The specific sensitive points
As indicated above, generalized pain is associated with fibromyalgia. Having said that, there are about 18 tender points common in fibromyalgia sufferers, and anyone with 11 or more is likely to have the condition.
These sensitive areas will cause severe pain in a small area when pressure is applied, and typically include spots on the hips, buttocks, knees, chest, elbows, neck and back. A rheumatologist will know where those sensitive points are and will be able to control their response.
If you have fibromyalgia, most likely you have knotted painful muscles and spasms, as well as the aforementioned tender points. Anyone who massages can comment on the tightness of the muscles, and pain in places like the shoulders and arms can make it unbearable to perform everyday tasks such as writing or loading purchases.
Along with pain, fatigue is probably the most common symptom of fibromyalgia. This fatigue is more than the fatigue associated with a stressful event or a busy week is moderate to severe in character, and usually persists regardless of activity level. Consequently, you may find it difficult to do all the things you want, and you may be frustrated by the fact that fatigue is far out of proportion to the amount you have actually done in a day.
“Fibro-fog” is the name often given to the cognitive problems found in fibromyalgia. You may notice that it is harder to remember facts, harder to learn new information, and difficult to concentrate for long periods of time. Some people notice changes in speech, too, such as tripping over words.
Headaches are very common, but those described by fibromyalgia sufferers seem to come from stiffness and pain in the neck and shoulders. Headaches can appear in the form of mild but persistent tension headaches, or they can be as extreme as migraines involving nausea and visual disturbances.
If you think you have had a migraine for the first time (or endured a different type of migraine), you should always visit your doctor for a more sinister, neurological health-workup problems, such as strokes and tumors are occasionally responsible for similar symptoms.
Fibromyalgia usually involves extreme sensitivity to pain in two different senses. First, you may have hyperalgesia, which means painful stimuli (such as injuries) that do more harm than do the average person.
Second, you may experience allodynia, which is characterized by pain in response to things that would not hurt the average person at all (such as highlights to the skin). In addition, people with fibromyalgia are sometimes more sensitive to things in the environment, like strong odors or bright lights. These intense sensory experiences may even cause an increase in other symptoms of fibromyalgia (such as muscle pain, mental confusion, and headaches).
poor sleep quality
One of the main warning signs of fibromyalgia is waking up feeling that you have not had a restful sleep. Sometimes, your dream may be so poor that you feel more tired than you did when you went to bed. In addition, you may have difficulty falling asleep and feel particularly stiff or sore the first time you get up in the morning.
they experience digestive disorders
Finally, there is a considerable overlap between fibromyalgia and digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome. You may have episodes of constipation alternating with diarrhea, and you may often feel bloated or feel painful cramping after a meal.
Obtaining a diagnosis
If most of the above symptoms sound familiar to you, talk to your doctor about fibromyalgia. While many people have to go a long way in exploring other explanations before finally receiving a diagnosis, there are some promising treatment options. For example, drugs that influence the levels of neurotransmitters that control pain levels can be very effective.
In addition, since many patients with fibromyalgia wonder at some point if they are not more than hypochondriacs, it is possible that not even knowing that there is a name for their condition helps combat the low mood and gives hope for the future.