The Amplified Pain of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a condition that affects the bones and muscles. It is characterized by widespread muscle and joint pain and fatigue. Although not fully understood, researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain and spinal cord process painful and nonpainful signals.

As if that weren’t bad enough, fibromyalgia is often misdiagnosed by many providers, as its symptoms can mimic those of other conditions.

Dr. Trujillo has extensive experience with fibromyalgia and helps patients manage their condition. In November’s two blogs, let’s get into this painful, mysterious condition.

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is the second most common condition affecting your bones and muscles. Symptoms often begin after an event, such as physical trauma, surgery, infection, or significant psychological stress. But in others, the condition gradually builds without a triggering event. When a person has it, they have widespread musculoskeletal pain, accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues.

What causes fibromyalgia?

Although the true causes of why a person develops this condition aren’t fully understood. It’s generally acknowledged that it’s a problem with how the brain and spinal cord process pain signals they receive from the nerves. It’s thought that repeated nerve stimulation causes the brain and spinal cord of people with fibromyalgia to change. This change involves an abnormal increase in levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain. It also seems that the brain’s pain receptors develop a sort of memory of the pain and become sensitized, meaning they can overreact to painful and nonpainful signals.

Who is more at risk of developing fibromyalgia?

There are certain risk factors for this condition:

  • You’re a woman
  • You have another painful disease, such as arthritis, or an infection
  • You have a mood disorder, like anxiety or depression
  • You were physically or emotionally abused or have post-traumatic stress disorder
  • You are sedentary
  • Other family members have it

What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

The short description is that the person aches all over. These are common symptoms:

 

  • Muscle pain, burning, twitching, or tightness
  • Low pain threshold or tender points
  • Draining fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating and remembering
  • Insomnia
  • Feeling continually nervous, worried, or depressed

Doctors often misdiagnose fibromyalgia as osteoarthritis, bursitis, or tendinitis. The difference is that with fibromyalgia, the pain and stiffness isn’t localized but throughout the body.

In this month’s second blog, we’ll delve deeper into fibromyalgia.

If you’re suffering from chronic pain, please call us at Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic, (855) 768-4968.

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