Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness that causes physical pain and fatigue. Classified as a syndrome not a disease. Fibromyalgia causes many different symptoms.
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Do You Have Fibromyalgia Pain?
For the most part, routine laboratory testing reveals nothing about Fibromyalgia pain. However, upon physical examination, the Fibromyalgia patient will be sensitive to pressure in certain areas of the body called tender points. To meet the diagnosis criteria, patient must have:
- Widespread pain in all four quadrants of their body for a minimum of three months.
- At least 11 of the 18 specified tender points. (see diagram)
The 18 sites used for diagnosis cluster around the neck, shoulder, chest, hip, knees and elbow regions. Over 75 other tender points have been found to exist, but are not used for diagnostic purposes. Some experts believe that a person does not need to have 11 tender points to be diagnosed and treated for Fibromyalgia. The criterion was originally intended for research purposes and many people may have Fibromyalgia with less than 11 of the required tender points.
Fibromyalgia pain is a chronic illness that causes physical pain and fatigue. Classified as a syndrome not a disease. Fibromyalgia causes many different symptoms:
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
- Sleep disorders.
- Chronic headaches.
- Jaw pain.
- Memory impairment.
- Muscle pain morning stiffness.
- Painful menstruation.
- Numbness and tingling in the extremities.
- Dizziness or light headedness.
- Skin and chemical sensitivities.
Fibromyalgia’s main symptom is widespread musculoskeletal pain. This pain affects the ligaments, tendons, and muscles throughout the body. Ligaments are made of tough tissues which attach to the bones in your body. Tendons help to attach muscles to your bones. Muscles allow you to stretch and flex various body parts.
One of the significant symptoms of Fibromyalgia is the associated sleep disorder, or disrupted sleep pattern. Often times a person with Fibromyalgia will sleep for two or three hours at a time before waking and having difficulty getting back to sleep, this pattern continues throughout the night. The cumulation of ‘bad sleep” results in the “fibromyalgia fog” that adds a lethargic feeling to the muscle pain.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
The causes of Fibromyalgia are unknown. Fibromyalgia has been linked to:
- Stressful or traumatic events,
- Car accidents
- Repetitive injuries
- Certain Diseases: rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, spinal arthritis
Who is Affected by Fibromyalgia Pain?
Fibromyalgia affects as many as 1 in 50 Americans and research shows that most people with Fibromyalgia are women. However, men and children can also have the syndrome.
Learn about Fibromyalgia Pain Relief
Download a larger Fibromyalgia tender points chart from the manuals page.
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Efficacy of the use of two simultaneously TENS devices for fibromyalgia pain.
– Source: Rheumatology International, February 20, 2013
by G. R. Auretti, E.F. Chubaci, and A.L. Mattos
Fibromyalgia is characterized by a range of symptoms that include muscle pain, fatigue and sleep disorders. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is an established method for pain relief. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the use of two simultaneously new TENS devices for fibromyalgia pain. After Ethics approval and informed consent, 39 patients were prospectively divided into three groups to evaluate TENS device, applied simultaneously in each patient: (1) at the lower back (perpendicular to the vertebrae canal, at the level of the 5th lumbar vertebrae) and (2) centrally above and below the space between the C7 and T1 spinous processes. The devices were applied for 20 min at 12-h interval during 7 consecutive days. For the placebo group (PG), the devices did not transmitted electrical stimulus. The single-TENS group (STG) (n = 13) had one active and one placebo TENS. The DTG applied both active TENS devices at the low back and cervical areas. Diclofenac was used as rescue analgesic. The efficacy measures were pain relief, reduction in use of daily analgesic tablets, quality of sleep and fatigue. The evaluation within groups revealed that patients from DPG refereed no pain relief when compared to their previous VAS pain score (8 cm, p > 0.05), while patients from the STG refereed improvement of 2.5 cm in the pain VAS (previous 8.5 cm compared to 6 cm after treatment) (p < 0.05), and the DPG refereed daily maintained reduction of 4 cm in the VAS pain (previous 8.5-4.3 cm) (p < 0.02). Concurrent daily consumption of analgesic tablets was reduced in both STG (p < 0.05) and DTG (p < 0.02). Comparison among groups revealed that analgesia, as well as quality of sleep and disposition, was DTG > STG > PG (p < 0.05). Participants subjectively found the active device useful. While the application of a single active TENS improved pain relief in fibromyalgia pain, pain and fatigue were further improved when two active devices were simultaneously applied at the low back and cervical area, with no side effects.