Definition of Fibromyalgia

You hurt everywhere, all over, and most frequently are exhausted.  Your doctor has run test after test and can’t seem to find anything specifically wrong with you.  Does this sound like you?  Well,  you may have Fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points — places on your body where slight pressure causes pain.

Fibromyalgia occurs in about 2 percent of the population in the United States. Women are much more likely to develop the disorder than are men, and the risk of fibromyalgia increases with age however there are reported cases of young children with the condition and guess what?  Men get fibro too.

There is no real explanation of the cause of Fibromyalgia but it is often noted after physical trauma such as a car accident, surgery, head trauma and other physically traumatic events.  Fibromyalgia has been known to be brought on by severe emotional trauma as well but when all is said and done, more research needs to be done and explored for there is no certain triggering event.

While doctors don’t know what causes fibromyalgia, there most likely are a variety of factors working together. These may include:

  • Genetics. Because fibromyalgia tends to run in families, there may be certain genetic mutations that may make you more susceptible to developing the disorder.
  • Infections. Some illnesses appear to trigger or aggravate fibromyalgia.
  • Physical or emotional trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder has been linked to fibromyalgia.

Why does it hurt?
Current thinking centers around a theory called central sensitization. This theory states that people with fibromyalgia have a lower threshold for pain because of increased sensitivity in the brain to pain signals.

Researchers believe repeated nerve stimulation causes the brains of people with fibromyalgia to change. This change involves an abnormal increase in levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain (neurotransmitters). In addition, the brain’s pain receptors seem to develop a sort of memory of the pain and become more sensitive, meaning they can overreact to pain signals.

If this sounds even remotely of what you may be experiencing please see your doctor right away.

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