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What is Fibromyalgia?

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is characterised by widespread pain throughout the muscles in the body. Symptoms may last months or years but the muscle tissues involved are not damaged. People with fibromyalgia often look well but feel terrible. Therefore, many people do not realise that you are suffering from pain and tiredness. This can lead to additional distress. Severe fibromyalgia can affect your work, personal and social life.

Fibromyalgia typically presents itself as tender points in several areas of the body. Normal people would find it uncomfortable if pressure is applied to these places but in individuals with fibromyalgia these points can be extremely tender to only a light touch.

The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown but it is now understood that fibromyalgia is often a combination of physical and mental factors. Individuals with fibromyalgia experience a vicious circle of pain and deep sleep disturbance. Fibromyalgia research has been carried out into specific tender points and sleep disturbance. Brain wave studies during sleep showed that people with fibromyalgia lose deep sleep. In a particular experiment, some healthy people suffered the typical symptoms and tender points of fibromyalgia after being repetitively woken up during periods of deep sleep.

Several factors can cause deep sleep disturbance and, therefore, fibromyalia. Numerous factors may affect an individual. Neck pain or stiffness can disturb sleep. The pain and stress of an injury or a disease can also disturb sleep. Emotional pain and anxiety or depression are often important factors.


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