chronic meaning that the syndrome is long lasting, normally a lifelong disease. Fibromyalgia does not damage joints or cause inflammation, although it is considered an arthritis-related condition. In fact, fibromyalgia is a rheumatic disease for it causes pain in soft tissues and joints.
To be clear, although there are many theories, a consensus on a specific cause of fibromyalgia does not exist. Researchers and doctors believe that a combination of factors working in concert play a role in the existence of fibromyalgia.
The 5 common risk factors
This disparity could be:
• Central nervous system problems
• Repetitive injuries
• Rheumatoid arthritis and/or lupus
• Post-traumatic physical or psychological episode (post-traumatic stress disorder)
• Family history can make one more vulnerable to developing the syndrome.
Besides the above causes, other risk factors include gender women are ten times more likely to develop the syndrome and age. Fibromyalgia is most often diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50. Additionally, sleep disturbances have been seen as both a symptom and a possible cause of fibromyalgia. Patients who suffer from sleep disorders like restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea have an increased risk of having fibromyalgia.
How is Fibromyalgia diagnosed?
A fibromyalgia patient is likely to have visited their doctor countless times before the diagnosis is made, because many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia are comparable to those seen in other conditions. Before a diagnosis can be made, all other diseases and conditions must be ruled out.
To make matters more frustrating, there are no specific diagnostic lab tests that definitively prove the existence of Fibromyalgia. As a result, many inexperienced and/or stubborn doctors still believe that the pain is all over the patient’s head.
For a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, a patient must exhibit two specific criteria; widespread pain and the presence of tender points. For pain to be considered generalized, it needs to affect all four quadrants of the patient’s body; left, right, up and down. As for tender points, they are located in 18 parts of the body. At least 11 of them must be tender to the touch for a diagnosis of fibromyalgia to be made.