You may have heard the word fibromyalgia on TV commercials, on the radio, amongst talk about arthritis conditions, or even read about it your favorite magazine. You may think it’s some sort of condition like arthritis that affects the joints and you’d be close, but there’s actually a little but more to it. To clear up any confusion surrounding the term fibromyalgia and to better explain symptoms you may be experiencing yourself, we’ve defined fibromyalgia, its symptoms and how this condition can impact your life.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and is accompanied by many symptoms. It the second most common musculoskeletal condition after osteoarthritis. The symptoms and pain are often felt in localized areas of the body like the muscles and joints. Fibromyalgia is an interesting condition that can affect a person physically, mentally, and emotionally. Symptoms can vary from person to person and fibromyalgia can be found in in people of all ages, including children. According to the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association, approximately 10 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia, with a ratio of 8 to 2 women over men. From a scientific perspective, fibromyalgia is seen as a chronic pain state in which the nerve stimuli that produces pain starts mainly in the tissues of the body. People with fibromyalgia essentially lack much of a pain threshold.
Symptoms and Treatment
The cardinal symptoms of fibromyalgia are widespread pain and tenderness to touch. Symptoms can vary in intensity and are experienced differently by each person. Other common symptoms include:
- sleep disturbances
- cognitive difficulties (thinking clearly/memory problems)
- irritable or overactive bladder
- irritable bowl syndrome
- pelvic pain
- tension headaches
There is no cure for fibromyalgia. Many different approaches exist for management and relief of symptoms. The most common treatments include gentle exercise, cognitive therapies, medications, and joint supplements to help with pain and inflammation. Once your long term health goals are identified and a treatment plan is put into place you may experience a relief in symptoms and a decrease in flares.
How Fibromyalgia Can Impact Your Life
Fibromyalgia and its symptoms can range from mild to severe. If one word could be associated with fibromyalgia it would be pain, and that pain comes and goes like the tide of the ocean. It even exists despite treatments and medication. Stigmatization and cultural attitudes of people who experience chronic pain often cause people with fibromyalgia to withdraw from their friends and family. Trying to manager fibromyalgia while feeling alone and isolated can contribute to depression. Experiencing fibromyalgia can make every day life difficult and keep overall morale down. It’s important that if you or someone you know is suffering from fibromyalgia that you share it with your doctor and support system. This will make it easier to keep the condition under control and your life more manageable.
Now that you know what fibromyalgia is and how it can impact your life, we hope you will be able to identify these symptoms in yourself or your loved ones. If you are experiencing joint pain from fibromyalgia or any other arthritic condition, adding daily joint supplements to your diet may be a course of action for you. If you are unsure about how to choose a joint supplement, we can help. Download our free eBook How To Choose the Right Joint Supplement by clicking below.
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