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Understanding Fibromyalgia

Feb. 12, 2009

Fibromyalgia is a common condition characterized by widespread pain in joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Some other problems commonly linked with fibromyalgia include fatigue, morning stiffness, sleep problems, headaches, numbness in hands and feet, depression, and anxiety. Fibromyalgia can develop on its own, or secondary to other musculoskeletal conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, or systemic lupus.

Diagnosis of fibromyalgia requires a history of at least three months of widespread pain, and pain and tenderness in at least 11 of 18 tender-point sites. These tender-point sites include fibrous tissue or muscles of the neck, shoulders, chest, rib cage, lower back, thighs, knees, arms (elbows), and buttocks. The overwhelming characteristic of fibromyalgia is long-standing, body-wide pain with defined tender points. Tender points are distinct from trigger points seen in other pain syndromes. (Unlike tender points, trigger points can occur in isolation and represent a source of radiating pain, even in the absence of direct pressure.) Fibromyalgia pain can mimic the pain experienced by people with various types of arthritis. The soft-tissue pain of fibromyalgia is described as deep-aching, radiating, gnawing, shooting or burning, and ranges from mild to severe. Fibromyalgia sufferers tend to waken with body aches and stiffness.

Treatment: Chiropractic care works on relieving pain and symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. To see if chiropractic may be able to help you call (414) 525-9500 today for a complimentary consultation.

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