What Is Fibromyalgia?

If you suffer from widespread pain coupled with fatigue and cognitive issues, you could be suffering from fibromyalgia.

But, what does that even mean?

The term fibromyalgia comes from the Latin word “fibro” meaning fibrous tissue, and the Greek words “myo” meaning muscle and “algos” meaning pain. The term literally means “muscle and connective tissue pain.” Core fibromyalgia symptoms include:

  • Chronic pain
  • Fatigue
  • Mood disorders
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Cognitive dysfunction, or “fibro fog”

This condition also shares many symptoms with chronic fatigue syndrome and lupus. The origins of fibromyalgia pain are unknown.

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome, as opposed to a disease. There is no one single primary cause. Fibromyalgia pain has been called by many other names such as:

  • Fibromyositis
  • Muscular rheumatism
  • Nonarticular rheumatism
  • Periarticular fibrositis
  • Rheumatoid myositis
  • Fibrositis
  • Tension myalgia
  • Musculoskeletal pain syndrome

Some scientists believe fibromyalgia occurs from hypersensitivity of pain transmissions toward and away from the central nervous system. If you suffer from this condition, a coordinated approach is best. Your doctor will help you find both medications and non-medication therapies that work.

Must-watch fibromyalgia video 

The Impact Of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is diagnosed in 2-4% of the U.S. population. According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, as many as ten million people in the U.S. suffer from this disorder. This number was calculated using the 1990 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) guidelines. However, some scientists argue that that estimate is too low and fails to capture almost 50% of people with this disorder.

Fibromyalgia disorder is more prevalent in women, with a nine to one ratio in favor of women. The majority of women diagnosed generally range in age from 20 to 50 years. In the past, researchers have found that prevalence also increases with age. However, the disorder has been diagnosed in all genders, races, and ethnicities.

The economic impact of fibromyalgia is burdensome. It may cost over $10,000 per patient a year. This expense is more than three times the average when compared to those with chronic conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and elevated cholesterol. On top of that, patients miss almost 17 days of work per annum. Overall, these healthcare expenditures represent upwards of $14 billion per year in the U.S.

Fibromyalgia Statistics | PainDoctor.com