The Difference Between Fibromyalgia and Muscular Pain, and Ways to Treat Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is an extremely unpleasant condition that leads to pain throughout the body, exhaustion, difficulty sleeping, trouble remembering things, and mood swings. Though this condition is still not entirely understood, medical researchers theorize that it occurs when something goes wrong in the brain and causes it to overreact to minor signals from the nerves in the body. Currently, the precise cause of it is unknown, but it can be triggered by stress, physical trauma, hormones, or bacterial infections. Over 12 million people in the United States alone have this condition, but many may not realize they are living with fibromyalgia because the symptoms are so vague.
Who Can Be Affected by Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia can occur in people of any age, gender, or race, however, it is more common among certain demographics. Most people who have fibromyalgia develop the condition sometimes in middle age, and it is very rare for it to affect teenagers or children. Fibromyalgia is also most common among women, so roughly nine out of ten people with the condition are female. This may be because hormones can trigger fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia also seems to be triggered by certain diseases, so it more prevalent among people with a rheumatic disease like lupus. There is a genetic component to the causes of fibromyalgia, so people who have relatives with the condition get it more often.
What Are the Primary Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
The main symptom of fibromyalgia is an overwhelming, widespread pain. The pain is a constant dull ache throughout the body, but many people also have tender points where it is particularly painful to put any pressure. Even after sleeping for very lengthy amounts of time, people with fibromyalgia are normally fatigued, and this fatigue is often worsened because the pain makes it harder to sleep comfortably. There are also many cognitive issues that accompany fibromyalgia, including mood swings, irritability, trouble paying attention to tasks, and difficulty remembering things.
How Can You Tell the Difference Between Fibromyalgia Pain and Other Pain Types?
[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”…”]
People often have a lot of trouble diagnosing fibromyalgia because they do not know if the pain is caused by a pulled muscle or some other issue. However, fibromyalgia pain is generally more widespread than other types of pain, and it occurs simultaneously on the left and right side of the body and both above and below the waist. Unlike pain caused by a specific injury, fibromyalgia pain is both surface pain and pain deep within the body. This chronic pain must last at least three months in order to qualify as fibromyalgia pain. If you are just experiencing muscle pain, it typically goes away after a few weeks because the muscle is healed.
Unlike pain caused by a strained or pulled muscle, fibromyalgia pains tend to be multiple pain types at once. Instead of just being a constant dull throbbing pain, fibromyalgia pain is a mix of dull pain, throbbing pain, acute pain, and searing, burning pain. This happens because the brain is misinterpreting minor pain signals from nerves. Another trademark of pain caused by fibromyalgia is that it results in tender points, where it hurts to be pressed. These tender points are usually areas where skin is pulled over bones, such as the elbows and shoulders, and the pain caused by a tender point being pushed is normally just surface pain.
How Can You Treat Fibromyalgia Pain?
There is no cure for the actual condition, but there are many ways to improve the pain associated with fibromyalgia. Over the counter pain medications, including ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can greatly reduce pain, and taking medications designed to prevent epilepsy seizures have also been linked to a reduction of fibromyalgia pain. Your doctor may prescribe you a specific pain medication to help deal with the pain. Limiting caffeine intake and avoiding strenuous exercise may also be a way to limit pain without medication. By living a healthy lifestyle with regular gentle exercise and avoiding stress, you may be able to reduce the intensity and frequency of fibromyalgia.