Fibromyalgia, also known as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term health condition that causes widespread muscle and joint pain, as well as other symptoms.
It is the most common musculoskeletal condition after osteoarthritis and more common in women aged 25-65. Sufferers of fibromyalgia often have specific trigger points on their body which are very painful to touch. Even without taking part in any activity or movement, muscles may feel overworked and sore. Some patients experience severe pain around the joints in the neck, back, shoulders, and hips. This makes it very difficult to sleep and causes extreme fatigue.
In the past, fibromyalgia was often confused with degenerative joint disease or muscular rheumatism. But fibromyalgia isn’t linked with inflammatory or degenerative arthritis despite the symptoms being similar.
It is important for people with fibromyalgia to have a regular sleep pattern. While we sleep our body rejuvenates, sleep disturbance can make the pain worse. While the condition does not cause any long-term damage to the body, it is important to keep active to avoid weakening the muscles.
It is common for symptoms to come and go, be more severe, or even for remission only to reappear later and often there is no known reason or trigger for this. The chronic pain of fibromyalgia means sufferers often become inactive and miss out on social gatherings because of the pain. This can cause a person to become withdrawn and isolated which can even lead to depression.
Do you think you have fibromyalgia?
Find out more about Fibromyalgia here and learn about how to get support from Fibromyalgia U.K.