Fibromyalgia is an ailment affecting the muscles and soft tissue. The disease is chronic in nature and has no cure, but is not known to be progressive. Fibromyalgia is the second-most common condition in the United States, with twelve million people afflicted. 80-90% of those suffering from the ailment are women between the ages of 25 and 60. Fibromyalgia often has a triggering cause, such a repetitive injury or an unusually stressful physical or emotional event. Some individuals can also be at a genetic risk for developing the disease.
Characteristics of Fibromyalgia are a widespread joint pain with a decreased tolerance. The condition has multiple symptoms, some of which include:
Although fibromyalgia is not considered to be a form of arthritis, those with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or ankylosing spondylitis tend to be more prone to developing the disease.
Fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose, as many of its common symptoms correspond to other diseases. The physician conducts a comprehensive patient history and physical exam to define the symptoms, and compare them to the diagnostic criteria established by the American College of Rheumatology. Several various lab tests may be ordered, as there is no current stand-alone assessment available to determine the condition. A Rheumatologist’s diagnostic expertise can often help discover the problem.
Treatment for fibromyalgia centers around the following:
If you have fibromyalgia and would like to discuss our treatment options, please contact us at either our New Braunfels or Seguin offices.