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What is Fibromyalgia?

The figures display the location of the tender points that comprise the 1990 American College of Rheumatology criteria for fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is similar to rheumatism, which is a chronic condition in which the joints, and soft tissues, experience pain. Like rheumatism, fibromyalgia cause significant pain and fatigue. Fibromyalgia sufferers experience pain and tenderness at multiple, and specific places on the body (see diagram), and pain in response to even very slight pressure.

In addition to pain and fatigue, people who have fibromyalgia may experience:

  • sleep disturbances
  • morning stiffness
  • headaches
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • numbness or tingling of the extremities
  • restless leg syndrome
  • temperature and light sensitivity
  • cognitive and memory problems
What Causes Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is believed by many to be caused by stressful or traumatic events, such as automobile accidents. Others connect it to repetitive injuries, or think it's related to lupus, or other auto-immune diseases. The actual cause is not known, and there is no cure.

To be diagnosied with fibromyalgia, a person must have 11 or more tender points. One of these predesignated sites is considered a true tender point only if the person feels pain upon the application of 4 kilograms of pressure to the site. People who have fibromyalgia certainly may feel pain at other sites, too, but those 18 standard possible sites on the body are the criteria used for classification.

While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, chiropractic may be able to relieve some of the symptoms, in some cases. To find out if you can be helped, contact our office today to make an appointment for a free consultation and analysis.

ja 2005
DISCLAIMER: No individuals, including those under our active care, should use the information, resources or tools contained within to self-diagnose or self-treat any health-related condition. Diagnosis and treatment of all health conditions should only be performed by your doctor of chiropractic or other licensed health care professional.

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