What is Fibromyalgia? Understanding the Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment


Millions of people are affected by Fibromyalgia. It is a neurological chronic type of Arthritis that is known for its widespread musculoskeletal pain. Although this condition does not lead to damage to the joints and other parts of the body, it can be worrisome due to its symptoms that affect a person’s general well-being.

Causes of Fibromyalgia

A lot of theories have been formed about how Fibromyalgia forms. There are sources that say it develops as a result of hormonal disturbances or stress. Other theories, on the other hand, state that it is caused by a single event resulting from physical and emotional stressors.

Sudden trauma to the brain and the spinal cord is also believed to be one of the causes of Fibromyalgia.

Who are at Risk for Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia generally affects people who age between 25 to 60 years old. Research also says that women are mostly the ones who are at risk of developing this condition because they undergo hormonal changes and menopause which are related to the development of this condition. In some cases, family inheritance of the disease also plays a role.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

  1. Muscle spasms
  2. Muscle tightness
  3. Muscle pain
  4. Fatigue and decreased energy
  5. Anxiety
  6. Depression
  7. Numbness and tingling sensations
  8. Muscle pain after exercise
  9. Memory problems
  10. Sleeping difficulties

The symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia may worsen or lessen depending on the time of the day. It is noted that the pain intensifies in the morning, late afternoon, and at night. These symptoms may also become more intense when a person feels weakness in the body, depression, stress, tension, overexertion, hormonal changes, or when there are weather changes such as cold temperature.

Symptoms may also worsen if this condition is not diagnosed and treated at an early time. They may disappear over time but they may come again a few months after.

Treatment of Fibromyalgia

Because pain is the most prominent manifestation in Fibromyalgia, it is best to report this symptom to your physician the moment it arises so you can take a pain reliever. Nowadays, physicians do their best to give the most effective medications to treat the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. Such medications include pain relievers, anticonvulsants, narcolepsy medications, antidepressants, and sleep aides. These medications are known to reduce symptoms and relieve sleeping difficulties, depression, and anxiety.

Apart from medications, doing exercises also plays a very important role in treating Fibromyalgia. It is advisable that people with this condition involve themselves in swimming, walking, dancing, hiking, and any other types of aerobic exercises in order to strengthen their bones and muscles.

Another way to treat this condition is to get involved in Physical Therapy. Physical Therapy is noted to be very effective in relieving the symptoms caused by Fibromyalgia. It helps lessens stiffness and even eases fatigue. It also improves range of motion (ROM) and flexibility. Taking part in this activity means doing exercises and receiving therapeutic massages from physical therapists who resort to heat packs, ice, and other machines. In this treatment, you are expected to work closely with trained Physical therapists that design a specific treatment plan that best benefits your body’s condition.

The goal of physical therapy is for you to be independent when it comes to managing your condition. You are taught about ways on how to relieve your symptoms by doing proper exercises from time to time.

With these treatment methods, you will find relief from your symptoms. However, these symptoms tend to come back over time especially when you are exposed to a lot of stressors. In this case, you need to identify painful episodes and remember the ways that help you relieve and prevent them.