Fibromyalgia is a syndrome, as opposed to a disease. No primary causation can be determined in those suffering with the condition. The majority of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia will consult a rheumatologist, a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic disorders.
Some of the cardinal symptoms of rheumatic disorders are swelling, pain, and inflammation in the muscles and joints.
Fibromyalgia is diagnosed in 2-4% of the U.S. population. According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, the prevalence represents that upwards of ten million people in the U.S. are afflicted with this disorder.
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The cause of fibromyalgia has never been clearly delineated, although many researchers have examined factors for a link to the disorder. Currently, scientists feel fibromyalgia is a complex interplay between sociological, biological, and psychological agents.
Infections, trauma, and repetitive injury have been studied for their causality with respect to fibromyalgia. The disorder coexists in extraordinarily high prevalence with hepatitis C infections and other rheumatic disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and osteoarthritis (OA). The common characteristic of all the disorders listed is systemic, chronic inflammation.
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There is currently no cure for fibromyalgia. Physicians should express candor about this fact when addressing patients diagnosed with the disorder. Subsequently, the focal points of treatment of fibromyalgia become areas such as patient education, and lifestyle adjustments, to help keep patients comfortable while coping with the malady. Successfully treatment of this condition requires a multi-pronged approach.
There are several treatments that can help, including: