Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that is characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, and tenderness in the muscles and soft tissues. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but it is believed to be related to abnormal processing of pain signals in the brain and changes in the way the central nervous system (CNS) and immune system function.
Fibromyalgia is more common in women than in men and often occurs in middle age, but it can affect people of all ages. Other symptoms of fibromyalgia can include sleep disturbances, headaches, cognitive difficulties, and depression.
Diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be challenging because there are no specific laboratory tests or imaging studies that can confirm the condition. Diagnosis is typically based on the presence of widespread pain and tenderness in specific areas of the body, as well as the presence of other symptoms such as fatigue and sleep disturbances.
Treatment for fibromyalgia typically involves a combination of medications, exercise, and lifestyle changes. Medications may include pain relievers, antidepressants, and anti-seizure medications, all of which can help to reduce pain and other symptoms. Exercise and physical therapy can help to improve muscle strength and flexibility and reduce pain and fatigue. Lifestyle changes such as stress reduction, improved sleep hygiene, and healthy eating habits can also be beneficial for managing fibromyalgia symptoms.
While fibromyalgia can be a chronic and challenging condition to manage, many people are able to improve their quality of life with the right treatment and support.