Fibromyalgia: Unlocking the Mystery

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If you’re more sensitive to pain than others, and frequently experience pain and fatigue throughout your body for no apparent reason, you may be suffering from fibromyalgia. It’s a puzzling condition that can be difficult to diagnose. 

Who Is At Risk?

Although anyone can develop fibromyalgia, it is more common:

  • In women
  • During middle age
  • If you have lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or an arthritis of the spine called ankylosing spondylitis
  • If you have family members with fibromyalgia
  • If you’ve experienced a stressful or traumatic event (e.g., car accident)
  • What Are the Symptoms?

    The symptoms of fibromyalgia are similar to many conditions. That’s why it’s difficult to diagnose. Although the condition is chronic (long-term), symptoms can come and go, making it difficult for you and your doctor to pinpoint what is happening. Your symptoms may include:

    • Pain and fatigue throughout your body (on both sides, above and below your waist) for at least three months
    • Difficulty focusing, remembering, concentrating
    • Headaches
    • Face, jaw pain
    • Depression, anxiety
    • Irritable bowel syndrome
    • Tingling and numbness in hands and feet
    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Restless legs syndrome

    How Is It Diagnosed And Treated?

    There’s no specific test to identify fibromyalgia. It is best to seek a health care provider who is familiar with it and has treated other patients for it. To diagnose it, your health care provider likely will:

    • Do a physical exam, review your symptoms, and ask about family history
    • Take X-rays or blood tests to rule out other conditions
    • Discuss where your pain is located and how long it lasts

    Treatment may include:

    • Medication (including over-the-counter and prescription)
    • Changes to your lifestyle, including a healthier diet, regular exercise, quality sleep, a healthy balance between work and rest
    • Talk therapy to learn how to manage stress, pain, and negativity

    Some physicians recommend massage or movement therapies, acupuncture, or chiropractic therapy. Speak with your health care provider before pursuing these treatment options. 

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.