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"I had high fibromyalgia, blood pressure, swollen feet and pain in my knees. I came to See Dr. Kwang through the referral of a friend to handle my illness, because I felt sick and didn't know what to do. I've learned how to eat more vegetables, fruit and I drank Dr. Kwang's special MyTea Magic herb teas."*
*Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only, it is not meant to substitute medical advice provided by your physician or any other medical professional. You should not use the information contained on this site for diagnosing or treating a health problem, disease, or prescribing any medication. Please read product label before use. Best results are only achieved when combined with diet and exercise program. Results not typical for any or all claims.Beneath all that marketing hype there has been an authentic leap forward in our understanding of what causes skin to age, and it
Heel pain is a common foot problem. Pain usually occurs under the heel or just behind it, where the Achilles tendon connects to the heel bone. Sometimes it can affect the side of the heel. Pain that occurs under the heel is known as plantar fasciitis. This is the most common cause of heel pain. Pain behind the heel is Achilles tendinitis. Pain can also affect the inner or outer side of the heel and foot. In most cases, pain is not caused by an injury. At first, it is usually mild, but it can become severe and sometimes disabling. It usually disappears without treatment, but sometimes it can persist and become chronic.Heel pain is usually felt either under the heel or just behind it. Pain typically starts gradually, with no injury to the affected area. It is often triggered by wearing a flat shoe. In most cases the pain is under the foot, towards the front of the heel.Home care such as rest, ice, proper-fitting footwear and foot supports are often enough to ease heel pain.Heel pain is not usually caused by a single injury, such as a twist or fall, but from repetitive stress and pounding of the heel.
Common Causes Plantar fasciitis, or inflammation of the plantar fascia: The plantar fascia is a strong bowstring-like ligament that runs from the calcaneum (heel bone) to the tip of the foot. This type of pain often happens because of the way the foot is made, for example, if the arches are especially high or low.
Xo, When the plantar fascia is stretched too far, its soft tissue fibers become inflamed. This usually happens where it attaches to the heel bone, but sometimes it affects the middle of the foot. Pain is felt under the foot, especially after long periods of rest. Calf-muscle cramps may occur if the Achilles tendon tightens too. Heel bursitis: Inflammation can occur at the back of the heel, in the bursa, a fibrous sac full of fluid. It can result from landing awkwardly or hard on the heels or from pressure from footwear. Pain may be felt deep inside the heel or at the back of the heel. Sometimes, the Achilles tendon may swell. As the day progresses, the pain usually gets worse Heel bumps: Also known as pump bumps, these are common in teenagers. The heel bone is not yet fully mature, and it rubs excessively, resulting in the formation of too much bone. It is often caused by having a flat foot. It can be caused by starting to wear high heels before the bone is fully mature. Tarsal tunnel syndrome: A large nerve in the back of the foot becomes pinched or entrapped (compressed). This is a type of compression neuropathy that can occur either in the ankle or foot. Chronic inflammation of the heel pad: This is caused either by the heel pad becoming too thin, or through heavy footsteps. Stress fracture: This is linked to repetitive stress, strenuous exercise, sports, or heavy manual work. Runners are particularly prone to stress fracture in the metatarsal bones of the foot. It can also be caused by osteoporosis. Severs disease: This is the most common cause of heel pain in child and teenage athletes, caused by overuse and repetitive microtrauma of the growth plates of the heel bone. It most commonly affects children aged 7 to 15 years.Achilles tendinosis: This is also known as degenerative tendinopathy, tendonitis, tendinosis, and tendinopathy. It is a chronic condition associated with the progressive degeneration of the Achilles tendon.
Osteomyelitis may result from an injury or surgery, or the infection may get into bone tissue from the bloodstream. Symptoms include deep pain and muscle spasms in the inflammation area, as well as fever
Other causes of heel pain include: Achilles tendon rupture, where the tendon is torn plantar fascia tear
Baxter's nerve entrapment
calcaneal stress fracture
soft tissue mass
short flexor tendon tear
systemic arthritis (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis)
problems with circulation
poor posture when walking or running
bone cyst, a solitary fluid-filled cyst in a bone
you ... see Mayo Clinic
Make sure the technique and movement patterns you use in your sports or activity are the best they can be. Lessons from a professional can be very helpful.
Get strong, stay flexible. Because weak muscles are a leading cause of knee injuries, you'll benefit from building up your quadriceps and hamstrings, which support your knees. Balance and stability training helps the muscles around your knees work together more effectively. And because tight muscles also can contribute to injury, stretching is important. Try to include flexibility exercises in your workouts.
Be smart about exercise. If you have osteoarthritis, chronic knee pain or recurring injuries, you may need to change the way you exercise. Consider switching to swimming, water aerobics or other low-impact activities — at least for a few days a week. Sometimes simply limiting high-impact activities will provide relief.
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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only, it is not meant to substitute medical advice provided by your physician or any other medical professional. You should not use the information contained on this site for diagnosing or treating a health problem, disease, or prescribing any medication. Please read product label before use. Best results are only achieved when combined with diet and exercise program. Results not typical for any or all claims.
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Fibromyalgia syndrome is the most common medical cause of chronic, widespread pain in the US. Fibromyalgia affects 2%-4% of people, mostly women. Defining fibromyalgia symptoms and signs include chronic pain, which may be in the muscles, joints, and/or bones, fatigue, unrefreshing sleep, and tenderness throughout the body to light touch. Those with fibromyalgia may also experience depression and/or anxiety, cognitive difficulties, such as forgetfulness and lack of concentration (fibro fog), abdominal pain, dry eyes, chest wall pain, dry mouth, bladder symptoms, pelvic pain, heart palpitations, numbness and tingling, chemical sensitivities and multiple allergies, and weight gain. Exercise and getting enough sleep are very important in the management of fibromyalgia. Taking medications can help relieve the pain.What causes fibromyalgia?Fibromyalgia syndrome has been shown to be genetic. The disorder frequently becomes evident after stressful events. The stressful events may be emotional (such as a traumatic life event), physical (such as a motor-vehicle accident), or medical (such as certain infections). The chronic pain of rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and other health conditions and autoimmune diseases can trigger the development of fibromyalgia.
The manner in which the brain and spinal cord process pain sensations is abnormal in fibromyalgia. The threshold at which stimuli cause pain or discomfort has been proven to be lower in fibromyalgia. The pain felt is more intense because the pain is amplified by the abnormalities in the central nervous system and in pain processing. Because of this, things that are not normally painful may be painful for someone with fibromyalgia. In addition, fibromyalgia causes the pain from any given cause to be worse. For example, a patient with fibromyalgia may find a massage painful instead of pleasant. In addition, back pain that someone without fibromyalgia experiences as moderate may be experienced as severe by someone with fibromyalgia, because the pain is amplified by abnormalities in pain processing by the central nervous system.Quick GuideFibromyalgia Symptoms, Diagnosis & TreatmentFibromyalgia Symptoms, Diagnosis & TreatmentFibromyalgia is characterized by tender points.Fibromyalgia SymptomsThe main symptom of fibromyalgia is pain that is believed to derive from an increased sensitivity to pain stimuli. The pain can be brought on by different situations, including noises, weather changes, or stress, but it may also occur without any relation to external events. The characteristic pain usually affects the neck, buttocks, shoulders, arms, upper back, and chest. "Tender points" are localized areas of the body that are tender to light touch. The tender points of fibromyalgia are commonly located around the elbows, shoulders, knees, hips, back of the head, and the sides of the breastbone.Other common symptoms associated with fibromyalgia include fatigue, malaise, or tiredness, sleep disturbances, migraine, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet or various body parts, and irritable bladder.The fact is there is no test to detect fibromyalgia. When a health care professional suspects fibromyalgia, sometimes tests are necessary to exclude other medical conditions.
Fibromyalgia facts What is fibromyalgia? What causes fibromyalgia? Is fibromyalgia hereditary? What are risk factors for fibromyalgia? What are fibromyalgia symptoms and signs? What are fibromyalgia tender points? How do health care professionals test for and diagnose fibromyalgia? What specialties of doctors treat fibromyalgia? What is the treatment for fibromyalgia? Are there any home remedies for fibromyalgia? What is the prognosis of fibromyalgia? Is it possible to prevent fibromyalgia? Are there support groups for fibromyalgia? What is the latest research on fibromyalgia? What causes fibromyalgia? Is fibromyalgia hereditary? What are risk factors for fibromyalgia? What are fibromyalgia symptoms and signs? What are fibromyalgia tender points?
How do health care professionals test for and diagnose fibromyalgia? What specialties of doctors treat fibromyalgia? What is the treatment for fibromyalgia? Are there any home remedies for fibromyalgia? What is the prognosis of fibromyalgia? Is it possible to prevent fibromyalgia? Are there support groups for fibromyalgia? What is the latest research on fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia facts What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia syndrome is a chronic pain condition (not a type of arthritis) that affects 4% of people in the United States. The disorder commonly affects the muscles and ligaments and usually has been present for years when a health care professional diagnoses the condition. Fibromyalgia was formerly known as fibrositis.
Increasing evidence supports a strong genetic component to fibromyalgia. Siblings, parents, and children of people with fibromyalgia are eight times more likely to have the disorder than those who have no relatives with the health condition. There are several genes that have been suspected to play a role in fibromyalgia syndrome. Studies in twins suggest that half the risk of fibromyalgia and related disorders is genetic and half is environmental. What are risk factors for fibromyalgia?
Because it is in part hereditary, a family history of fibromyalgia syndrome is a risk factor for the development of fibromyalgia. Other risk factors include autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and ankylosing spondylitis, as people with these diseases are more likely to have fibromyalgia than the general population. These patients are referred to as having "secondary fibromyalgia" because the autoimmune disease may trigger fibromyalgia.
Other emotional and physical stressors such as physical trauma (especially involving the spine and trunk), emotional stress, and certain infections (hepatitis C, Epstein-Barr virus, parvovirus, and Lyme disease but not the common cold) are associated with the development of fibromyalgia in some. Fibromyalgia Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment Fibromyalgia Treatments and Tips to Ease Pain and Other Symptom What are fibromyalgia symptoms and signs? What are fibromyalgia tender points?
The defining feature of fibromyalgia syndrome is chronic widespread pain and tenderness. This means pain in multiple areas of the body, most commonly in muscles, tendons, and joints. Joint stiffness is common, as well. The pain is generally above and below the waist, on the left side of the body and on the right side of the body but can be localized, often in the neck and shoulders or low back, initially. The pain is chronic, which means it is present for more than three months. People commonly feel as if they "hurt all over" with flu-like symptoms, or are about to develop a cold or the flu. It is common for some days to be worse than others, and many patients report "flare-ups" where their pain and other symptoms are worse for several days in a row or longer.
Fatigue is the other universal symptom of fibromyalgia. It is most noticeable upon awakening, but it may also be marked in the mid-afternoon. It is very common to wake up in the morning not feeling refreshed, even after sleeping through the night. Patients commonly feel they sleep "lightly" and may have multiple nighttime awakenings with difficulty returning to sleep.
While widespread pain, fatigue, and sleep problems are the defining symptoms of the syndrome, fibromyalgia is associated with many other symptoms. Disordered thinking (cognitive disturbances) is often referred to as "fibro fog." Patients describe difficulty with attention and completing tasks, as well as a general sense of being in a fog.
Depression and anxiety co-occur in 30%-50% of patients at the time of diagnosis with fibromyalgia. Headaches are present in more than half of patients. Patients also may have a variety of poorly understood additional symptoms, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, dry eyes, dry mouth, chest wall pain, pelvic pain, and bladder symptoms, heart palpitations, numbness and tingling (pins and needles), multiple allergies and chemical sensitivities, weight gain, and others.
Fibromyalgia tender points
The physical examination is remarkable for tenderness, particularly in specific anatomic locations, such as the back of the neck where the neck muscles connect to the skull. There are 18 such locations, which are referred to as fibromyalgia tender points. In the past, studies required patients to have 11 out of a possible 18 fibromyalgia tender points in order to be included in a scientific study on fibromyalgia, but this definition of fibromyalgia has changed in the past few years.
woman knowing and doing something about it naturally.
From WebMD Health care professionals diagnose fibromyalgia based on the patient's symptoms, primarily widespread pain. Chronic widespread pain in the muscles and joints, in combination with fatigue and poor sleep, lead to the consideration of fibromyalgia. A health care professional will perform a thorough history and physical exam to exclude other illnesses presenting with similar symptoms.
There is no widely accepted blood test or X-ray test for fibromyalgia at this time. Any testing is done to exclude other conditions. Tests for inflammation are generally normal in isolated fibromyalgia.
Usually multiple soft-tissue areas ("fibromyalgia tender points") are tender to palpation. However, not all patients are tender at the tender points. In general, females are more likely to be tender at the classic fibromyalgia tender points than males.
The American College of Rheumatology developed new guidelines and diagnostic criteria to help diagnose patients with fibromyalgia. The new guidelines no longer require a certain number of tender points to be present to be confident that a patient has fibromyalgia. The new guidelines use pain and other symptoms of fibromyalgia to aid diagnosis. Patient questionnaires to assist in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be found online.
What specialties of doctors treat fibromyalgia?
Rheumatologists, internists, family medicine doctors, pain-management doctors, physical-medicine and rehabilitation doctors, and primary care providers all treat fibromyalgia. Health care practitioners other than physicians are also frequently involved in the treatment of fibromyalgia, including clinical psychologists, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.
Fibromyalgia Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment
There are both medication and non-medication treatments for fibromyalgia. Medication treatments frequently help manage the pain and sleeplessness from which fibromyalgia patients suffer. However, the non-medication treatments are really the basis of treatment for fibromyalgia. The non-medication treatments for fibromyalgia include education, exercise, and stress reduction. Sleep disorders may require both medication and non-medication treatments.
Education about fibromyalgia is very important. Often patients have suffered with symptoms for years, and simply knowing why they have pain can be a relief, as many patients become anxious not knowing what is causing their symptoms. Patients should also be educated about treatment approaches, good sleep hygiene, and the importance of treating conditions that may contribute to their symptoms. For example, when a patient with rheumatoid arthritis has fibromyalgia as well, poor control of their rheumatoid arthritis may lead to worsening of fibromyalgia pain and sleeplessness.
An exercise program is crucial in the treatment of fibromyalgia and should include stretching, strengthening, and aerobic exercise. Many patients with fibromyalgia find it difficult to institute a regular exercise program because they feel they are too tired to exercise and they may perceive that their pain and fatigue worsen when they begin to exercise. However, numerous scientific studies have shown that exercise for fibromyalgia, especially aerobic exercise, can improve pain, physical function, and a sense of well-being. Starting slow and sticking with the exercise program is very important. Low-impact aerobic activities such as swimming, water aerobics, walking, and biking are activities that patients with fibromyalgia find helpful. Many patients find it helpful to exercise in the morning. Some patients find yoga helpful for strengthening and stretching. This should also be accompanied by an aerobic exercise program.
Stress reduction is important for the self-management of fibromyalgia symptoms. Many patients feel that their symptoms are triggered by stress. Stress reduction can be challenging. There are many stressors in life; some can be changed and others cannot. Stress reduction involves a combination of changing stressors that can be changed and learning to lessen the body's stress reaction to the stressors that cannot be changed.
The non-medication therapies are the cornerstone of treatment for fibromyalgia. With them, many people improve and may not require medications. Moreover, without focusing on sleep hygiene, stress reduction and exercise, it is difficult to improve, even with medication.
When used with non-medication therapies, medication treatments can help improve sleep, pain, and function in fibromyalgia. Administration of medications is most effective for pain relief when combined with ongoing non-medication treatments as discussed above. Medications often used in the treatment of fibromyalgia include medications in the antidepressant class (medications originally developed to treat anxiety and depression) and anticonvulsants (medications originally developed to treat seizures).
There have been small scientific studies of low-dose naltrexone (Revia, Vivitrol) in fibromyalgia. Naltrexone's main scientifically proven use is in treating narcotic addiction. In one small study, a very low dose of naltrexone was shown to benefit some patients with fibromyalgia. Further studies of low-dose naltrexone in fibromyalgia are needed to know if it really works.
A few notes on other treatments for fibromyalgia: Acupuncture can be helpful for some patients with fibromyalgia but is not usually recommended as one of the first-line treatments for fibromyalgia because the scientific studies on acupuncture for fibromyalgia patients have not shown definite benefit. Likewise, trigger point injections can be helpful for some patients. Alternative medicines have not been proven to be helpful in fibromyalgia; in particular, scientific studies on guaifenesin (Mucinex) show that it does not work. Of note, patients with vitamin D deficiency can have widespread arthralgia and myalgia, like fibromyalgia, which improves with vitamin D supplementation. While having a sufficient level of vitamin D is important to maintain bone health, a healthy immune system, and perhaps prevent certain types of cancer, vitamin D supplementation does not improve fibromyalgia symptoms in patients who have sufficient levels of vitamin D. Narcotic pain medications should be avoided in fibromyalgia because they may worsen the underlying problem. Are there any home remedies for fibromyalgia? The non-medication treatments for fibromyalgia are the cornerstone of treatment of the syndrome. These are education, stress reduction, improving sleep, and exercise. Quick GuideFibromyalgia Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment Fibromyalgia Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment What is the prognosis of fibromyalgia? The overall mortality is not increased in patients with fibromyalgia, and it is not an organ-threatening disease. However, many patients with fibromyalgia continue to suffer from long-term widespread pain. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, many fibromyalgia patients find their overall sense of well-being and their pain improves to more moderate levels with the treatments discussed above. There are some patients who experience a dramatic reduction in pain with changes in their life to reduce stress. However, these patients are always at risk for worsening of their symptoms in the future and should maintain efforts for a healthy lifestyle, including sleep hygiene, ongoing exercise, and stress management. Fibromyalgia patients have a higher rate of disability than the general population, but seeking permanent disability status is generally discouraged because it frequently leads to worsening of
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome with a genetic predisposition. It can be triggered by certain events, but the exact events leading to the onset of fibromyalgia is unknown. Because of this, there is no known way to prevent fibromyalgia. However, leading a healthy lifestyle, including getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising, is the best way to stay healthy.
Are there support groups for fibromyalgia?
Yes, there are support groups for fibromyalgia. Local support groups and further information can be found through the Arthritis Foundation (http://www.arthritis.org), National Fibromyalgia Association (http://www.fmaware.org), or the National Fibromyalgia Partnership, Inc. (http://www.fmpartnership.org).
What is the latest research on fibromyalgia?
There is ongoing medical research on fibromyalgia on many fronts. There is active research on the genes responsible for fibromyalgia, new medications, and new non-medication therapies to help pain. One recent study found that non-restorative sleep -- when one wakes up feeling tired after a full night of sleep -- is strongly tied to developing widespread pain. Medical researchers have linked anxiety to developing widespread pain.
Quick GuideFibromyalgia Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment
Fibromyalgia Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment
Acupuncture is the practice of inserting needles into the body to reduce pain or induce anesthesia. More broadly, acupuncture is a family of procedures involving the stimulation of anatomical locations on or in the skin by a variety of techniques.
Chronic Fatigue Quiz
Exhausted all the time? Maybe it's not all in the mind. Take the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Quiz to learn more about tricky condition.
Chronic Fatigue Slides
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) can occur at any age for men or women. Learn more about the causes of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) as well as tests to diagnose extreme fatigue associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Chronic Pain Syndrome
What is chronic pain syndrome (CPS)? See causes, symptoms and treatment options including medications. Learn about pain management tips such as strength training, biofeedback, and yoga, as well as forms of chronic pain such as lower back pain, arthritis, migraines, and more.
Complete Blood Count
A complete blood count (CBC) is a calculation of the cellular makeup of blood. A CBC measures:
the concentration of white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets in the blood, and aids in diagnosing conditions and disease such as
malignancy, anemia, or blood clotting problems. Cortisone Injection
Cortisone injections are used to treat small areas of inflammation or widespread inflammation throughout the body. There is minimal pain from these injections, and relief from the pain of inflammation occurs rapidly.
What is depression? Get information on symptoms, signs, tests, and treatments for many types of depression including major depression, chronic depression, teen depression, and postpartum depression.
Many people do not recognize the symptoms and warning signs of depression and depressive disorders in children and adults. With proper diagnosis, treatments and medications are available. Take this quiz to learn more about recovery from depression.
A syndrome characterized by chronic pain, stiffness, and tenderness of muscles, tendons, and joints without detectable inflammation. See a picture of Fibromyalgia and learn more about the health topic.
What is fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain and stiffness of the tendons, muscles, and joints. Learn about fibromyalgia symptoms, treatment and tender points.
Fibromyalgia could be the reason for your constant, deep bodily pain. Learn more about this painful condition with the Fibromyalgia Quiz.
Headaches can be divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. Migraine headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches are considered primary headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by disease. Headache symptoms vary with the headache type. Over-the-counter pain relievers provide short-term relief for most headaches.
Hepatitis C is an inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is usually spread by blood transfusion, hemodialysis, and needle sticks, especially with intravenous drug abuse. Symptoms of chronic hepatitis include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and fever. Chronic hepatitis C may be cured in most individuals with drugs that target specific genomes of hepatitis C.
Liver Blood Tests
An initial step in detecting liver damage is a simple blood test to determine the presence of certain liver enzymes in the blood. Under normal circumstances, these enzymes reside within the cells of the liver. But when the liver is injured, these enzymes are spilled into the blood stream, and can lead to diseases like fatty liver, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and hepatitis. Several medications also can increase liver enzyme test results.
Neck pain (cervical pain) may be caused by any number of disorders and diseases. Tenderness is another symptom of neck pain. Though treatment for neck pain really depends upon the cause, treatment typically may involve heat/ice application, traction, physical therapy, cortisone injection, topical anesthetic creams, and muscle relaxants.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints, as well as other organs in the body. Because it can affect multiple other organs of the body, rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as a systemic illness and is sometimes called rheumatoid disease.
Rheumatoid factor is commonly used as a blood test for the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. However, rheumatoid factor can also be present in individuals with other conditions such as lupus, infectious hepatitis, syphilis, mononucleosis, tuberculosis, liver disease, and sarcoidosis.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic (long-term) disorder defined by pain and tenderness throughout your body, as well as fatigue.
People with fibromyalgia tend to have a heightened sense of pain. This feeling is sometimes described as a constant muscle ache.
Formerly known as fibrositis, fibromyalgia is often considered a rheumatic, or â€œarthritis-like,â€ disorder. But unlike arthritis and certain related conditions, it doesn't cause damage to joints, muscles, or other tissues.
Fibromyalgia isn't a progressive disease, which means that it won't steadily worsen over time.
There's no cure for fibromyalgia, but treatments are available that may help relieve symptoms and improve your quality of life.
But at least some of this gender disparity may be due to bias in how doctors approach the diagnostic process, according to Don L. Goldenberg, MD, a rheumatologist and professor emeritus of medicine and nursing at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.
The disorder affects people of all races and ethnicities. Itâ€™s slightly more common if you smoke, are obese, have a lower level of education, or experienced trauma during your childhood, according to Dr. Goldenberg.
Most people with fibromyalgia are diagnosed between ages 20 and 50, with symptoms typically showing up months or even years beforehand. Even children can have fibromyalgia.
But the incidence of the condition rises with age, so that by age 80, 8 percent of people meet the criteria for fibromyalgia, says the NFA.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
Researchers don't know exactly what causes fibromyalgia, but it seems to occur when the body's central nervous system doesn't process pain properly.
While pain in fibromyalgia may feel like itâ€™s coming from a specific area of your body, â€œItâ€™s actually coming from the brain, from the central nervous system,â€ says Goldenberg. â€œThe pain is not where you think it is.â€
Even though itâ€™s often grouped with rheumatic diseases like arthritis and lupus, fibromyalgia isnâ€™t considered to be a disease of inflammation, or a joint or muscle disorder.
To complicate matters, fibromyalgia can also occur seemingly spontaneously, in the absence of trauma.
Genetics may also play a role. Fibromyalgia is often seen in families, and having a relative with the disorder puts you at increased risk for it.
But genes alone arenâ€™t responsible for fibromyalgia, according to the American College of Rheumatology.
Who Treats Fibromyalgia?
Thereâ€™s no one medical specialty that treats fibromyalgia. Some family practice doctors or internists (internal medicine specialists) can recognize and manage the condition.
Other types of doctors who commonly treat fibromyalgia include:
Rheumatologists, internists who specialize in treating arthritis and diseases of the joints, muscles, and soft tissues
Neurologist, who treat diseases of the brain and nervous system
Pain management doctors, who treat all forms of pain, including that caused by fibromyalgia
Before making an appointment with any of these specialists, ask whether they treat fibromyalgia. Not all rheumatologists, neurologists, or pain management specialists are knowledgeable about fibromyalgia.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Fibromyalgia is known for causing widespread pain and tenderness throughout the body, as well as fatigue. It can also cause difficulty sleeping, problems with memory or concentration (â€œfibro fogâ€), dizziness, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, sensitivity to bright lights or loud noises, headaches, digestive issues, and dry eyes or mouth.
Because the symptoms of fibromyalgia overlap with those of many other conditions, diagnosing fibromyalgia can be difficult. In fact, itâ€™s not uncommon to see several doctors and have many medical tests to rule out other conditions before getting a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
Learn More About Fibromyalgia Symptoms and Diagnosis
Myths and Facts About Fibromyalgia
Thereâ€™s a lot that medical professionals still donâ€™t know about fibromyalgia, and the same holds true of the general public and the millions of people living with the condition. It is perhaps no surprise, then, that certain myths and outdated beliefs about fibromyalgia persist in some quarters.
At the same time, much has been learned about fibromyalgia over the years, so many of the common misconceptions and misunderstandings about the condition can now be firmly put to bed.
For individuals who have fibromyalgia, being informed is the best way to get good treatment and understand what lifestyle measures will help with symptoms.
Learn More About Fibromyalgia Myths and Facts
Having certain other medical conditions may be another risk factor for fibromyalgia.
In many cases, it isnâ€™t clear whether these conditions might trigger the onset of fibromyalgia, or whether they are instead an effect of fibromyalgia â€” or whether both conditions are due to some other underlying cause.
Fibromyalgia is often best treated with a combination of approaches. For some people, certain types of prescription medication can help to reduce symptoms. For others, drugs have little effect, and for everyone, drugs have side effects that must be balanced with potential benefits.
According to the American College of Rheumatology, physical exercise is the most effective treatment for fibromyalgia. Gentle stretching and aerobic exercise can relieve pain and also prevent deconditioning, or getting weaker from lack of exercise. Exercise can also improve sleep. Working with a physical or occupational therapist can be helpful in getting started with an exercise regimen.
Some other lifestyle approaches that may improve fibromyalgia symptoms include stress reduction, not smoking, following a healthy diet, losing weight if youâ€™re overweight, and establishing good sleep habits.
Engaging in exercise may be the last thing on your mind when you hurt all over, but in fact, not exercising can make your pain worse. The best approach to being physically active when you have fibromyalgia is to start low and go slow. In other words, start with a few minutes of activity, and gradually increase the amount of time youâ€™re active over several weeks or months to build your strength and endurance.
Itâ€™s better to do a little less than youâ€™re capable of than to push too hard and trigger a fibromyalgia flare.
If youâ€™re having a flare, reduce the time and intensity of your exercise sessions, but donâ€™t be completely inactive.
Learn More About Good Exercises for People With Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia and Diet
For some people, making dietary changes can ease their fibromyalgia symptoms. Simply following a balanced, nutritious diet is a good start toward better health overall. Such a diet is high in whole foods, contains good sources of vitamin D such as cold-water fish or fortified milk or orange juice, includes foods high in magnesium such as dried beans and leafy greens, and is rich in antioxidants from deeply colored fruits and vegetables.
Beyond that, some research suggests that avoiding dietary excitotoxins â€” chemicals that excite the neurons in the brain â€” can provide additional symptom improvement. The most common excitotoxins in the Western diet are food additives used to enhance or sweeten the flavor of foods. Monosodium glutamate is an example of such an additive.
Learn More About What to Eat and What to Avoid
The Link Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and fibromyalgia are two distinct disorders, but, according to the Arthritis Foundation, up to 30 percent of people with RA also develop fibromyalgia. When the two conditions occur together, pain from one can trigger or exacerbate pain from the other.
Among the key differences between RA and fibromyalgia are that RA is an autoimmune disease while fibromyalgia is not, and RA causes inflammation in and around the joints while fibromyalgia does not attack the joints. The pain of fibromyalgia tends to be widespread, seemingly coming from many points of the body at once.
Each condition is treated differently, but staying physical active can be helpful in both.
Learn More About the Link Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia
Is It Psoriatic Arthritis or Fibromyalgia?
Just as people with RA have a higher-than-average risk of developing fibromyalgia, so do people with psoriatic arthritis, a systemic autoimmune disease and an inflammatory form of arthritis. While there are different types of psoriatic arthritis, ultimately, they all cause joint pain, stiffness, and loss of function.
Doctors suspect co-occurring fibromyalgia when a person with psoriatic arthritis experiences persistent pain and fatigue, possibly accompanied by other symptoms of fibromyalgia, such as fibro fog, sleep problems, and irritable or overactive bladder.
One hazard of not recognizing fibromyalgia in a person with psoriatic arthritis is that a doctor might increase a drug dosage or change drug treatments for the psoriatic arthritis unnecessarily, possibly compromising that personâ€™s treatment. Another hazard is that the fibromyalgia goes untreated.
Mental Fog Some people with fibromyalgia experience lasting memory and cognitive problems that interfere with their ability to concentrate. This is often known as "fibro fog."
Death From Suicide or Injury The risk of death from these causes is higher than in the general population, though the overall risk of death isnâ€™t any higher in people with fibromyalgia, according to the CDC.
Resources for Information and Connection
Living with fibromyalgia can be a frustrating and often lonely existence, particularly if you donâ€™t know anyone else who has it. But with the growth of social media, itâ€™s possible to at least connect online with others who have fibromyalgia, and many towns and cities have in-person support groups as well.
Getting good information about the disorder is important, too, and a number of organizations, including the National Fibromyalgia Association and the American College of Rheumatology, offer authoritative facts and guidance on managing fibromyalgia.
Why Fibromyalgia Is Different From Any Other Kind of Pain
People with fibromyalgia often complain they arenâ€™t taken seriously, even by doctors. That may be because their pain is different from ordinary pain.
Vitamin D Supplements May Help Ease Fibromyalgia Pain: Study
Vitamin D Supplements May Help Ease Fibromyalgia Pain: Study
Patients who think they are deficient in the nutrient should consult their doctor first, experts say.
Everything you need to know about fibromyalgia
Symptoms Treatment Causes Diagnosis Diet Tender points Fibromyalgia is a common and chronic syndrome that causes bodily pain and mental distress.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia can be confused with those of arthritis, or joint inflammation. However, unlike arthritis, it has not been found to cause joint or muscle inflammation and damage. It is seen as a rheumatic condition, in other words, one that causes soft tissue pain or myofascial pain.
According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), around 5 million adults aged 18 years or over in the United States experience fibromyalgia, and 80 to 90 percent of fibromyalgia patients are women.
Fast facts on fibromyalgia:
Here are some key points about fibromyalgia. More detail is in the main article.
Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain, fatigue, and other types of discomfort.
Symptoms resemble those of arthritis, but fibromyalgia affects the soft tissue, not the joints.
The cause is unknown, but risk factors include traumatic injury, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders, such as lupus, and genetic factors.
There is no cure, but medications, exercise, acupuncture, and behavioral therapy can help relieve symptoms and improve sleep quality.
Fibromyalgia can lead to widespread pain, sleep problems, and other symptoms.
Fibromyalgia can lead to widespread pain, sleep problems, and other symptoms.
pelvic and urinary problems
cold or flu-like symptoms
depression and anxiety
Symptoms can appear at any time during a person's life, but they are most commonly reported around the age of 45 years.
Medical attention is needed because fibromyalgia can be difficult to manage. As it is a syndrome, each patient will experience a different set of symptoms, and an individual treatment plan will be necessary.
Treatment may include some or all of the following:
Around 20 percent of people with fibromyalgia try acupuncture within the first 2 years. It may work, but more research is needed.
Around 20 percent of people with fibromyalgia try acupuncture within the first 2 years. It may work, but more research is needed. an active exercise program
behavior modification therapy
low-dose anti-depressants, although these are not a first-line treatment
People with fibromyalgia need to work with their doctor to come up with a treatment plan that provides the best results.
Drugs may be recommended to treat certain symptoms.
A combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training, or strength training, has been linked to a reduction in pain, tenderness, stiffness, and sleep disturbance, in some patients.
If exercise is helping with symptoms, it is important to maintain consistency in order to see progress. Working out with a partner or personal trainer may help to keep the exercise program active.
Some patients have experienced improvements in their quality of life after starting acupuncture therapy for fibromyalgia. The number of sessions required will depend on the symptoms and their severity.
One study found that 1 in 5 people with fibromyalgia use acupuncture within 2 years of diagnosis. The researchers concluded that it may improve pain and stiffness. However, they call for more studies.
Behavior modification therapy
Behavior modification therapy is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that aims to reduce negative, stress- or pain-increasing behaviors and improve positive, mindful behaviors. It includes learning new coping skills and relaxation exercises.
Relieving chronic pain with behavioral strategies
Relieving chronic pain with behavioral strategies
Learn more about how behavioral therapy can help relieve chronic pain
The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unclear. However, current thinking in the field of Rheumatology suggests that fibromyalgia is a problem with central pain processing in the brain, where there may be an increased sensitivity or perception of pain to a given trigger.
There is a range of likely risk factors, including:
a stressful, traumatic physical or emotional event, such as a car accident
rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune diseases, such as lupus
central nervous system (CNS) problems
the way our genes regulate how we process painful stimuli
Fibromyalgia may also be hereditary. Females who have a close relative with fibromyalgia have a higher risk of experiencing it themselves.
People with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or spinal arthritis, known ankylosing spondylitis, have a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia, as do patients with some other rheumatic diseases.
It can take some time to confirm a diagnosis of fibromyalgia because the symptoms resemble those of other conditions, such as hypothyroidism. These conditions must first be ruled out before diagnosing fibromyalgia.
There are no laboratory tests for the condition, and this, too, can lead to delayed or missed diagnosis.
The American College of Rheumatology has established three criteria for diagnosing fibromyalgia. Some pain and symptoms over the previous week, out of 19 identified body parts, plus levels of fatigue, unsatisfactory sleep, or cognitive problems symptoms that have been ongoing for at least 3 months no presence of another health problem that would explain the symptoms
Previously, 'tender points' were used to diagnose the condition. However, these are no longer recommended to aid the diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
Dietary measures have been suggested for improving the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
High-energy foods that are low in sugar: Foods such as almonds, beans, oatmeal, avocado, and tofu contain plenty of fiber but no added sugar. These can help boost energy throughout the day, helping to improve tiredness symptoms that occur as a result of the condition.
Avoiding foods that have gluten: A 2014 study has suggested that gluten sensitivity can contribute to fibromyalgia. The study showed that removing foods that contain gluten from the diet may be able to reduce the pain, even in patients who do not have celiac disease. This is also linked to a diet plan for reducing inflammation.
Cutting out fermentable oligo-di-mono-saccharides and polyols (FODMAP): A recent study showed that a diet low in FODMAP could have promising effects on pain levels in people with fibromyalgia.
Not eating additives and excitotoxins: One report showed that cutting out additives from the diet, such as aspartame and monosodium glutamate (MSG), can reduce pain symptoms significantly. The pain of the people involved in the study was also shown to increase once these additives were put back in the diet.
Eating more seeds and nuts: There is little evidence to support a direct relationship between seeds, nuts, and an improvement in fibromyalgia symptoms. However, they are known to contain powerful micronutrients and minerals that are important for cell function, and this may support people with the condition.
Maintaining a balanced diet and healthy weight is vital to ongoing health and can improve a person's quality of life. Studies have shown that people with both fibromyalgia and obesity showed an improvement in quality of life and pain symptoms once they lost weight.
More research is needed on the effects of diet on fibromyalgia, but making sure the diet is low in sugar and gluten is a good starting point. There is certainly no harm is trying these options to support treatment.
When reading up on fibromyalgia, you may have come across the term 'tender points.'
These are certain areas of the body in which fibromyalgia is said to cause the most pain. These include the back of the head, inner knees, and outer elbows. Pain can also be increased in the neck and shoulders, the outer hips, and the upper chest.
Doctors used to diagnose fibromyalgia based on how they react to pressure at these points. However, this is no longer seen as an accurate way to diagnose the condition, and tender points are no longer used as a reliable indicator of fibromyalgia.
Injections are not advised at these points. However, the pain is now thought to be more widespread and present differently in different people. Instead of specific areas or points of pain, fibromyalgia is identified by the severity and chronic nature of the pain.
Fibromyalgia sufferers might benefit from tailored acupuncture Previous research into the benefits of acupuncture for fibromyalgia sufferers has been inconclusive. A new study using a more tailored approach yields promising results. What is polyarthritis? Learn all about polyarthritis, a condition where pain and inflammation occur in multiple joints at once. We look at the symptoms, causes, and treatments. Reactive arthritis: Symptoms, risk factors, and treatment Reactive arthritis is a painful type of inflammation that can occur in the legs and back. Find out about the symptoms and how to treat this condition. How do you manage arthritis in hands? A look at arthritis in hands, a condition that can make moving fingers and grasping objects difficult. We look at the causes and diagnosis. Read now
Fibromyalgia in Men: Symptoms and Treatment As fibromyalgia is more common in women than in men, it may be harder for men to get a diagnosis. What are the symptoms in men and how is it treated? Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia affects two - four percent of people, women more often than men.
Fibromyalgia is not an autoimmune or inflammation based illness, but research suggests the nervous system is involved.
Doctors diagnose fibromyalgia based on all the patientâ€™s relevant symptoms (what you feel), no longer just on the number of tender places during an examination.
There is no test to detect this disease, but you may need lab tests or X-rays to rule out other health problems.
Though there is no cure, medications can reduce symptoms in some patients.
Patients also may feel better with proper self-care, such as exercise and getting enough sleep.
Fibromyalgia is a common neurologic health problem that causes widespread pain and tenderness (sensitivity to touch). The pain and tenderness tend to come and go, and move about the body. Most often, people with this chronic (long-term) illness are fatigued (very tired) and have sleep problems. The diagnosis can be made with a careful examination.
Fibromyalgia is most common in women, though it can occur in men. It most often starts in middle adulthood, but can occur in the teen years and in old age. You are at higher risk for fibromyalgia if you have a rheumatic disease (health problem that affects the joints, muscles and bones). These include osteoarthritis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or ankylosing spondylitis.
This information is provided for general education only. Individuals should consult a qualified health care provider for professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment of a medical or health condition.
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