Could You Have Fibromyalgia?

Waves crashing on the beach.Fibromyalgia (FM) is a disorder that’s characterized by fatigue and pain in the ligaments and muscles of the body. The aches that accompany this condition are frequently compared to that of the flu with symptoms becoming even more severe after physical exertion. Fibromyalgia is much more common in women than men (approximately 75 percent of FM sufferers are female) and adults.

The Causes of Fibromyalgia

Although experts don’t know exactly what causes FM, there are a number of events that may trigger its onset. These include viral or bacterial infections, an autoimmune disorder like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, or physical trauma. While these conditions may act as triggers for fibromyalgia, it’s important to realize that they don’t cause the condition, which was most likely present before the trigger.

The Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

In order to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a patient must undergo a physical examination. The healthcare provider will then check to see if the patient is experiencing pain in all four quadrants of his or her body. This pain must have been present for at least three months. Other common symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

  • Memory problems (“fibro fog”)
  • Fatigue
  • Disturbed sleeping patterns
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Headaches

Coping With Your Condition

If you are diagnosed with fibromyalgia you should know that your symptoms may come and go over time. Some FM patients are able to continue with all of their normal activities, while others find that their condition limits their activities. It would be wise to talk to your chiropractor or other healthcare provider to find out how to avoid triggering your symptoms. A healthy diet, combined with regular exercise and a rigid sleep schedule are extremely beneficial steps for a fibromyalgia patient to take.

Common Misdiagnoses

An older man napping on the couch.

Fibromyalgia can be extremely difficult to diagnose because the symptoms of this condition are very similar to other health ailments. If you’ve been diagnosed with any of the following conditions, you should seek out a second medical opinion to make sure you have the right diagnosis:

  • Lyme disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sleep apnea
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Depression
  • Lupus

How to Help Yourself

Because fibromyalgia is a life-long condition, it’s important for patients to take an active role in their treatment. Your chiropractor knows that taking good care of yourself is the best way to ensure your long-term health. If you think you may have FM, talk to your chiropractic team today for an accurate diagnosis and a wellness plan to help you reduce your symptoms. Taking an active role in your wellness is the surest way to stay healthy over the years to come.

If you have wellness concerns related to fibromyalgia or any other chronic condition, contact your chiropractic team for safe and effective treatment.

 

Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.

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This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.