What is fibromyalgia syndrome?
Fibromyalgia syndrome is a soft tissue rheumatism that may be prolonged in the musculoskeletal system, leading to diffuse pain and sensitivity in the body. Among the syndromes leading to long-term pain and disability, fibromyalgia syndrome is at the forefront in terms of labor loss and drug-treatment costs.
What causes fibromyalgia syndrome?
It is not known exactly why fibromyalgia syndrome develops. Some theories have been put forward in researches. These;
Pain Detection Disorder
Unbalance of substances called neurotransmitters in central nervous system
Nervous System and Hormonal System Disorder
Disorder in Muscle and Muscle Functions
Overworked Sympathetic System
What are the signs and symptoms?
It is possible to differentiate the clinical symptoms from those belonging to the musculoskeletal system, those with non-musculoskeletal system, and accompanying symptoms.
- Symptoms of Musculoskeletal System: Pain, stiffness, soft tissue swelling.
- Non-musculoskeletal symptoms: Fatigue, morning stiffness, sleep disturbance, drowsiness, and symptoms other than musculoskeletal system.
- Accompanying Symptoms: Emotional variability, headache, menstrual pain, diarrhea and constipation, dry eye symptoms, raynaud phenomenon (cold and color change in hands and feet)
How is fibromyalgia syndrome diagnosed?
Diagnosis of fibromyalgia is not easy; because there is no laboratory-specific laboratory test. Generally, long-term musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and the presence of sensitive points in certain parts of the body are diagnosed with fibromyalgia syndrome. Sensitive areas in the body;
What are the risk factors for fibromyalgia?
- Gender: It is more common in women than men.
- Age: It occurs most frequently during the early and mid-adult period. However, it can also be seen in children and older people.
- Disruption of sleep patterns: It is not known exactly how it affects fibromyalgia syndrome. It may be associated with muscle spasm and restless leg syndrome (a strange sensation that cannot be fully described and prevented from falling asleep) or sleep apnea syndrome (short-term stoppage of breathing).
- Family history: This disease is more common in those with a family history.
- Rheumatic diseases: The presence of rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or ankylosing spondylitis may predispose to fibromyalgia.
How is fibromyalgia treated?
As with any disease, patient information and training is very important. The patient should be told that the disease is ”real“ but not a crippling disease. Treatment may take a long time and regular follow-up of the physician may be necessary until there is a significant improvement in the findings. The treatment of fibromyalgia is based on medication and physical therapy. The patient should first be told that this disease is a long-term disease and that the pain does not cause harm to the body, although it is permanent.
In physical therapy applications, positive results are obtained with hot packs, deep heaters and electrical stimulation with pain-relieving properties. Exercise is the most important treatment and prevention method in the disease. Relaxation and stretching exercises, walking, swimming and cycling are particularly effective. The type and intensity of exercise should be adjusted according to the patient. Massage relaxation and pressure techniques provide positive effects in reducing muscle tension. Patients should also be advised to allocate more time to themselves and their health, to take frequent breaks during intensive work, and not to overstress themselves in their daily work.