalgia?
People with fibromyalgia are exposed to repeated nerve stimulation – owing to which the brain and spinal cord function alter. When this happens, painful signals augment with an increase in the levels of certain hormones that trigger pain. Brain receptors also become sensitized by developing the memory of the pain. When this happens, pain receptors begin to overreact to painful and nonpainful signals making the condition worse. The other causes of fibromyalgia include hereditary (genes), certain infections, and physical and emotional events.
What are the risk factors for fibromyalgia?
The risk factors for fibromyalgia may include strong family history and sex as women are at increased risk compared to men. Other conditions – such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis may also increase the risk of this condition.
The pain, fatigue, and poor sleep quality associated with fibromyalgia can interfere with your ability to function at home or on the job. The frustration of dealing with an often-misunderstood condition also can result in depression and health-related anxiety.
The most prominent complication of this condition is the significant loss of ability to work efficiently at home or on the job. This can largely be attributed to poor quality of sleep, extreme weakness (fatigue), severe pain, and anxiety. Constant worry, mental disturbance, frustration and weakness, and failure to deal with these conditions may often lead to health-related anxiety and depression.
The main criterion for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia is generalized pain throughout the body for a period of at least 3 months. According to the new guidelines, pain should be present in at least four of the following five areas of the body to satisfy the main criteria:
- Pain in the neck, back, chest, or abdomen
- Left Hip pain or pain in buttock or leg (lower region)
- Right hip, buttock, or leg pain (lower region)
- Pain in the Left upper region, including shoulder, arm, or jaw
- Right upper region pain (shoulder, arm, or jaw)
There is no specific treatment or therapy as no single treatment works for all symptoms. Specialists provide a variety of treatment strategies to have a cumulative effect. Therefore, a comprehensive treatment modality includes pain relievers, antidepressants (if needed), counseling, occupational and physical therapies, lifestyle modifications (sleep hygiene, stress management, exercise, and tracking activity levels), and home remedies