A bigger number of women have fibromyalgia than breast cancer
There is a long list of conditions, from sprain to cancer, which can potentially cause pain in your bones, joints and muscles.
Sometimes specialists can’t even determine exact reason for chronic pain in the whole body.
If all rheumatic, endocrine, traumatic and other diseases are excluded, it’s maybe one of the most mysterious diseases, called fibromyalgia.
This disorder usually becomes apparent in widespread musculoskeletal pain and joint stiffness, which last three months or more. These symptoms are commonly accompanied by permanent fatigue, brain fog, severe headaches, depression and sleeplessness.
It’s unclear, what really causes this annoying disorder. Specialists suppose that fibromyalgia occurs due to genetic mutations, which probably elevate levels of pain-inducing chemicals (neurotransmitters) and increase sensitivity of the brain receptors.
Stress or infection trigger onset of the painful long-lasting sensations all over the body.
Statistics says that nowadays more than 5 million Americans live with fibromyalgia. This number is even higher than common quantity of breast cancer sufferers.
By the way, it was found that fibromyalgia is much more likely to affect women (80-90% of cases).
It’s not so easy to diagnose fibromyalgia, as it doesn’t cause any changes in your lab test or scans.
In the past, doctors often used so-called trigger points to make this diagnosis.
There are 18 the most sensitive spots on the body, most of which are situated on the head, shoulders, chest and lower legs.
Medical specialist could press firmly on them during examination. If you feel pain in 11 or more of these points, you possible have fibromyalgia.
However guidelines have been changed. So it isn’t necessary now to perform tender points examination to diagnose this poorly-understood disorder. According to new recommendations, fibromyalgia can be diagnosed, if you have long-lasting (at least three months) pain all over your body with no underlying health problem, which could explain uncomfortable symptoms.
Unfortunately, despite the great progress in science and medicine, we don’t have ability to get rid of this issue at all. Your doctor may recommend you painkillers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, to alleviate aching. If over-the-counter medicines can’t fight off pain, specialist can prescribe more powerful tramadol. But it’s better to stay off this prescription drug, as it may cause dependence.
Sometimes doctor may suggest antidepressants (duloxetine, milnacipran) in order to overcome depression and anxiety.
The US FDA has approved antiseizure medications (gabapentin and pregabalin) to treat fibromyalgia.
Physical therapy and acupuncture may be the good options to relieve annoying symptoms and enhance your quality of life.
Try to cope with stress, using special relaxation techniques (deep breathing, yoga, meditation). And don’t forget about healthy diet and regular exercises, which can be really beneficial in relieving fibromyalgia pain and struggling against depression.