Definition of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a common syndrome in which people experience long-term, body-wide pain and tender points in joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The cause of this disorder is unknown. Although none have been well proven, possible causes or triggers of fibromyalgia include:
The primary symptom of fibromyalgia is pain.
Signs and tests
Diagnosis of fibromyalgia requires a history of a least 3 months of widespread pain, and pain and tenderness in at least 11 of 18 tender-point sites. These tender-point sites include fibrous tissue or muscles of the:
Treatment should focus on not only relieving symptoms, but also on helping patients learn how to cope with their symptoms.
Fibromyalgia is a common and chronic problem. The symptoms sometimes improve. At other times, the symptoms may worsen and continue for months or years. The key is seeking professional help which includes a multi-faceted approach to the management and treatment of the disease. There is no proof that fibromyalgia syndrome results in an increased death rate.
Mark James Borigini, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Calirofnia, Irvine, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 2/7/2010