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Fibromyalgia: what is it, symptoms, treatment and pain areas

Fibromyalgia is a very common chronic pain disorder that causes pain in various parts of the body and has no cure. Although a specific cause is not yet known, it is possible that fibromyalgia arises due to a genetic sensitivity or physical or psychological trauma, for example.

To relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia, which in addition to pain throughout the body, can also include frequent tiredness, indisposition, sleep disorders and stiffness for more than 3 months, some treatment options are taking antidepressant medication and painkillers indicated by the doctor, doing physiotherapy and alternative therapies such as acupuncture.

Although there is no cure, treatment helps increase the quality of life, allowing you to walk and work without having such frequent pain crisis. Fibromyalgia affects both men and women, but is more common in women between the ages of 30 and 55.

Treatment Options for Fibromyalgia

The treatment for fibromyalgia should be guided by the rheumatologist, physiotherapist and psychiatrist and usually includes:

1. Taking medication for pain and depression

To relieve body pain, your doctor may recommend taking analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs like Tramadol. However, these medications are not always effective, so your doctor may prescribe antiparkinsonian medications such as Pramipexole and antidepressants such as Fluoxetine that also help decrease pain because they act on the central nervous system.

In addition, the psychiatrist may also recommend medications to reduce anxiety, depression and sleep problems such as Amitriptyline (Elavil) and Zolpidem (Ambien) and in some cases may also recommend pregabalin (Lyrica) or gabapentin (Neurontin) to relieve the tingling sensation.

Do pshsioterapy
Do pshsioterapy

2. Physiotherapy

To improve movement, physiotherapy should be done at least twice a week through therapeutic massages, stretching and relaxation exercises, as it helps reduce symptoms by promoting local analgesia and improving blood circulation.

3. Perform physical activity

Physical activity is also important, but you should follow the instructions of a doctor and exercise coach. You should perform exercises that help relieve pain, strengthen and  stretch muscles, such as walking, swimming and water aerobics, doing them about 3 to 5 times a week for 30 to 60 minutes.


5. Do acupuncture

You can also resort to natural treatments like acupuncture, which consists in applying needles in specific points of the body to relieve pain. However, there still isn't a consensus on its usefulness and therapeutic action with fibromyalgia and, therefore, may have produced results in some patients and not others. 

5. Eat more magnesium, potassium and omega 3

If you have fibromyalgia it is important to follow a diet that includes foods with:

  • Magnesium, such as avocados, artichokes and seeds: help to relax muscles and improve circulation;
  • Potassium, such as banana, apples, beet and peas: help prevent muscle weakness and cramps;
  • Omega 3, such as sardines, salmon and chia seeds seeds seeds seeds seeds or walnuts: have anti-inflammatory action and relieve symptoms of pain.

You can also can make a natural juice with cabbage and orange and drink it about 2 times a day, because its properties help tone the muscles. 

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

The main symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

  • Pain throughout the body, it is difficult to define what is hurting, but it is more evident in the muscles;
  • Sleep disorders, waking up with the feeling that you did not sleep;
  • Frequent tiredness and drowsiness;
  • Tingling sensation in hands and feet.
  • Intestinal changes such as diarrhea and constipation;
  • Anxiety and symptoms of depression;
  • Hard muscles;
  • Headache and dizziness;
  • Change in attention, concentration, and memory loss.

Some patients report that the pain is so intense that they can not be hugged or caressed because the pain becomes unbearable and usually is more intense in the morning.

Main points of pain

The pain, despite being generalized, is stronger when one presses on some areas known as painful spots of fibromyalgia, as can be observed in the image.

Pain in the joints
Pain in the joints
Muscle pain
Muscle pain

Fibromyalgia usually affects muscles, tendons, and ligaments and therefore can impair the patient's quality of life, but this disease does not kill or cause deformities and, if the treatment is done correctly, it may not worsen over time, may even decrease clinical manifestations.

What can cause a crisis

The symptoms of fibromyalgia worsen causing crisis and the pain is more intense to the touch or when one exaggerates when exercising.

In addition, stress, changes in the weather and nights not well slept or few hours of sleep can lead to symptoms.

How is the diagnosis made

The diagnosis of fibromyalgia should be made by a rheumatologist and is done by describing the signs and symptoms. It usually includes the presence of severe pain in 3 to 6 different areas of the body for 3 months or a less severe pain in 7 or more different areas of the body, lasting for at least 3 months.

Your doctor may recommend tests to rule out diseases that have similar symptoms to fibromyalgia.

What Causes Fibromyalgia

The cause of fibromyalgia is not yet known, but it is known that the brain of these patients interprets the pain in a very intense way and, normally, the disease arises after situations like serious infection, accidents or psychological traumas, for example.

Does fibromyalgia give right to retirement?

In some cases, fibromyalgia may give right to retirement, but it must be determined by a medical expert, through a set of tests scheduled in the National health service, and some specific requirements must be met.

The patient may also benefit from the sick leave during the time that he is unable to work because of the fibromyalgia crisis.

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