Fibromyalgia refers to a chronic disorder that is characterized by widespread pain, diffuse tenderness, fatigue, and a number of other symptoms. Although fibromyalgia is considered an arthritis-related condition, it is not technically a form of arthritis. This is because it does not result in inflammation or damage to the muscles, joints, or other tissues like arthritis does. Similar to other arthritis conditions, however, fibromyalgia can cause significant pain and fatigue. It can also affect a patient’s daily quality of life.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
In addition to pain, tenderness, and fatigue, patients with fibromyalgia may also experience these common symptoms:
- Sensitivity to loud noises and bright lights
- Sleep disturbances
- Temperature sensitivity
- Restless leg syndrome
- Irritable bowl syndrome
- Painful menstruation
- Cognitive and memory problems
- Morning stiffness
The pain associated with fibromyalgia may worsen due to cold or damp weather, anxiety, stress, or activity. Most patients with fibromyalgia experience a depressed mood and sleeping problems. Some patients have pain all day long, while for others it improves at night.
Risk Factors and Causes
Diagnosis and Treatment
- Widespread pain lasting more than 3 months
- Waking up still feeling tired
- Memory or thought trouble
Widespread pain is described as pain that affects all four quadrants of the body. This means it must be experienced on both sides of the body as well as on the top and bottom halves of the body.
As many patients with fibromyalgia know, the right doctor can make all the difference when it comes to treatment. Three medications are currently approved by the FDA for treatment of fibromyalgia. These are duloxetine, milnacipran, and pregabalin. Duloxetine and milnacipran are also used as antidepressants, while pregabalin is an anti-seizure drug. Painkillers may also to help ease the pain, and NSAIDs such as aspirin and ibuprofen treat inflammation. Other common treatments include :
- Physical therapy
- Stress relief
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Sleep improvement
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How important is diet in dealing with fibromyalgia?
Q: Will my fibromyalgia improve over time?
Q: What can I do to start feeling better?
To learn more about fibromyalgia treatment, visit WebMD.com.
Consult a Los Angeles Fibromyalgia Doctor
Are tired of living with the constant pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia? Have other doctors told you there’s nothing they can do to help manage your symptoms? Not only is Dr. Baker a leader in the field of rheumatology and the treatment of fibromyalgia, but she’s also renowned for her sensitive and compassionate treatment. Contact Dr. Baker today at (310) 274-7770 to find out what she can do to help you.
Next, learn about tendinitis and bursitis.