Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition described as pain all over the body along with fatigue and multiple tender trigger points where light pressure causes pain. This disorder is more common in women and studies show that symptoms appear after emotional or physical trauma.
People with certain rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (commonly called lupus), or ankylosing spondylitis (spinal arthritis) may be more likely to have fibromyalgia, too.
A person may have two or more coexisting chronic pain conditions. Such conditions can include chronic fatigue syndrome, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease, interstitial cystitis, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and vulvodynia. It is not known whether these disorders share a common cause.
In addition to pain and fatigue, people who have fibromyalgia may experience a variety of other symptoms including:
- cognitive and memory problems
- sleep disturbances
- morning stiffness
- irritable bowel syndrome
- painful menstrual periods
- numbness or tingling of the extremities
- restless legs syndrome
- temperature sensitivity
- sensitivity to loud noises or bright lights.
The cause of fibromyalgia is not known but studies show that it most likely involves a variety of factors such as genetics, infections, and physical or emotional trauma.
Some connect it to repetitive injuries. Others link it to an illness. For others, fibromyalgia seems to occur spontaneously.
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