Fibromyalgia Symptoms and Treatments Infographic
Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition which causes widespread physical pain. With Fibromyalgia, the pain can be present in almost any area of your body and it is estimated to affect around 1 in 20 people.
Women are 7 times more likely to be affected than men and the condition tends to develop between the ages of 30 and 50. Typically Fibromyalgia is hard to diagnose and can often be mistaken for a variety of other conditions.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia – Spotting the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia can manifest in different ways from person to person. The pain will likely be felt throughout your body, but is most likely to be experienced in your back and neck.
The pain is likely to be continuous and could feel like a dull ache, a burning sensation or a sharp, stabbing pain.
Managing the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
The symptoms of fibromyalgia can get better or worse depending on a variety of factors including:
- Your stress levels
- Changes in the weather
- The amount of physical activity you do
However, while the pain may come and go, it is unlikely it will completely disappear forever.
What are the symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
- Sensitivity – Even the slightest touch can be painful. You can become sensitive to things such as smoke, certain food and bright lights
- Stiffness – Especially after having remained in the same position for a long time. It can also cause painful muscle spasms
- Fatigue – This can range from mild tiredness, to the type of lethargy associated with the flu. Fatigue can come on suddenly, and be extremely debilitating
- Cognitive problems (fibro-fog) – Fibromyalgia can affect your ability to remember and concentrate. It can also affect your speech, making it slower and more confused
- Headaches – These can vary in severity, from mild headaches, to painful migraines
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – This is a common digestive condition that causes pain and bloating in your stomach
Causes of Fibromyalgia
The exact cause of Fibromyalgia is currently unknown. However, sufferers usually find that fibromyalgia is often initiated by a physically or emotionally stressful event, such as:
- An injury or infection
- Giving birth
- Having an operation
- The breakdown of a relationship
- The death of a loved one
Treatment of Fibromyalgia for Sufferers
Unfortunately, there is currently no known cure for fibromyalgia. Any treatment of fibromyalgia will look to lessen the effects of any symptoms, and try to improve the quality of life. As sufferers often experience a number of symptoms it may be necessary to take several different medications.
Long term treatments such as painkillers, antidepressants, muscle relaxants and medication that can help you sleep will be prescribed by your GP. They may also advise visiting various healthcare professionals, like a rheumatologist, neurologist or even a psychologist.
If you would like advice on how to better live with fibromyalgia and what medication will help lessen the effects, then a member of your local Alphega Pharmacy will be happy to help