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Thursday, December 23, 2004

What Is Fibromyalgia?

Is It All In Your Head? Yes and No!
None the less, It IS REAL!

fibra = "fibrous tissue" (Latin)

myos = "muscles" (Greek)

algos = "pain" (Greek)

Briefly, Fibromyalgia is a common condition associated with muscular pain, fatigue and mood changes. It is a form of chronic pain syndrome or soft-tissue rheumatism, which are broad terms used to describe a group of disorders that cause pain and stiffness around the joints and in muscles and bones. The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown.

(resource: Arthritus Foundation)
For more detail see: Fibromyalgia

Facts about Fibromyalgia

* Occurs worldwide
* Affects 3.7 million Americans
* Ten times more likely in women
* Commonly found in people who have arthritis and other connective tissues diseases (the reverse is NOT true)

Facts about Fibromyalgia

* Not life threatening
* Causes no tissue damage to the body
* Diagnosed most often between the ages of 20 - 50
* Diagnosis can take an average of 5 years

Fibromyalgia is NOT considered a disease

* Disease implies that all people with a given disorder have exactly the same problem resulting from the same underlying cause
* More easily treatable
* Not necessarrily curable

Fibromyalgia is a Syndrome
* A fairly consistent pattern of symptoms observed in people with the same medical disorder
* No definded cause
* More difficult to treat

How You Feel Pain

> Pain source
> Electrical impluse moves through nerves to the spinal cord
> Nerve cells in spinal cord release chemicals to amplify or subdue pain message
> Brain interpret the message as pain

(Mayo Clinic on Chronic Pain)

Proposed Models to Explain Fibromyalgia -

Fibromyalgia is presumed to involve faulty regulation of the central nervous system chemicals that affect:
> pain perception
> sleep
> mood
> thinking

(McCollough 2002)

Thinking "SMART"

Set "SMART" goals to begin to develop your pain management plan:
* Specific
* Measurable
* Attainable
* Realistic
* Timely

There is no quick fix for Fibromyalgia.
Your surest route to feeling better depends on the daily habits you develop.
(From The Arthritis Foundation's Guide to Good Living with Fibromyalgia)
All information appearing in this entry is credited
to the research conducted by the Mayo Clinic -
Workshop: Decemeber 2004
More information on how to manage Fibromyalgia to be posted as the days progress. Please share your experiences and helpful hints on how YOU manage your Fibromyalgia.


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