Fibromyalgia is a common, long-term, chronic condition that causes bodily pain, fatigue, tenderness and other types of discomfort. The condition is also referred to as Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS).
Fibromyalgia is often characterized by pain all over the body, chronic daytime fatigue, increased sensitivity to pain, muscle stiffness, and sleep problems. Individuals with Fibromyalgia feel different types of pain but often describe it as a constant ache on their neck, head, back, muscles, and tendons.
Fibromyalgia symptoms are often confused with those of arthritis and joint inflammation, but the Fibromyalgia pain is felt In the soft tissue and not the joints.
If you suffer from Fibromyalgia, you are certainly not alone. It is one of the most common chronic conditions around the world.
According to The National Fibromyalgia Association, Fibromyalgia affects as many as 10 Million adults in the U.S. and about 3-6% of the world’s population. While Fibromyalgia can affect both men and women and people of all ages, women are 7 times more likely to suffer from FMS.
It’s not clear what causes Fibromyalgia. However, research suggests that abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the brain contribute significantly to the development of FMS.
There is a wide range of risk factors associated with FMS. Some of them are; repetitive injuries, having an operation, problems with the central nervous system (CNS), emotionally stressful or traumatic event, and other types of disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and lupus.
The Impact of Fibromyalgia
Living with Fibromyalgia can be extremely deflating. Pain from FMS affects the quality of your life and extensively disrupts your daily activities.
But FMS pain goes beyond affecting us physically. The disorder has negative impacts on psychological well-being as well. It encompasses everything in your life, including your body, mind, feelings, emotions, and attitudes.
Patients with FMS report that it affects their self-esteem, personal and professional relationships and causes depression. FMS is also associated with cognitive disruption (commonly known as fibro-fog) such as difficulties with memory and concentration.
Poor sleep and stress can turn into a vicious circle for people with FMS. Stress and sleep disturbance contribute to making Fibromyalgia pain worse. At the same time, FMS causes stress, anxiety, and sleep disorders.