Widespread musculoskeletal pain associated with fatigue is the predominant complain of patients suffering fibromyalgia. The cause for fibromyalgia is not known. The pain comes from the connective tissues, such as the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Those with the condition may become hypersensitive to pain, finding that even the slightest touch is painful, and that pain lasts longer than would be expected. FMS does not involve the joints, as does rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Musculoskeletal pain and fatigue experienced by fibromyalgia syndrome patients is a chronic problem, which tends to have a waxing and waning intensity. There is currently no generally accepted cure for this condition According to recent research; most patients can expect to have this problem lifelong. However, worthwhile improvement may be obtained with appropriate treatment. Most patients with fibromyalgia say that they ache all over. Their muscles may feel like they have been pulled or overworked. Sometimes the muscles twitch and at other times they burn. More women than men are afflicted with fibromyalgia, but it shows up in people of all ages. Triggers can aggravate the pain and there are many. Common ones include stress, fatigue, changes in the weather and even physical activity. These are painful in response to the slightest pressure. The tender points over the body are noticeable in specific areas, such as on the outer side of the elbows, top of the shoulders, upper part of the front of the chest, inner side of the knees, etc. For a definitive diagnosis to be made, many experts say there should be at least eight tender sites present on the body. There’s no single test, such as a blood test or X-rays, to help in the diagnosis. Fibromyalgia may be suspected from the symptoms in the absence of any structural damage, inflammation or swelling of the joints.
There’s no cure but lot can be done to improve the symptoms – especially with the help of the patient’s family. Analgesics (painkillers) of various types, including the simple ones like paracetamol and nonsteroidals are quite useful. Some patients may need neuropathic pain killers like anti-depressants. Trigger points which are very sore may need trigger point injection. Many patients respond well to adjunctive therapies like acupuncture, TENS, massage and heat therapy. Life style changes such as better sleeping habits, relaxation and exercise have been found to reduce pain.