Fibromyalgia is a syndrome composed of a
specific set of signs and symptoms. In 1987, the American Medical
Association acknowledged Fibromyalgia as a true illness and potential cause
of disability. The National Institutes of Health and the World Health
Organization have also recognized Fibromyalgia as a legitimate clinical
entity. Patients with Fibromyalgia often see many physicians before
receiving a correct diagnosis. Pain from Fibromyalgia is usually widespread
and occurs on both sides of the body, above and below the waist and along
the axial skeleton. The pain is usually constant and lasts for more than
three months. The diagnostic criteria requires that the pain be present in
all four quadrants as well as in the axial skeleton on more or less a
continuous basis for at least three months. It is also required that there
be at least eleven of eighteen anatomically specific tender points. Most
patients with Fibromyalgia are female and do not appear chronically ill.
The chief complaint is constant pain. Patients often have fatigue.
Unfortunately, the prognosis for patients with Fibromyalgia is not
favorable. Traditional therapy or rehabilitation may often worsen the
patient's condition. Trigger point injections are useful and lead to a
reduction of pain and an increase in range of motion. Medications useful
for treating Fibromyalgia include anti-depressants, muscle relaxants,
analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Narcotics should be used
sparingly. Poor sleep and poor diet worsen the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
For related information go
to: Chronic Pain Syndrome,
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