Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that affects the muscles and soft tissues, leading to chronic and widespread pain, fatigue, and painful joints. Anxiety, depression, and problems sleeping are all associated with this disorder.  Stiffness, painful trigger points, and urinary problems affect most individuals with fibromyalgia. The disease is very hard to diagnose and many patients affected by this disorder spend years getting a complete diagnosis of their condition.  Recent studies point to better diagnosis methods for some cases.  

Diagnosis and Treatment

Fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose, most likely due to the overlap of symptoms with other diseases. Currently, there is no objective laboratory test for fibromyalgia. Clinicians can use criteria established by the American College of Rheumatology to help them diagnose sfibromyalgia. These criteria include a history of widespread pain lasting longer than three months, plus other physical symptoms including fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and memory or thought problems. New tests are under investigation by some medical centers but have yet to universally accepted by all clinicians.

Treatments for fibromyalgia consists of physical therapy, including exercise and balance training, stress maintenance, and a well-balanced healthy diet. Medications may be used to control pain and include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). For some people, counseling or therapy and the use of antidepressant medications can be helpful.