Fibromyalgia is one of the most misunderstood conditions by both the public and inexperienced medical personnel. It is one that causes severe morbidity and alters daily activities. Its sufferers are rarely understood and more rarely treated adequately. Understanding fibromyalgia not only improves the lives of patients suffering from it, but also allows healthy people understand that many conditions may not be as explicit in their manifestations and yet cause much distress for those who suffer from them. Unfortunately, many patients suffered for decades with their symptoms either completely neglected or treated by inappropriate medications owing to the faulty understanding of how fibromyalgia develops. In this article, we will discuss how fibromyalgia occurs, what symptoms suggest it, how it is diagnosed and how it can be treated.
- Low Back Pain: All Things You Want to Know About Low Back Pain Signs, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Home Remedies
- Knee Pain: Causes, Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment, When To See Your Doctor?
- Sciatica I Do You Have a Sciatica? Learn More About Symptoms, Signs, Causes, Risk Factors, and Treatment
- Everything You Need To Know About Herniated Disc (Slipped) Disc, Causes, Symptoms and Signs, Diagnosis, and Treatment
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a condition of persistent, recurrent, widespread and, sometimes, intolerable pain. Such pain can affect any place in the body from head to toes. At first, it was thought to be a psychological condition and therefore given either no treatment at all, thinking it would go on its own, or psychotropic medications that offer little and expose the patient to unnecessary side effects. Recent research has found that fibromyalgia is, in fact, a disorder of pain perception.
Pain perception is quite complex. At first, our pain receptors (also called nociceptors) feel the pain whether due to trauma, heat, chemical or inflammation, then nerve fibers transmit such sensation to the spinal cord and from there to the thalamus -a collection of nerves in our brain and finally to the cortex of our brain. Pain perception is not absolute, since a pain threshold exists and differs between individuals. What’s on people can consider as intolerable pain, others can endure for hours. In fibromyalgia, many of these mechanisms are affected. Patients can feel pain from non-painful sensations like touch or simple pressure. They can also feel exaggerated pain and pain in sites that are in affected at all. Fibromyalgia also affects other aspects than pain including depression, anxiety, altered sleep pattern and general wellbeing.