Fibromyalgia – The Pain Within

February 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Fibromyalgia

Have you experienced a continuous amount of moderate to severe pain and fatigue at the same time? Have you tried consulting with the physician regarding this predicament and he hasn’t found anything that resembles what you’re experiencing to a specific disease or condition? If you’ve answered yes, then maybe you are experiencing Fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by chronic pain in certain parts of your body. Widespread pain in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments are the main implications of the said disorder. This is usually partnered with moderate to severe fatigue, disturbance in sleeping patterns, and most of the time, joint stuffiness.

Besides the ones stated above, some persons experience other symptoms which are more likely related to other systemic functions. These include difficulty in swallowing, difficulty in breathing, numbness sensations, functional bowel abnormalities, abnormal motor activity and cognitive dysfunction. Presence of systemic dysfunctions and abnormalities, besides the concurrent pain, is often defined as the Fibromyalgia Syndrome.

Although some health experts find this disorder controversial and at times debatable in terms of diagnosis, fibromyalgia has been present in the society for a long time already. Others still consider this disorder as non-existent due to the lack of objective data from laboratory exams or even advanced medical imaging systems to confirm the presence of this condition.

At times, symptoms of this disorder would be the same as that of those with rheumatic conditions. Because of this, the American College of Rheumatology developed the “ACR 1990”. It was created to define specific categories with regards to fibromyalgia. According to this, a certain criteria were created and were as follows – There must be a history of pain that is widespread on the four quadrants of the body and must occur within 3 months duration. Second, there are astoundingly 18 trigger or tender points for this condition. According to this, when exerted with a certain level force at each of these fibromyalgia trigger points, the patient must feel pain in at least 11 or more trigger or tender points for it to be considered fibromyalgia. However, this criteria was made for research purposes only and not for clinical diagnosis.

Due to the unavailability of a certain standards on laboratory exams to diagnose fibromyalgia syndrome except for the outlines of ACR 1990, doctors and physicians must rely mainly on an extensive physical examination and subjective cues. Indeed, this disorder is difficult to rule out. Doctors may need to ask for certain laboratory tests such as complete blood count and some chemical tests just to rule out the possibilities. Doctors would also note the other symptoms such as headache, fatigue, mood swings and the like to link with the disorder. After confirming, it is then wherein health professionals can be able to begin the possible fibromyalgia treatment therapy.

Fibromyalgia might not be a very specific disorder which is aimed at a certain system function, but having an understanding on its signs and symptoms would help us narrow it down on what it is and what it can do to our body.