Chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia, can be just disabling as better-known disorders. This condition entails widespread painful sensations all over the body, which often make it difficult to lead a normal life when symptoms are severe.
Many people experiencing the effects of fibromyalgia have difficulty receiving the right diagnosis. This is because the disorder has many similar symptoms when compared with other conditions, so doctors often overlook it. Here are some of the basics about fibromyalgia so you can receive a timely diagnosis and take the right steps to improve your quality of life.
Why fibromyalgia occurs
One of the reasons why it is difficult for doctors to diagnose fibromyalgia is because it is a somewhat mysterious condition. While there is no one direct cause, it is thought to occur due to a combination of factors. Certain illnesses or infections can lead to symptoms, as can certain injuries. Emotional issues related to stress or depression may also trigger symptoms. Finally, people with family members who have experienced fibromyalgia have a greater risk of developing the condition.
The most profound symptom of fibromyalgia is a dull, aching pain that occurs in numerous places all over the body for three months or longer. This includes both sides of the body, as well as above and below the waist. Many sufferers also experience fatigue, in addition to problems thinking clearly. Other symptoms include headaches, joint disorders affecting the jaw, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Most people use a combination of treatments to experience relief from fibromyalgia. Prescription pain medication can be used for intense pain, but minor pain is often treated with over-the-counter medication. Certain anti-depressants can reduce pain, as well as ease the fatigue associated with the condition. For the emotional effects of the disorder, counseling is often beneficial. Therapy can also prove useful in treating chronic pain. Physical therapy helps improve strength and increase energy. If you are limited in your mobility, occupational therapy can teach you new ways of doing things.