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Posted 10 months ago
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. It is a condition that results in chronic widespread pain and tenderness all over. Here’s exactly what that means:
“Chronic” means that the pain lasts a long time—at least 3 months. Many people experience fibromyalgia pain for years before being diagnosed
“Widespread” means that it is all over the body. However, many people with fibromyalgia feel pain in the same places, such as the lower back and neck
“Tenderness” means that even a small amount of pressure can cause a lot of pain
Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain conditions. It affects more than 5 million people in the United States. That’s nearly 1 in every 60 Americans. Mostly women have it. But so can men. Most people begin feeling the symptoms of fibromyalgia when they are middle aged, but symptoms can start before then.
Fibromyalgia is not a psychological condition. While the exact cause is still not known, it is believed to have a biological cause. Recent research suggests that changes in the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and nerves) may be responsible.
It is believed that there may be a number of factors working together:
Trauma—physical and emotional trauma have been linked to fibromyalgia
Family history—the genes you inherit from your parents may increase the likelihood of developing fibromyalgia
Infections—there is some evidence to suggest that certain illnesses can act as a trigger
Autoimmune diseases—people with disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to develop fibromyalgia
In recent years, there has been progress in the diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia. But there are still many aspects of fibromyalgia that are not understood. Because of the complexity of the condition, it can be difficult to diagnose.
Connected to the muscles are nerves. Nerves throughout the body and spinal cord send messages to the brain. It is believed that people with fibromyalgia have overactive nerves. This may be responsible for the chronic all-over pain and tenderness of fibromyalgia.