Fibromyalgia

 

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What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a common condition. It’s thought that as many as 1 person in every 25 may suffer from it. More women than men are affected and the condition varies a great deal from one person to another and from day to day. Read more >

What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
  • widespread pain in your muscles
  • tiredness (fatigue) or lack of energy
  • sleep disorders
  • headaches
  • irritability, feeling low or weepy
  • forgetfulness or poor concentration
  • increased sensitivity (to cold, sound, knocks and bumps).
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How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?

Fibromyalgia is often difficult to diagnose as the symptoms vary considerably and could have other causes. Your doctor will make a diagnosis based on specific tender points on your body, although they may suggest tests to rule out other conditions. Read more >

What causes fibromyalgia?

The exact causes of fibromyalgia aren’t known, but anxiety, physical and/or mental trauma, and sleep disturbance are thought to play a part. If you have fibromyalgia you’ll experience increased sensitivity to pressure or minor knocks which wouldn’t normally be painful – this may be related to chemical changes in your body’s pain pathways. The pain isn’t caused by inflammation or anything that progressively gets worse, and there won’t be any lasting damage to your body. Read more >

What conditions may be related to fibromyalgia?

Some people with fibromyalgia may also be affected by other conditions, including:
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • joint pain
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
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What treatments are there for fibromyalgia?

A team of health professionals may be involved in treatment for fibromyalgia and will be able to offer you:
  • paracetamol for pain
  • low-dose antidepressants, which can relieve muscle pain and improve sleep
  • muscle relaxants
  • drugs that act on chemicals in the pain system
  • cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • physiotherapy and regular exercise.
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Self-help and daily living for fibromyalgia

Try the following to help ease the symptoms of fibromyalgia:
  • pace your daily activities
  • take regular exercise, such as swimming, walking or cycling
  • share your experience with other sufferers
  • tackle any stress or unhappiness at home or at work
  • avoid tea, coffee and alcohol close to bedtime
  • eat a balanced diet and keep to a healthy weight.
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Research and new developments for fibromyalgia

Arthritis Research UK are supporting the world’s first national centre for research into understanding the mechanisms of pain in musculoskeletal disorders.

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