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Fibromyalgia

Starting in the early 1800s, physicians have recognized a condition characterized by widespread pain, stiff muscles, profound fatigue and disturbed sleep, which they called "muscular rheumatism." Now known as fibromyalgia, this chronic condition affects up to six percent of the population. The vast majority of those diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women, but men and children can also have the illness.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by fatigue and widespread muscoloskeletal pain that is present above and below the waist in 11 out of 18 “tender points.” Symptoms can also include mental processing problems, for example, problems with short-term memory and concentration; headaches; sleep disorders; heat/cold intolerance; anxiety or emotional numbness; heart problems, including rhythm abnormalities; and marked weight change.

The 18 tender points of fibromyalgia.
The 18 tender points of fibromyalgia.

What causes fibromyalgia is not well understood; however, most patients describe a physical trauma, such as a whiplash or neck injury from a car accident, as the beginning of their fibromyalgia pain.

Although there is no cure for fibromyalgia at this time, there are many things you can do to minimize your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

 

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Fibromyalgia

Medical description

Diagnosis

Living with fibromyalgia

Activity and exercise

Relaxation

Sleep

Diet

Pain relief

Environment

Coping emotionally


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