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Fibromyalgia represents a disorder marked by extensive pain in the muscles and skeleton, typically accompanied by fatigue, sleep disturbances, memory issues, and mood swings. Researchers theorize that fibromyalgia intensifies the feeling of pain by altering how your brain interprets pain signals.
The onset of symptoms may follow a physical trauma, surgical procedure, infection, or substantial psychological stress. However, in some instances, symptoms gradually build up over time without any specific triggering event.
Fibromyalgia tends to affect women more than men. It’s not uncommon for individuals with fibromyalgia to also experience tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and depression.
While no cure exists for fibromyalgia, an assortment of medications can assist in managing symptoms. Approaches such as exercise, relaxation techniques, and stress reduction can also prove beneficial.
The symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
- Widespread pain: The discomfort linked to fibromyalgia is often characterized as a persistent, dull ache, persisting for at least three months. The pain is considered widespread when it is present on both sides of your body and both above and below your waist.
- Fatigue: Despite seemingly long periods of sleep, individuals with fibromyalgia frequently wake up feeling tired. Pain often interrupts sleep, and many fibromyalgia patients also have sleep disorders like restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea.
- Cognitive difficulties: A symptom often referred to as “fibro fog” can hamper the ability to concentrate, maintain focus, and engage in mental tasks.
The exact cause of fibromyalgia remains unknown, but it is believed that various factors may contribute to its development:
- Genetics: Fibromyalgia often runs in families, suggesting potential genetic mutations that may increase susceptibility to the disorder.
- Infections: Certain illnesses seem to instigate or exacerbate fibromyalgia.
- Physical or emotional trauma: Fibromyalgia can be triggered by a physical incident, such as a car accident, or by psychological stress.
Why is it painful?
Researchers speculate that recurring nerve stimulation leads to brain alterations in individuals with fibromyalgia. This alteration includes an abnormal rise in specific brain chemicals that transmit pain (neurotransmitters). Additionally, the brain’s pain receptors appear to develop a kind of pain memory, becoming more sensitive and prone to overreaction to pain signals.
Fibromyalgia Doctor Dallas, TX
We have pain management clinics in North Dallas including Sherman, Rowlett, Greenville & Forney, TX