Diseases & Conditions


FibromyalgiaCausesMedicationsPreventionRisk FactorsSymptomsTreatmentTypes

What is Fibromyalgia Syndrome?

Fibromyalgia is a general sensation of pain all over the body. Fibromyalgia syndrome can occur as physical manifestations, mood swings and psychological disorders.

Causes of Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Fibromyalgia syndrome have no true root cause. There is only speculation to date. Trauma, both emotional and physical may play a role in the onset of fibromyalgia syndrome . It is also speculated that the pain may be due to abnormal or irregular nerve signals in the body. Sleep disorders are also speculated to be the cause of fibromyalgia syndrome. Another cause could be changes in metabolism or a muscularskeletal alteration. Some hypothesize that a virus may lead to the fibromyalgia. Studies have shown there are some genetic tendencies toward this disease.

Medications for Fibromyalgia Syndrome

In 2007 Lyrica a pregabalin was the first medication approved to specifically treat fibromyalgia. Cymbalta, an antidepressant was also approved to treat this illness and in 2009 the FDA allowed the use of Savella (milnacipran) to assist in alleviating fibromyalgia symptoms. Gabapentin is also used to work on the pain transmission nerves. Standard anti-inflammatories can also help, including aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

Preventing Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Medications are a great way to alleviate the pain of this disease. Also diet and exercise can help keep the fibromyalgia syndrome under control. However, there are no proven means of preventing this disease.

Risk Factors for Fibromyalgia Syndrome

While nothing is proven, there are several risk factors that can predispose an individual to fibromyalgia syndrome:

  • While fibromyalgia can occur in both sexes, women are more prone to fibromyalgia than men.
  • Younger individuals between the ages of 20-50 are more likely to experience fibromyalgia.
  • Individuals who have trouble sleeping seem predisposed to this illness.
  • Individuals with lupus or rheumatoid arthritis are also more likely to experience fibromyalgia symptoms.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

The primary fibromyalgia symptom is all over body pain. It can be mistaken for arthritis. The body pain is described as burning, shooting, gnawing, deep, and radiating. Those experiencing fibromyalgia symptoms are also stiff and achy when they wake in the morning. Patients will also experience extreme fatigue usually due to the chronic pain. There will also be tender points on the body such as the back of the neck, knees, elbows, shoulders, rib cage, chest and thighs. Both standard headaches and migraines are common with fibromyalgia. Additional symptoms include tingling and numbness of the extremities, heart palpitations, depression and cognitive difficulties including memory problems.

Treatment of Fibromyalgia Syndrome

A decrease in stress or alteration of lifestyle can make the pain go away. There are medications to treat fibromyalgia syndrome including antidepressants and anti-inflammatories. Giving up caffeine and eating a healthy and balanced diet can also help reduce the fibromyalgia syndrome. Supplements including magnesium with malic acid, fish oil and vitamins have also been reported as helping get rid of the painful fibromyalgia symptoms. Working out and improving the fitness levels, can help in reducing the pain too.

Types of Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Primary fibromyalgia has painful symptoms that cannot be associated with, nor attributed to, an underlying illness or disease. Concomitant fibromyalgia syndrome occur alongside an unrelated illness or conditions such as scoliosis or arthritis. Reactive or secondary fibromyalgia syndrome begin after the onset of another parallel illness or an injury. It is thought that the injury or illness may somehow trigger the fibromyalgia pain. Secondary fibromyalgia syndrome can begin as a result of another problem such as cancer, HIV, lupus, hypothyroidism and rheumatism. Physical injuries may also trigger secondary fibromyalgia syndrome that are limited to the area of the injury instead of being felt throughout the whole body as is typical of this disease.