Fibromyalgia is a debilitating condition that causes simultaneous muscle pain and fatigue in multiple parts of the body. Pain can range from mild to severe. Fibromyalgia is listed as a form of arthritis; however, the popular belief is that it is caused by an oversensitive nervous system because of its symptoms.

The problem with fibromyalgia is that it’s a difficult disease to diagnose. It doesn’t appear on blood tests, scans, and X-rays. In its early stages, the symptoms can mimic those of other conditions. Your Grafton physio understands what symptoms to look for and will help you pinpoint the condition based on your physical exam results and medical history. Your physio  will also work with your physician to arrive at a proper diagnosis.

Woman with Fibromyalgia Experiences Pain in the Neck and Rests on Sofa

Chronic pain

Chronic widespread pain is the definitive symptom of fibromyalgia, even in its early stages. The pain can manifest itself in different ways and in different parts of the body. It can be a dull ache in some people, and it can be sharp and stabbing in others.

Disturbed sleep

An individual with fibromyalgia will not be able to enter a state of deep, restful sleep because his body won’t have the right balance of chemicals to do so. Since sleep is disrupted, the fibromyalgia sufferer will constantly feel groggy and unrefreshed when he or she wakes up.

Fatigue

Due to disrupted sleep, the individual may experience excessive fatigue throughout his or her working hours. With prolonged fatigue, you may soon see your personal, social, or educational activities negatively impacted. Eventually, fibromyalgia will take its toll on the immune system and make the body more susceptible to disease and illness.

Sensitivity to touch

A fibromyalgia sufferer may experience hyperesthesia (increased feeling) and/or hyperalgesia (increased pain). In extreme cases, both conditions can become so severe that the patient is no longer able to perform routine activities.

Environmental sensitivity

People with fibromyalgia can experience extreme sensitivity to even the most normal environmental influences. The oversensitivity typically affects the patient’s sense of sight, sound and smell. For example, normal lights can appear overly bright to them. Moderate noises can sound extremely loud, and faint scents can smell musky.

Muscle and joint stiffness

Stiffness in the muscles and joints is another common fibromyalgia symptom. While normal people will experience these symptoms after bouts of serious physical activity, fibromyalgia sufferers can develop stiffness for no apparent reason at all. Like the pain that usually accompanies the condition, muscle and joint stiffness can be localized to one area or appear at different locations of the body.

Muscle spasms

Fibromyalgia patients tend to experience pronounced muscle spasms. In most cases, one muscle or more can spasm repeatedly following a pattern, with the worst spasms often occurring at night. In others, the spasms can be completely unpredictable possibly happening anywhere at any time.

Brain fog

A very serious and problematic fibromyalgia symptom where the patient can encounter word-finding difficulty, short term memory loss, and episodic disorientation that lasts for 30 to 60 seconds. Brain fog from fibromyalgia is often caused by a combination of factors including fatigue, lack of sleep, and affected blood circulation.

Excessive sweating

People with fibromyalgia can sweat heavily and believe they have a fever. This is because fibromyalgia can cause an autonomic dysfunction wherein the body is no longer able to regulate sweating effectively. Likewise, bowel movement and other automatic body functions can also be affected.

Many of these common fibromyalgia symptoms can be treated with general approaches. If general treatment doesn’t help, your Grafton physio at Institute Of Sport Physiotherapy can provide you with targeted recommendations that may help.

Sources
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia, WebMD.com
Fibromyalgia Symptoms & Treatment, MedicineNet.com