Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic pain condition associated with fatigue, sleep and mood disturbances as well as morning stiffness. A physician can diagnose fibromyalgia by the presence of these symptoms as well as tenderness on palpation of specific tender points throughout the 4 quadrants (parts) of the body. (see diagram)
It is classified as an arthritic or rheumatic condition.
Misunderstood and poorly managed for years, fibromyalgia affects 2-9% of the general population including children; women experience fibromyalgia at a 10:1 ratio to men.
In 2012, the medical community acknowledged and accepted recommendations made in a report entitled Canadian Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of the Fibromyalgia Syndrome.
Although, FM is not life-threatening, it is a chronic pain condition that needs to be managed 24/7 .
Rheumatic issues can affect the immune system and may complicate management. Problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, bladder dysfunction, restless legs syndrome, depression and anxiety are a few of the possible associated problems.
Medication is used ‘as needed’ to better assist with sleep problems and any associated problems
Research continues on finding bio markers for fibromyalgia which over time may assist with better management.