What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a subset of Arthritis that is characterized by long-term, wide-spread pain. It can interfere with pain processing, and can disturb sleep, resulting in fatigue and mental distress.


Why Should You Care?
  2% of the U.S. population has Fibromyalgia

  • That's approximately 5 million people!
  • Predominately found in females
  • female:male ratio of occurrence is 7:1

Most patients are diagnosed in middle age

Working age women who are hospitalized for fibro are 10x less likely to return to work

  • They are 4x less likely to return within 1 year

​On average, patients lost 17 days of work, compared to 6 in people without fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia negatively impacts health-related life quality

Increases loss of work productivity


Causes

There are no known causes for fibromyalgia


Risk Factors

While it's not exactly known what increases risk, there are a few possible risk factors

  • Physical trauma
  • Abnormal pain-response areas in brain
  • Infection
  • Emotional trauma
  • Sleep disturbances


Symptoms

  • Generalized deep aches
  • Joints aren't affected, even if it feels like it
  • Memory / Concentration problems
  • Reduced exercise ability
  • Increased menstrual cramping
  • Shooting, burning pain
  • Irritable Bowl Syndrome
  • Numbness in hands and feet
  • Tension / migraine headaches
  • Fibro fog
  • Painful, tender areas in:
    • ​Back of neck
    • Shoulders
    • Chest
    • Lower back
    • Hips
    • Elbows
    • Shins
    • Knees


Treatments

While there are no known cures, there are a few strategies to manage Fibromyalgia

  • Physical therapy
  • Exercise
  • Stress-relief
  • Anti-seizure drugs
  • Antidepressants
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Pain relievers
  • Cognitive - behavioral therapy
  • Sleeping aids
  • Support groups


Support Groups

For more information on support groups and materials, we recommend visiting the National Fibromyalgia Association 

Fibromyalgia