February 17, 2017
Fibromyalgia is a chronic widespread pain that can be further compounded by fatigue, reduced physical activity and cognitive dysfunction. Fibromyalgia is a condition that affects the soft tissues of the body creating pain in these areas. It predominantly affects women, with no preference across age groups.
Fibromyalgia is also known as fibrositis, myositis, myofascial syndrome and tension myalgia. All of these refer to a dysfunction within the muscles and connective tissue (primarily fascia) in the body.
Fibromyalgia was originally described as a rheumatic condition in the 19th century. However many doctors felt in the past that may have been of psychological origin as there is no clinic test to entirely refute or confirm a diagnosis on fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is diagnosed by determining if 11 of 18 specific points in the body are painful, and have been for a minimum of 3 months. Doctors may also use blood tests and scans to rule out other specific diseases that may mimic fibromyalgia symptoms. These 18 points (see image above) are symmetrically located on each side of the body at the back and front of the neck, shoulders, chest, elbows, hips, low back and inner knees.
The causes and cure for fibromyalgia has not yet been revealed, there is a lot that people suffering from fibromyalgia can do to manage their condition. At present the pain aim of treatment is for manage pain and increase physical function levels.
Physiotherapy can be highly beneficial for people suffering from fibromyalgia as dry needling and massage can loosen up ‘tight’ areas while reducing pain. Appropriate exercise can also be prescribed to help increase physical activity without exacerbating pain.
If you have any questions on fibromyalgia, please contact one of our physiotherapists at our Merrion square clinic, Dublin 2, on 01 441 0100.