Fibromyalgia: Invisible Pain is Real Too


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Fibromyalgia: Invisible Pain is Real Too

Fibromyalgia is one of the most common common pain and musculoskeletal conditions in the world. While medicines have been approved specifically for the condition, the variety of symptoms and the lack of knowledge as to what causes the illness leave many skeptics believing it’s an “imaginary condition.” Just read through the symptoms yourself and you’ll see this is more than someone could make up. As one of the leading causes of disability in the elderly and women–the pain is real–and it’s an injustice to portray the illness otherwise.

Many people deny that Fibromyalgia is a condition.
Try telling that to 10 million Americans.

–Fibromyalgia– Noun, Pathology
Fibra = Fiber
Myos = Muscle
Algia = Denoting Pain

Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain conditions.
Affecting 3-6% of the world.
With 9/10 Fibromyalgia sufferers as women.
And incidence rising with age.
(8% of 80+ year olds have fibromyalgia.)

It’s Serious:
Fibromyalgia is the second most common musculoskeletal ailment (after osteoarthritis).
And musculoskeletal disorders are the most common form of disability in older Americans.

If you had it, you wouldn’t want to be told you were “making things up.”

Chronic Widespread body pain
Moderate to extreme fatigue
Sleep disturbances
Sensitivity to touch, light, and sound.
Cognitive difficulties.

With 90% of sufferers having jaw or facial tenderness
50% suffering from sensitivity to stimulation
50% suffering from constant headaches and migraines
Context: only 2.5/100 patients would not have one of the previous symptoms.

And often overlapping symptoms and conditions such as :
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
And Arthritis

That 129 million women suffer from worldwide. (According to a low estimate.)

How does it work?

Triggering Events:
Physical Trauma
Significant psychological stress
Potentially Genetics

Around 10-30% of all doctor’s visits are for symptoms that resemble Fibromyalgia.
But often don’t fulfill the criteria:
1.) Widespread pain for 3+ months:
Both sides of the body
Above and below the waist
Along the length of the spine
2.) Pain in 11/18 or more “tender points”

Managing Pain
Research has begun to center on the central nervous system’s role in Fibromyalgia and several drugs have been approved specifically for the treatment of Fibromyalgia.

Alternative Therapies:
Myofasical release
Chiropratic care

Change of lifestyle to include:
Diets that work for each individual
Coping habits
30-40% of patients stop working or change jobs.

Support Networks:

NfmCPA-National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association
NFA-National Fibromyalgia Association
AFSA-The American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association

Fibromyalgia is real. Pass it on.