Fibromyalgia Pain

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)

There 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:

  • Fatigue.
  • 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
  • Illness
  • 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.

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Tender points for Fibromyalgia symptoms
This chart shows some of the Fibromyalgia tender points

Download a larger Fibromyalgia tender points chart from the manuals page.

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