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Fibromyalgia – Symptoms – NHS
Fibromyalgia has many symptoms that tend to vary from person to person. The main symptom is widespread pain.
There may be periods when your symptoms get better or worse, depending on factors such as:
- your stress levels
- changes in the weather
- how physically active you are
If you think you have fibromyalgia, visit your GP.
Treatment is available to ease some of the symptoms, although it’s unlikely they’ll ever disappear completely.
The main symptoms of fibromyalgia are outlined below.
If you have fibromyalgia, one of the main symptoms is likely to be widespread pain.
This may be felt throughout your body, but could be worse in particular areas, such as your back or neck.
The pain is likely to be continuous, although it may be better or more severe at different times.
The pain could feel like:
- an ache
- a burning sensation
- a sharp, stabbing pain
Fibromyalgia can make you extremely sensitive to pain all over your body, and you may find that even the slightest touch is painful.
If you hurt yourself, such as stubbing your toe, the pain may continue for much longer than it normally would.
You may hear the condition described in the following medical terms:
- hyperalgesia – when you’re extremely sensitive to pain
- allodynia – when you feel pain from something that should not be painful at all, such as a very light touch
You may also be sensitive to things like smoke, certain foods and bright lights.
Being exposed to something you’re sensitive to can cause your other fibromyalgia symptoms to flare up.
Fibromyalgia can make you feel stiff. The stiffness may be most severe when you have been in the same position for a long period of time – for example, when you first wake up in the morning.
It can also cause your muscles to spasm, which is when they contract (squeeze) tightly and painfully.
Fibromyalgia can cause extreme tiredness (fatigue). This can range from a mild tired feeling to the exhaustion often experienced during a flu-like illness.
Severe fatigue may come on suddenly and can drain you of all your energy. If this happens, you may feel too tired to do anything at all.
Poor sleep quality
Fibromyalgia can affect your sleep. You may often wake up tired, even when you have had plenty of sleep.
This is because the condition can sometimes prevent you sleeping deeply enough to refresh you properly.
You may hear this described as non-restorative sleep.
Cognitive problems (‘fibro-fog’)
Cognitive problems are issues related to mental processes, such as thinking and learning.
If you have fibromyalgia, you may have:
- trouble remembering and learning new things
- problems with attention and concentration
- slowed or confused speech
If fibromyalgia has caused you to experience pain and stiffness in your neck and shoulders, you may also have frequent headaches.
These can vary from being mild headaches to severe migraines, and could also involve other symptoms, such as feeling sick.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Some people with fibromyalgia also develop irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
IBS is a common digestive condition that causes pain and bloating in your stomach. It can also lead to constipation or diarrhoea.
Other symptoms that people with fibromyalgia sometimes experience include:
In some cases, having the condition can lead to depression.
This is because fibromyalgia can be difficult to deal with, and low levels of certain hormones associated with the condition can make you prone to developing depression.
Depression can cause many symptoms, including:
- constantly feeling low
- feeling hopeless and helpless
- losing interest in the things you usually enjoy
If you think you may be depressed, it’s important to get help from a GP or your fibromyalgia healthcare professional, if you have been seeing one.
Video: fibromyalgia – Suzanne’s story
In this video, Suzanne talks about how fibromyalgia has affected her life and how it can be treated.
Media last reviewed: 1 February 2021
Media review due: 1 February 2024
Page last reviewed: 20 February 2019
Next review due: 20 February 2022
Fibromyalgia (for Teens) – Nemours Kidshealth
Lana first started feeling pain in her muscles during her junior year of high school. With all her schoolwork, playing sports, and keeping up with her friends, Lana felt like she was under a lot of stress. Before long she had trouble getting enough sleep. She was tired and cranky all the time, and her whole body ached.
Lana assumed the pain was from all the stress she was going through. But when it didn’t go away after 3 months, her mom called a doctor. The doctor examined Lana, made sure there was nothing else causing her pain, and told her she had fibromyalgia.
What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes pain in a person’s muscles, joints, and other soft tissues. The pain is widespread — meaning the person feels pain all over his or her body. In addition to body pain, people with fibromyalgia often have headaches. They may have tender spots — areas of the body that hurt when pressed on. They also may feel tired and have trouble sleeping.
If you have fibromyalgia, you’re not alone. It affects millions of people in the United States. Most people with fibromyalgia are women between the ages of 20 and 50. But it can start when people are in their teens or younger.
Fibromyalgia is a
chronic condition, meaning it goes on for a while. But symptoms don’t always stay the same. Sometimes pain or fatigue can be mild. Other times they are severe enough to interfere with life. Teens with fibromyalgia may go to school regularly, but what they are able to do depends on how severe their symptoms are.
There is no cure for fibromyalgia. But doctors can treat the pain and other symptoms so they’re not as bad.
What Happens When Someone Has Fibromyalgia?
Most teens with fibromyalgia have pain throughout their bodies. Usually the pain is dull or burning. Sometimes it can be more of a shooting or throbbing pain. People also may have headaches and body pain.
People with fibromyalgia usually have tender spots — areas of the body that hurt when someone presses on them. Common tender spots include:
- the back of the head
- between the shoulder blades
- the top of the shoulders
- the upper chest
- the front of the neck
- the outer hips
- the inner knees
- the elbows
People with fibromyalgia often feel fatigue (extremely tired or low on energy). Because of this, fibromyalgia can sometimes be mistaken for something called chronic fatigue syndrome. Sometimes people can have both conditions.
In addition to pain and fatigue, most teens with fibromyalgia have trouble sleeping. They may wake up frequently during the night and feel exhausted in the morning. They also can have problems like restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea, which can add to their sleep difficulties.
People with fibromyalgia might notice problems with memory or concentration. Some may be anxious or depressed. Some also have irritable bowel syndrome, a kind of digestive problem.
After living with fibromyalgia, people might start noticing that specific things make pain and other symptoms worse. For some, it might be stress. For others, it could be cold, damp weather. Everyone’s different.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
Doctors aren’t really sure why people get fibromyalgia. They do know that the brains of people with fibromyalgia sense pain differently than other people’s brains. They might feel pain in response to things (like stress) that aren’t normally painful.
There are chemicals in our brains called neurotransmitters. They help send messages between nerve cells in the brain. People with fibromyalgia may have abnormal levels of neurotransmitters in the part of the brain that signals pain.
Another theory about fibromyalgia is that the nerve endings that help transmit pain signals to the brain might be too sensitive and react too strongly to pain signals.
Many experts believe that outside events — like illness, injuries, or emotional trauma — can play a role in fibromyalgia. Because fibromyalgia can run in families, it’s also possible that genes may increase a person’s risk of developing the condition.
How Do Doctors Diagnose It?
Because fibromyalgia is a cluster of different symptoms, it’s not always easy to diagnose.
There’s no specific test for fibromyalgia. So doctors might do tests to rule out other conditions or problems. For example, fatigue can be a sign of a thyroid problem. So a doctor may do thyroid tests. If the tests show a person’s thyroid is normal, the doctor will know something else is causing the fatigue.
Because fibromyalgia is complicated, doctors look at several things. A doctor will start by asking about a person’s medical history and symptoms (like pain or fatigue). The doctor will probably also check for 18 common tender spots. Most kids and teens who have fibromyalgia feel pain in at least five of these spots when the doctor presses on them.
If there is no sign of other health problems, and the patient has had widespread pain for at least 3 months, doctors may decide it’s fibromyalgia.
Diagnosing fibromyalgia can take a while (sometimes years). That can get pretty frustrating. Don’t give up. You may need to find a doctor who has experience with the condition.
There’s no cure for fibromyalgia. But treatment can help manage symptoms, minimize pain, and improve a person’s overall health and quality of life. Treatments for fibromyalgia include both lifestyle changes and medications.
Doctors usually ask people to start with lifestyle changes before turning to medications. Some of the changes doctors may recommend are:
- Regular exercise. Exercise may increase pain at first, but it can help make things better if it is done gradually and regularly. Some people benefit from working with a physical therapist. Stretching and relaxation exercises (like yoga) can also help.
- Stress-relief methods. These can include yoga, t’ai chi, and other disciplines, as well as light massage, breathing exercises, and acupuncture.
- More sleep. Getting enough sleep is one of the most effective ways to treat fibromyalgia. It can help to avoid caffeine, sugary beverages, and sugary snacks right before bedtime. It can also help to go to bed and get up at the same time each day and limit napping during the daytime.
- Healthy lifestyle choices. Eating healthy foods can help with fibromyalgia. Doing things you love can help too. Hobbies and other activities don’t just make people feel good about themselves, they can also distract people from the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
If lifestyle changes don’t help on their own, a doctor may prescribe medications. Some of the medicines used to treat fibromyalgia are:
- Pain relievers. Over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium, can help ease the pain and stiffness caused by fibromyalgia. If these don’t help, doctors may write a prescription for pain relievers.
- Antidepressants. Antidepressants treat more than depression. Doctors sometimes prescribe them to ease pain and fatigue and help people sleep better.
- Anti-seizure medications. Some medicines used to treat epilepsy are also useful in treating fibromyalgia symptoms.
Therapy also helps with fibromyalgia. A psychotherapist or counselor can help people learn how to deal with difficult emotions, recognize what makes fibromyalgia symptoms worse, and take action to keep those symptoms in check.
If you have fibromyalgia, it can help to join a support group or online community for people living with the condition. That way, you can share what you’re going through with people who know what it’s like.
Body Pain Causes, Prevention Tips & Treatment
Pain is an unpleasant sensation in the body that is triggered by the nervous system. The onset of body pain can occur suddenly or slowly, depending on many factors, (e.g. environmental, biological, emotional, cognitive, etc.) Each individual is the best judge of the severity and frequency of his or her body pain.
Types of Body Pain & Causes of Body Pain
There are generally two types of body pain: acute pain and chronic pain.
Acute body pain
Acute body pain results from an illness or event, such as injury or surgery. It generally occurs suddenly, then gradually diminishes or stops on its own or with medical treatment. Acute pain can range from mild to severe, and may last for weeks or months. If treated properly, acute body pain will subside within six months. If left untreated, acute pain may lead to chronic pain.
Chronic body pain
Chronic body pain is pain that persists over time and may have no apparent cause, even after an injury has healed or an illness has subsided. Chronic pain can persist for weeks or even years. Sufferers of chronic pain may find it debilitating, resulting in loss of sleep and inability to function normally.
Important: If you or someone you know suffers from acute or chronic body pain, make sure to see a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment options. Medication should be used as directed.
How common is back pain?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, back pain is second only to headache as the most common medical complaint in the United States, and is the second leading cause of missed workdays. Each year, 80% of adults below age 50 experience back pain at least once, and the majority will have multiple occurrences. Back injury is the number one occupational hazard in the U.S.
Back or body pain can have any of a number of causes
In addition to causing acute pain, some of these things can also cause more serious back injuries that require medical attention. Causes include ligament or muscle strains or sprains, muscle spasms, or arthritic or swollen joints.
Things that can cause strains, sprains, or spasms include:
Poor physical condition
Using muscles, ligaments, or joints for activities for which they’re not conditioned or of which they’re not capable
Excessive or improper lifting
Sudden awkward movements, like lifting or twisting too quickly
Overly strenuous physical activities
Degeneration of the spine, which often occurs with aging, can contribute to lower back pain, and may often lead to more serious conditions such as spondylosis (arthritis of the spine) or spinal stenosis (narrowing of the space around the spinal cord and nerve roots due to arthritis and bone overgrowth). If you think you may be suffering from more severe back pain, talk to your doctor.
Preventing back and body pain — you can find pain relief
Back and body pain may be reduced or prevented by eating a proper diet, managing weight, and increasing muscle flexibility and strength through exercise and physical conditioning. Even low-impact physical activities, such as walking or swimming, may help prevent body pain by increasing strength, flexibility, and endurance.
Some tips to promote back and body health and help prevent body pain:
Maintain good posture when sitting and standing
Use your legs to lift heavy objects
Carry heavy objects close to your body, and turn with your legs and not your waist to change direction
Maintain a healthy body weight. Excess weight can tax the body’s muscles, especially the back muscles
Sleep on your side with bent knees. Consult your doctor about how firm your mattress should be
Acute back or body pain usually stops on its own or with body pain treatment.
Treating back and body pain — some suggestions:
Get plenty of rest, but don’t stop moving. Especially with back pain, prolonged bed rest can actually make the condition worse. Generally, light activity can help treat body pain.
Cold/heat treatment — apply ice or a cold compress to the affected area for 15-20 minutes several times a day until spasms and acute body pain subsides. Then apply warm, moist heat (such as hot compresses or warm baths) to loosen tight muscles
Pain relievers — over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or aspirin can be effective body pain treatments for individuals with back and body pain.
What is Myalgia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
Muscle pain is common, and can originate in any muscle of the body. The medical term for muscle pain is myalgia. Myalgia can be described as muscle pains, aches, and pain associated with ligaments, tendons, and the soft tissues that connect bones, organs, and muscles.
Causes of Myalgia
Myalgia can typically be localized to one area of the body, or groups of muscles. The most common causes of muscle pain are stress, overuse, injuries, and tension. Muscle pain – specifically systemic muscle pain – can be caused by an illness, infection, or a side effect of certain medications.
Common causes of myalgia includes:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Lyme disease
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Many other diseases and conditions cause pain to muscles such as hyperthyroidism, influenza, and dystonia.
Signs & Symptoms
Depending on the cause of your pain, muscle pain can be mild or severe, and in some cases, debilitating. Pain is the hallmark symptom of many chronic conditions. Symptoms can vary.
Muscle pain may be localized or widespread. Pain can be dull or sharp, mild or severe. With myalgia, the pain can be different, and may last a few minutes or constant. Unfortunately, the varying factors of your pain depend on many things.
Myalgia can cause fevers or chills if it is caused by an infection. It can also cause symptoms such as joint pain, or very weak (fatigue). Because of the pain, depression and feeling overly tired are common symptoms. This is true for most chronic pain conditions. Other symptoms can include tenderness, swelling, or redness.
It can be hard to do most of your daily activities if you suffer from myalgia and suffer from these symptoms.
Muscle pain from overuse or injury can be reduced by resting the body and taking over-the-counter pain relievers or NSAIDs. Rotating between ice and heat within the 24-72 hours can reduce pain and inflammation and be soothing to the muscles, releasing any tensions or knots.
Myalgia caused by overuse or a condition like fibromyalgia can be treated by massage or gentle stretching exercises. Pain that persists longer than three days should be addressed by a doctor.
If pain is a result of an activity or acts like “pulled” or strained muscle, the best course of method for at-home treatments is the R.I.C.E. therapy:
- Rest. Take a break from regular, daily activities
- Ice. Use ice on the affected area for 20 minute intervals throughout the day
- Compression. A compression bandage can be used to reduce swelling
- Elevate. Elevating your affected area can be used to help reduce swelling
If you experience pain that continues with rest, or if any signs of infections arise around a sore muscle, talk to a doctor about how to manage your pain. Seek immediate attention if you have trouble breathing, suffer from extreme weakness, or have a high fever.
Fibromyalgia | Causes, symptoms, treatment
If you’re in pain, your instinct may be to avoid exercise or moving around too much. But keeping active is a really important part of the treatment for fibromyalgia and can prevent other health problems.
Your symptoms and general health can be improved by a combination of aerobic exercise and movements that improve your flexibility and strength.
Exercise has been proven to improve fatigue and our ability to control pain.
At first, you may find that your pain and tiredness become worse, particularly if you’re starting to exercise muscles that haven’t been used for a while. Try to do the same amount of exercise each day, so you build up your muscle strength and your stamina.
Then, after doing your routine of exercises for a couple of weeks, slowly increase the amount you do, and this will improve your fitness, stamina and flexibility.
Aerobic exercise is anything that makes you a little out of breath and your heart beat faster.
Swimming is recommended for people with fibromyalgia. Taking a brisk walk and cycling can also help.
At home, you could step up and down your bottom step several times, or march on the spot to get your heart beating faster.
Strengthening exercises help develop and build the muscles that move and protect your joints. They may be difficult at first but should become easier with practice.
Aim to do at least one session a day, either at home or in a gym. Ask a GP or physiotherapist for examples of strengthening exercises you could do at home.
You can also buy specially designed equipment, such as ankle weights. Begin with lighter weights, then move on to heavier ones, if you feel able to.
Strengthening equipment in a gym allows you to work your muscles by pushing or pulling against a resistance, such as weights or elastic ropes. You can ask an instructor for advice about using the equipment, if you’re not sure.
Stretching, or range of movement, exercises can increase your flexibility. You can do these anywhere. There are plenty of examples of exercises online, or you could ask a physiotherapist. Some people with fibromyalgia have found Tai chi and yoga help.
Diet and nutrition
There’s no particular diet that’s been proven to help fibromyalgia. However, it’s recommended that you keep to a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet that is low in saturated fats, sugar and salt, and has plenty of fruit and vegetables. It’s also good to drink six to eight glasses of water every day.
Some people with fibromyalgia find that complementary treatments help their symptoms.
Massage can also be helpful for some people with fibromyalgia. However, the effects don’t often last that long.
If you want to try a complementary treatment, speak to your doctor first, in case it affects any other treatment you’re on.
It’s important to go to a legally registered therapist, or one who has a set ethical code and is fully insured.
If you decide to try therapies or supplements, you should be critical of what they’re doing for you and only continue if they’re helping.
Poor sleep appears to be a significant cause of fibromyalgia, so getting enough good-quality sleep is an important part of your treatment. Not only will it help with tiredness and fatigue, it may also improve your pain.
Sleeping tablets are not normally recommended, as the body can become tolerant to them, which can lead to the effects wearing off and even addiction. But regular activity, particularly aerobic exercise, and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) have proven effective for people with disrupted sleep patterns.
It can also help to change your habits around bedtime. To help you get a better night’s sleep:
- Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet and a comfortable temperature.
- Try a warm bath before bedtime to help ease pain and stiffness.
- Develop a regular routine, where you go to bed and get up at a similar time each day.
- You may like to try listening to some soothing music before going to bed.
- Some gentle exercises may help reduce muscle tension, but it’s probably best to avoid energetic exercise too close to bedtime.
- Keep a notepad by your bed – if you think of something you need to do the next day, write it down and then put it out of your mind.
- Avoid caffeine in the eight hours before you go to bed.
- Don’t drink alcohol close to bedtime.
- Avoid eating main meals close to bedtime.
- If you smoke, try to stop smoking, or at least don’t smoke close to bedtime.
- Try not to sleep during the day.
- Avoid watching TV and using computers, tablets or smartphones in your bedroom.
- Don’t keep checking the time during the night.
What else can I do?
Because fibromyalgia varies from person to person, we suggest you try some of the following tips to find out what works for you:
- Learn about fibromyalgia – understanding your condition can help reduce your fears and anxiety. It also means you’re fully aware of treatment and self-management approaches that can help you.
- Find a support group in your area or an online forum for people with fibromyalgia. Talking about your experiences with other people who understand can help.
- Encourage your family and friends to learn more about your condition and to talk to you about it. You could show them this information. It’s especially important they understand how your pain affects you, even if you look well.
- Find ways to talk about your feelings, such as anxiety, low mood or anger. Counselling or CBT can help – your GP will be able to refer you.
- For ‘fibro fog’, some people find mental exercises like crosswords or jigsaw puzzles help. Do as much as you can to stimulate your brain.
- Pick your best time of day to do anything needing concentration. Explain to others if fibromyalgia affects your memory.
- Learn to pace yourself by breaking tasks into smaller chunks, giving yourself time to rest in between.
- Stress and unhappiness can make fibromyalgia pain feel worse – addressing what’s making you feel that way could help.
- Ask for help from people at your workplace, such as a friend, colleague or manager.
- Working shorter hours, as well as adapting your desk, chair, computer and other working areas for comfort, can all help.
- Ask an occupational therapist, your local Jobcentre Plus office or Citizens Advice service for advice. They can work with both you and your employer.
- Applying heat with a hot water bottle, or having a hot bath or shower, can help pain and improve morning stiffness.
- If you have a dry mouth, try a toothpaste containing sodium bicarbonate.
- Some people have found meditation helps improve their pain.
- Try the treatments your doctor offers and discuss which ones are helpful.
Pediatric Fibromyalgia and Musculoskeletal Pain Symptoms & Causes
For many decades, people who complained of widespread chronic pain were believed to have inflammation in their muscles, dubbed fibrositis (“itis” means inflammation). Then in the 1970s, as doctors came to better understand this condition, the name fibromyalgia appeared: fibro for fibrous tissues, my for muscles and algia for pain.
The new name underscored the belief that, unlike arthritis, the pain of fibromyalgia doesn’t stem from inflammation, an immune system response that causes swelling, stiffness and pain — and which, if unchecked, can permanently damage tissues.
Instead, many believe fibromyalgia is rooted in the nervous system: the brain, the spinal cord and a vast network of special cells called neurons. The nervous system sends, receives and interprets information — including pain — from all parts of the body. In the case of fibromyalgia, it’s as though the “volume control” is turned up too high in the parts of the nervous system that perceive and react to pain.
There are still many unanswered questions about fibromyalgia — including what exactly causes it — and diagnosing this condition remains a challenge. Children with fibromyalgia may look perfectly healthy and lab tests may show no signs of illness. Little wonder, then, that some in the medical community are skeptical that fibromyalgia even exists!
Most doctors, however, have come to recognize this condition as being a very real problem, and one described by the following:
- chronic(long-lasting) pain, present for at least three months before diagnosis
- widespread pain— that is, occurring above and below the waist and on both sides of the body
- tenderness when pressure is applied to specific “tender points”on the body
- fatigueand sleep disturbances
- symptoms that wax and wane over time
- tendency to appear with other health problems, including
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- myofascial pain syndrome (MPS)
- irritable bowel syndrome
- restless leg syndrome
- migraine headaches
- temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
In addition, fibromyalgia has traditionally shown up in adulthood. But it’s being diagnosed with growing frequency in children and teens — likely because doctors are becoming ever more aware of this condition and how to diagnose it.
Who is at risk?
There are still many questions about the exact cause of fibromyalgia, so we may not yet have a full picture of the risk factors for this chronic condition. But in general, the things that increase the likelihood that someone will develop fibromyalgia are:
- Gender:An estimated nine out of 10 fibromyalgia patients are female.
- Age: Fibromyalgia usually develops in early adulthood or middle age (20-60), with some studies pointing to a peak around age 35. When fibromyalgia occurs in children, it tends to begin between 11 and 15; it rarely occurs in children younger than 4.
- Family history:Relatives of people with fibromyalgia or similar pain disorders (e.g., myofascial pain syndrome) are at higher risk for fibromyalgia. For instance, one study found that about a third of children whose mothers have fibromyalgia also develop the disorder.
- Other illnesses:Research suggests that up to 25 percent of people with certain autoimmune diseases — lupus, some forms of arthritis — also develop fibromyalgia.
Physical or psychological stress, poor sleeping habits and lack of physical exercise have also been linked to a higher risk for fibromyalgia.
We don’t know exactly what causes fibromyalgia. While it’s very likely that certain genes make people more susceptible to fibromyalgia (what doctors call “genetic predisposition”), most researchers believe one or more things must also happen in order for the condition to emerge. These possible triggers include:
- emotionally or psychologicallystressful events
- traumatic injuries
- infections or other illnesses
Fibromyalgia is never the same from one child to the next. Symptoms may be mild or severe, affect different parts of the body and vary over time. But the main thing that virtually all fibromyalgia sufferers have in common is chronic pain.
- The pain may begin in one area, such as the neck and shoulders, but eventually affects the entire body (above and below the waist, and on both sides).
- It may be centered in specific tissues, such as muscles and ligaments, or be more widespread.
- The sensation can range from a dull ache to stabbing pain, and may be accompanied by tingling or numbness.
- There is also pain when pressure is applied to certain parts of the body (called “tender points”).
Aside from chronic pain, two of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia are:
- fatigue— lingering exhaustion; tiring quickly after even light exercise
- sleep disturbances — trouble sleeping through the night; waking up in the morning feeling tired and unrefreshed
Other symptoms may include:
- morning stiffness
- abdominal pain
- numbness in the hands and feet
- painful menstrual periods
- sensitivity to cold or heat
- memory or concentration problems (sometimes called “fibro fog”)
Symptoms of fibromyalgia are easily confused with those of other ailments — such as lupus, arthritis and Lyme disease — so always be sure to consult your child’s physician for a diagnosis.
As a parent, you may fret about whether you could have prevented your child’s fibromyalgia, or look for ways to make sure it doesn’t develop in any of your other children. But since the causes of this condition are still not fully understood, there’s no known way to stop it from happening.
However, you can take steps to prevent fibromyalgia from decreasing your child’s quality of life. Aside from whatever medical therapy he may need, helping your child establish good-health habits — a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, etc. — can reduce pain, increase sleep quality, lessen fatigue and aid your child in coping with fibromyalgia.
Because fibromyalgia doesn’t actually harm your child’s body, there is little risk it will lead to any physical health problems. Instead, its potential complications tend to be psychosocial — that is, fibromyalgia may affect the way your child thinks, feels and interacts with others.
Dealing with chronic pain can be tough on kids, especially since other people may perceive them as being perfectly healthy. It’s not unusual for children with fibromyalgia to feel depressed or anxious. They may find it hard to function at school, and therefore just stay home when they’re not feeling well.
Not every child will have these kinds of psychosocial complications, of course. But for those who do, appropriate treatment may include counseling and cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps people recognize thought patterns and emotional responses that contribute to their symptoms, and gives them practical ways to change their behavior.
Although fibromyalgia is a lifelong condition, it tends not to worsen (or “progress”) over time. In fact, it can get better — especially with early diagnosis and aggressive treatment. And children are more likely than adults to respond to treatment: When given appropriate therapy, up to 80 percent of youngsters may see a significant or complete recovery from their symptoms.
Q: Why did my child get fibromyalgia?
A: We don’t know exactly why some children have this condition while others do not, but many researchers think it may be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It’s important to remember that your child’s fibromyalgia wasn’t caused by anything you did, and there’s nothing you could have done to prevent it.
Q: Are my other children at risk for fibromyalgia? Should they be tested?
A: Fibromyalgia does tend to run in families, and studies indicate that if one child has this condition, there is an increased risk that one or more of his siblings will also have it. However, there’s no test that can show whether someone has or will develop fibromyalgia.
Q: What’s the difference between fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome?
A: The two conditions share many of the same symptoms, and it can be hard to tell them apart. A key difference, when it comes to diagnosis, is which symptom is worst: pain (fibromyalgia) or fatigue (CFS).
Q: What does fibromyalgia pain feel like?
A: Although many patients say, “I hurt all over,” the location and intensity of the pain varies a lot from person to person. It’s often described as a dull ache in the muscles of the arms, legs, back and neck, though not necessarily all places at once. Some patients complain of “burning,” “throbbing” or “shooting” pain, or feel that their pain radiates outward from specific parts of the body.
Q: Is fibromyalgia ever life-threatening?
A: Though painful, fibromyalgia doesn’t actually cause physical harm to the body’s tissues and organs. Not only is this condition not fatal, but there’s also no evidence that it will have any effect on your child’s lifespan.
Q: Will my child’s fibromyalgia get better with time?
A: While fibromyalgia is a lifelong condition, for many people — especially children — the symptoms do ease or even go away over time. Sometimes this happens spontaneously, but most often it’s a result of proper treatment and lifestyle changes.
Q: Will my child need to be on a special diet?
A: There isn’t any evidence that eating specific foods or taking special supplements will make your child’s fibromyalgia better. But you can support your child’s overall good health by making sure he eats a balanced, “heart-healthy” diet: plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean sources of protein. It’s also important to avoid things that can interfere with restful sleep, like sodas that contain caffeine.
When to seek medical advice
If your child has fatigue and “all-over” aches that don’t get better with ibuprofen or other over-the-counter pain relievers, you should make an appointment with your child’s pediatrician. If the doctor suspects fibromyalgia, he or she may then refer you to a pediatric rheumatologist.
Useful medical terms
- Allodynia: Pain caused by something that is not normally painful, such as a light touch on the skin.
- Analgesic: A medication or treatment that relieves pain.
- Chronic: Lasting a long time; persisting or recurrent.
- Connective tissue:The supporting framework of the body and its internal organs.
- Fibro fog: A term often used to describe the confusion and memory problems that sometimes accompany fibromyalgia.
- Fibrositis: A former name for fibromyalgia.
- Flare: A sudden worsening of symptoms.
- Myalgia: Pain in the muscles.
- Remission: When symptoms of a disease decrease or disappear.
- Syndrome: A specific collection of symptoms that are thought to have a common cause.
- Tender points: Specific places on the body where a person with fibromyalgia feels pain in response to pressure.
Polymyositis | Johns Hopkins Medicine
What is polymyositis?
Polymyositis is a disease that causes muscles to become irritated and inflamed. The
muscles eventually start to break down and become weak. The condition can affect muscles
all over the body. This can make even simple movements difficult. Polymyositis is one
disease in a group of diseases called inflammatory myopathies.
What causes polymyositis?
The exact cause of polymyositis is not known. It most often happens in people ages 31 to 60. It rarely occurs in people younger than 18. Experts think that polymyositis may be related to or triggered by a virus or an autoimmune reaction. An autoimmune reaction is when the body attacks its own tissues. In some cases, a medicine may lead to an allergic response that causes muscle irritation and damage. But in most cases, healthcare providers aren’t able to find the exact cause of the condition.
What are the symptoms of polymyositis?
condition affects muscles all over the body, and can affect the ability to run, walk, or
lift objects. It can also affect the muscles that allow you to eat and breathe. The
muscles that are closest to the center of the body tend to be affected the most often.
The common symptoms of polymyositis include:
- Muscle pain and stiffness
weakness, particularly in the belly (abdomen), shoulders, upper arms, and hips
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Trouble catching your breath
- Problems with swallowing
- Irregular heart rhythms, if the heart muscle becomes inflamed
Polymyositis can make it hard to do everyday things. You may notice trouble walking up a flight of stairs, lifting up your arms, or getting out of your chair. As inflammation gets worse around the body, pain and weakness may affect the ankles, wrists, and lower arm area.
Weight loss and poor nutrition may become a problem if muscle weakness leads to trouble eating and swallowing.
How is polymyositis diagnosed?
process starts with a health history and a physical exam. The exam will include seeing
how strong your muscles are. You may need tests such as:
- Blood tests. These are done to look for signs of muscle inflammation. They also check for abnormal proteins that form in autoimmune disease.
- Electromyelogram (EMG). This may be done to find abnormal electrical activity in affected muscles.
- MRI. This test uses large magnets and a computer to look for inflammation in the body.
biopsy. Tiny pieces of tissue are taken to be checked with a microscope.
How is polymyositis treated?
Treatment will depend on your symptoms, your age, and your general health. It will also
depend on how severe the condition is. There’s no cure for polymyositis, but the
symptoms can be managed. You may need more than one kind of treatment. And your
treatment may need to be changed over time. In severe cases, some treatments don’t work
as well. Treatments include:
- Anti-inflammatory medicines. These are steroid medicines or corticosteroids.
They ease inflammation in the body. Symptoms usually get better within 4 to 6 weeks.
Your healthcare provider may lower the dose of steroids after that to ease side
effects. Some people may need to take steroids ongoing to manage the disease and
- Immunosuppressive medicines. These are medicines that block or slow down
your body’s immune system.
therapy. This includes special exercises help to stretch and strengthen the
muscles. These can help keep muscles from shrinking.
- Heat therapy
and rest. These can help ease muscle symptoms.
- Braces or other special devices. These can help to support muscles and help with movement.
Talk with your healthcare providers about the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of all medicines.
What are the complications of polymyositis?
polymyositis is not treated, it can lead to severe complications. As the muscles become
weaker, you may fall often and be limited in your daily activities. If the muscles in
the digestive tract and chest wall are affected, you may have problems breathing
(respiratory failure), malnutrition, and weight loss. Polymyositis that is treated but
can’t be managed well can cause severe disability. This includes an inability to swallow
or breathe without help.
Can polymyositis be prevented?
There is no known way to prevent polymyositis, because the exact cause is not known. In
some cases where medicines may be to blame, stopping these medicines can prevent future
episodes of the condition. Don’t stop taking any medicine without your doctor’s
When should I call my healthcare provider?
your symptoms get worse or you notice new symptoms, call your healthcare provider. If
you have trouble breathing or can’t swallow normally, you may need emergency medical
- Polymyositis causes muscles to become irritated and inflamed. The muscles start to become weak. This can make even simple movements difficult.
- The condition can affect swallowing and breathing.
- Although it can’t be cured, the symptoms of polymyositis can be managed.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
- Know the reason for your visit and what you want to happen.
- Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
- Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and remember what your provider tells you.
- At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you.
- Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed, and how it will help you. Also know what the side effects are.
- Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways.
- Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
- Know what to expect if you do not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
- If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
- Know how you can contact your provider if you have questions.
90,000 Fibromyalgia: causes, diagnosis and treatment
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome in which there is an effect on muscles and soft tissues. Fibromyalgia is manifested by symptoms such as chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and tender points in certain parts of the body. The symptoms of fibromyalgia are successfully mitigated by the use of medications and other treatments.
The process of studying the causes of fibromyalgia is still ongoing.Some researchers are studying hormonal and biochemical disorders that can affect receptor sensitivity. Other experts believe that fibromyalgia, with its characteristic deep muscle pain, is associated with stress, illness, or injury. Still others believe that there are hereditary reasons. But due to the fact that there is no clear explanation of the causes of this syndrome, all researchers agree that fibromyalgia occurs due to a combination of several factors, and not one (physical and emotional stress).Recently, studies have appeared on the role of neurotransmitters such as serotonin (its low content in the brain reduces the pain threshold). A decrease in the pain sensitivity threshold may also be due to the ineffectiveness of such neuropeptides as endorphins and, as a result, an increase in substance P, which enhances pain impulses. Perhaps due to the fact that women have 7 times less serotonin in the brain than men, fibromyalgia is much more common in women than in men.It is also possible that hormonal factors play a role in women, especially in menopause.
Stress, as well as insufficient sleep, can lead to a decrease in serotonin levels, which leads to increased sensitivity to pain.
Genetic determinism may play a role in the development of fibromyalgia, as pain sensitivity is determined by certain genes. But so far these genes have not been isolated or identified.
Potential risk factors for developing fibromyalgia include:
90 018 90 019 Gender (usually women are sick) 90 020
Thus, there is no unified theory of both the occurrence of fibromyalgia and the causes provoking this condition.
Regardless of the cause, constant pains, painful points, insomnia lead to an increase in the feeling of fatigue and a decrease in energy, which in turn, over time, begins to affect performance. Therefore, as soon as the doctor makes such a possible diagnosis, it is necessary to start treatment, which will make it possible to quickly level the symptoms and improve the quality of life.
Common symptoms of fibromyalgia may include:
- Concentration and memory disorders
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Morning stiffness
- Painful periods
- Sleep disorders
- numbness and tingling in hands and feet
- painful (tender) points
- dysuric phenomena (painful or frequent urination
Pain is the most common symptom of fibromyalgia and affects over 97% of patients with fibromyalgia.And pain is usually the main symptom that causes a person to seek medical help.
Unlike joint pain associated with osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia pain is felt throughout the body. The pain can be deep, sharp, dull, throbbing, and is felt in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the joints. Pain may come and go in some patients and appear in different parts of the body. The pain can be felt as muscle fatigue, similar to that experienced after exercise, and fibrillation of muscle groups is sometimes possible.Pain and stiffness can be in the neck, shoulders, back, and hips, and these pains interfere with sleep or exercise. In the skin, there are about 20 types of different receptors (including pain), impulses from which enter the brain and are analyzed. With fibromyalagia, there is a kind of failure in the analysis of these impulses in the brain (similar to a computer “Glitch”). The brain begins to perceive minor impulses as strong and small stimulation causes inadequate pain sensations.
Pain in fibromyalgia can be either acute or chronic. The pain can be acute, but usually disappears within one to two weeks. The pain is similar to that of muscle spasm due to overuse, and also gradually disappears on its own. Often, in such cases, the diagnosis of fibromyalgia is not considered. More often, pain in fibromyalgia is chronic and is localized in parts of the body that were in no way associated with excessive physical exertion.
Painful (tender) points. In patients with fibromyalgia, along with deep muscle soreness, there are points or areas of soreness characteristic of this disease in certain parts of the body. And if normally a person feels only pressure on soft tissues when pressed in these zones, then with fibromyalgia, when these points are pressed, strong painful sensations arise. These zones are often located not deep in the tissues, where there is a sensation of pain, but superficially, under the skin. The painful points are located around the joints, and not in the area of the joint itself.Painful spots are usually small (1-2 cm2) and are scattered around the neck, back, chest, elbows, thighs, buttocks and knees. The reason for the presence of such tender points is not known. But their presence in a certain amount, as a rule, allows the doctor to suggest a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. There is even a special algesimeter device that allows you to act on points with a certain pressure and compare the sensitivity of these points with other parts of the body.
There are 18 major tender points characteristic of fibromyalgia.For a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, 11 of these 18 points must be tender. In addition, the diagnosis of fibromyalgia requires three months of generalized pain.
A number of factors can aggravate the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
- Weather changes
- Hormonal fluctuations such as PMS
- Lack of sleep or restless sleep
- Period of emotional stress
- Physical exhaustion
- Sedentary lifestyle
Fatigue, after pain, is the most frequent complaint of the patient.Fibromyalgia patients feel tired even after a long rest, and the state is somewhat reminiscent of the state of health with the flu or after a long work or a sleepless night. The following sensations are characteristic of fibromyalgia:
- Fatigue in the morning
- Fatigue after light activities (e.g. grocery shopping or cooking dinner)
- Too much tiredness to do any household chores
- Fatigue for exercise or sex
- Severe fatigue after physical exertion.
But unlike normal fatigue, the feeling of fatigue, weakness and exhaustion that occurs with fibromyalgia can often lead to social isolation, and even depression. Patients with fibromyalgia do not feel a surge of energy, even after a long sleep and, as a rule, they do not sleep deeply, and during the day patients experience a feeling of drowsiness. According to experts, there are many similarities between fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, especially when it comes to feeling tired.In patients with fibromyalgia, the feeling of fatigue is combined with impaired concentration of attention and poor memory (sensation of brain fatigue).
Additional symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
- abdominal pain
- anxiety and depression,
- chronic headaches
- dry mouth, nose and eyes
- increased sensitivity to cold and / or heat
- inability to concentrate
- urinary incontinence
- numbness or tingling in fingers and toes
- Painful menstrual pain
- painful tender points
- impaired blood circulation in the arms and legs (Raynaud’s syndrome)
- restless legs syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome
Fibromyalgia can cause symptoms similar to those of patients with osteoarthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis.But unlike localized pain in bursitis or tendinitis, painful sensations and stiffness in fibromyalgia are common.
Sleep disorders are a common symptom in most patients with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia patients generally have no difficulty falling asleep, but sleep is light and easily disturbed. Therefore, many patients in the morning have a feeling of weakness, lack of rest. These sleep disturbances can contribute to a persistent feeling of fatigue.During sleep, patients with fibromyalgia experience bursts of brain activity characteristic of the waking state, and studies have shown that patients with deep sleep are impaired and shortened. Therefore, the brain cannot fully recover.
Stiffness in the morning is noted in 75% of patients with fibromyalgia. Stiffness can be in the muscles and joints of the arms, legs, and back. As a rule, the duration of such morning stiffness does not exceed a few minutes, but it can sometimes last up to 15-20 minutes.Stiffness in the morning resembles that of such systemic rheumatological diseases as rheumatoid arthritis.
Depression is a key symptom for many fibromyalgia patients. About one in four patients with fibromyalgia has ongoing depression. The constant stress of chronic pain and fatigue can stimulate the development of depression. In addition, chronic pain can lead to decreased activity in the patient, and the patient becomes withdrawn. The patient’s ability to concentrate is impaired and memory is impaired.Anxiety and depression are as much a part of fibromyalgia as pain.
Neurological symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and burning are common in patients with fibromyalgia. Although the cause of these sensations is unclear, numbness or tingling sensations in the hands, arms, or legs are felt in more than half of patients with fibromyalgia. The sensations are especially unpleasant when they appear in the morning hours, together with stiffness. Such sensations are called paresthesias and, although they cause discomfort to the patient, they do not greatly affect the ability to work, the more these sensations are short and irregular
Chronic headaches such as recurrent migraine pains or tension headaches occur in about 70% of patients with fibromyalgia.Headaches can be caused by pain in the neck and upper back. They are often caused by a spasm of the muscles in the neck or from tender points in the neck. But headaches can be a sign of other diseases, and therefore the doctor needs to clearly differentiate the genesis of pain.
Constipation, diarrhea, frequent abdominal pain, gas and nausea occur in about 40% to 70% of patients with fibromyalgia.
Frequent and painful urination and urinary incontinence can occur in 25% of patients with fibromyalgia.Since these symptoms can also be caused by other diseases of the bladder and kidneys, such as infection, it is also necessary to exclude this genesis of symptoms. Unusually painful menstrual pain is also possible (in 30-40% of patients).
Restless legs syndrome causes discomfort in the legs, especially in the knees and feet. This is especially troubling for patients at night. The feeling can be uncomfortable and is most often described as having to move your legs to try to get into a comfortable position.
Restless legs syndrome often interferes with sleep as a person tries to find a comfortable resting position. Like other symptoms, restless legs syndrome can occur on its own or in conjunction with other medical conditions.
With a multifaceted approach to treatment that includes both medication and lifestyle changes, the prognosis for patients with fibromyalgia is better than ever before. But, first, the doctor must make an accurate diagnosis of fibromyalgia.Unfortunately, fibromyalgia is often not diagnosed right away. Despite the presence of characteristic symptoms such as prolonged pain, sleep disturbances in the muscles, fatigue, anxiety, depression, other diagnoses are still made, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, etc. On average, it usually takes about 5 years to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. This is partly due to the fact that there are no specific research methods that would unequivocally confirm the diagnosis of fibromyalgia (neither laboratory studies nor imaging methods allow this to be done).Therefore, in the past, millions of patients were diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, chronic myofascial pain or chronic fatigue syndrome.
Most laboratory tests are not very informative for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. From laboratory tests, analyzes are important, which make it possible to exclude the presence of other diseases (general blood tests, urine tests, blood for rheumatic tests, blood biochemistry, blood for hormones, blood for the presence of antibodies to nuclei). These tests rule out diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus.For example, rheumatoid factor is 80% positive. cases of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The presence of anti-nuclear antibodies is usually evidence of SLE.
In fibromyalgia, X-rays of the painful areas show no abnormalities. If there is a disease such as arthritis, then X-ray will determine the presence of an inflammatory process in the joint. So, any changes on the x-ray are not due to fibromyalgia.
The main diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia are as follows:
- Have you had generalized pain in all four quadrants of the body for at least three months?
- Is there tenderness in at least 11 of the 18 specific tender points to pressure.
In addition, the doctor needs to evaluate 6 more indicators:
- check the spread of pain
- to evaluate tender points
- Check for fatigue
- Identify sleep disorders
- evaluate stress level
- test for depression …
The criteria helped create an objective way to identify patients with fibromyalgia. But two criteria turned out to be insufficient and too narrow.
For example, patients with generalized pain and 10 or less painful points do not qualify for these diagnostic criteria. And it turns out that such patients should not be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. In addition, sore spots develop in men 10 times less often than women. Thus, some patients with fibromyalgia symptoms other than tender spots will not be properly diagnosed.
Using tender points as a criterion for fibromyalgia may also create another dilemma.With treatment, the number of pain points in many people decreases. So a reasonable question arises: If the patient no longer has 11 or more tender points, does the diagnosis of fibromyalgia persist? Another problem is that conducting a tender point tenderness test requires a certain technique and a certain pressure, and not all doctors always perform this test in the same way. The development of clearer criteria, not tied to pain points, continues. In addition, studies are underway on the possibility of using objective research methods that would make it possible to more accurately diagnose fibromyalgia.
Unfortunately, there is currently no universal treatment for fibromyalgia. Treatment is mostly symptomatic and usually combines both medication and non-medication. Due to the fact that often the symptomatology sometimes resembles that of other diseases (for example, arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis), it is possible to use drugs usually used to treat such diseases.
Antidepressants are recommended as starting drugs for the treatment of symptoms of fatigue. These drugs affect symptoms such as pain, fatigue, and depressed mood. The best known tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline provide effective symptom relief. But these drugs cannot completely eliminate the pain syndrome. Anticonvulsants such as Lyrica have shown sufficient efficacy in some patients.But this drug can cause side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, swelling, and weight gain. Other drugs in this group are also used.
In recent years, antidepressants from the class of serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, such as Simbalta or Savella, have been widely used. Drugs from this group help reduce pain and improve overall well-being in patients with fibromyalgia. Side effects of these drugs may include nausea, dizziness, and insomnia.
Medications that increase sleep duration may help treat symptoms of fibromyalgia. It is possible to use low doses of a drug such as amitriptyline.
Anti-inflammatory drugs – including ibuprofen and naproxen – do not have much of a therapeutic effect because there is no inflammatory process in fibromyalgia. In addition, drugs of the NSAID group have a number of side effects, such as stomach irritation, bleeding, and an increase in blood pressure. It is possible to use drugs such as paracetamol, because the irritant effect on the stomach is not very large, and it potentiates the action of other drugs used to treat fibromyalgia.Muscle relaxants (mydocalm, sirdalud) can reduce muscle spasm and improve sleep, especially when used in the evening.
Steroids are usually used in cases where there are concomitant rheumatological diseases.
It is also possible to administer steroids to tender points, but the effectiveness of this method is rather controversial.
The introduction of botox into the tender points has become widespread recently, and the studies carried out have shown a fairly high efficiency of this method of treatment.
- Acupuncture. Studies have shown that the use of acupuncture alters the metabolism in the brain and increases pain tolerance.
- Manual therapy helps to reduce muscle pain and increase the range of motion in the spine.
- Massage , both classical and acupressure, stimulates blood circulation and relieves muscle spasms.
- Biofeedback . This method of treatment allows you to teach the patient to control their feelings and reduce chronic pain.
Exercise was previously thought to worsen symptoms in fibromyalgia. But research has shown that exercise helps restore neurochemical balance in the body and contributes to a positive emotional background. Exercise not only improves cardiovascular function, but also increases the level of endorphins, substances that have analgesic effects.Endorphins help reduce anxiety, stress, and depression. In addition, exercise normalizes serotonin levels in the brain, which can also improve sleep and mood.
Various factors – such as sunlight, certain foods, certain hormones, and exercise – increase serotonin levels in the brain.
Regular exercise benefits fibromyalgia patients with the following effects:
- Calorie Burn and Weight Management
- increase in the range of motion in muscles and joints
- improvement of attitude towards life
- Improved sleep quality
- Increase aerobic capacity
- improvement of cardiovascular system activity
- energy increase
- decrease in the level of anxiety and depression
- Reducing stress associated with chronic illness
- stimulation of growth hormone secretion
- stimulation of the secretion of endorphins (“hormones of happiness”)
- strengthening bones
- muscle strengthening
- pain relief
Studies have shown that various types of physical activity have a positive effect (aerobic and strength (on the simulators).But the loads on the simulators must be selected only under the supervision of an exercise therapy doctor. A good effect is also given by various types of gymnastics that improve flexibility, for example, such as yoga, qi-gong, pilates.
Author: V.I. Dikul
90,000 causes and treatment methods
We are all afraid of pain. It disturbs, brings discomfort, incapacitates, and sometimes causes unbearable suffering. But the doctors of antiquity called pain “the chain dog of the body.”After all, it is she who signals that urgent help is needed. But what if the “dog” fell off the chain?
Our expert is a neurologist, associate professor of the Department of Nervous Diseases of the Faculty of Medicine of the First Moscow State Medical University. I. M. Sechenova, Ph.D. Natalia Vakhnina.
Pain is an important defense mechanism. It is not for nothing that people who have been deprived of pain from birth, as a rule, do not live up to 3 years. But if the pain is ignored for a long time or treated incorrectly, it will become chronic.In this case, it ceases to be useful, and it will already be very difficult to get rid of it. In addition, every 2-3 patient with chronic pain develops depression or anxiety disorders.
Many-sided and mysterious
In time, the pain is transient (does not last very long), acute (may bother until the sore spot heals, but not more than 1.5 months) and chronic (lasts more than 3 months). Neurologists measure its strength on a special scale (from 0 to 10).This indicator is subjective and depends only on the patient’s feelings.
But finding a place where it hurts is not always easy, because pain is both local and radiating (for example, with angina pectoris, it can be given under the scapula or in the arm, and in diseases of the pelvic organs – in the back). And it can also be reflected – in this case, that part of the skin that is innervated from the same part of the spinal cord as the internal organ hurts – the true source of pathology. In addition, pain can vary in appearance.It can be nociceptive, neuropathic, and psychogenic.
What’s troubling you?
Nociceptive pain is the most frequent (up to 80% of cases)
Reasons. The most common are inflammation, mechanical injury or burns (thermal and chemical). Back pain, hangover headaches, or abdominal cramps during menstruation also fall into this category. This pain is caused by irritation of peripheral pain receptors located in almost all organs and tissues.
Complaints . Patients describe this pain with the words “squeezing”, “aching”, “throbbing”, “cutting”.
How to treat? The main thing is to exclude dangerous pain associated with damage to internal organs. If no serious cause is suspected, it is necessary to take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or analgesic. But too much medication is dangerous. Drinking pain relievers for headaches more than 3 times a week can cause a drug-induced headache.This is much more difficult to cope with.
Neuropathic pain (up to 8% of cases)
Reasons . Nerve trauma or chronic diseases (diabetes mellitus, alcoholism, trigeminal neuralgia, shingles and others). Phantom pain after limb amputation can also be attributed to neuropathic pain. This pain is caused by damage to the nervous system, which increases the activation of pain pathways.
Complaints .On “burning”, “cutting”, “stabbing”, “shooting” pain. This increases the sensitivity to pain stimuli, which doctors call hyperesthesia. In this case, a person may react sharply even to body contact with sheets or soft clothes. Symptoms may worsen with rest (keeping you awake) but diminish with physical activity. But everything can happen and vice versa.
How to treat? Anticonvulsants (gabapentin, thebantine, pregabalin), antidepressants (amitriptyline, duloxetine), B vitamins.
Reasons. Severe stress and mental disorders. Depression, anxiety, neurasthenia, schizophrenia and others. In this case, there is no neurological or somatic cause, but the pain, nevertheless, is.
Complaints . They differ in a huge variety. The pains described can be pretentious, unlike anything. Patients use unusual metaphors to describe their pain (“as if worms are crawling under the skin”, “as if someone is fingering their brains,” etc.).NS.)
How to treat? Antidepressants (amitriptyline, duloxetine), tranquilizers, antipsychotics. From non-drug methods – psychotherapy.
It happens to everyone
Nonspecific – musculoskeletal pain (SMP) accounts for about one third of all acute and chronic pain syndromes.
Reason. Osteochondrosis. And among the triggers – stress, hypothermia, high loads, or, conversely, physical inactivity.
Complaints . For pain in the lumbar and sacral spine, buttock, neck and area above the shoulders. Half of the patients have pain in several areas at once. But pain in the lower back (LBP) is in the 1st place (it is present in 80% of people), and in the cervical spine (cervicalgia) – in the 4th (2 out of 3 people have experienced it at least once, and 30 50% of adults experience it every year).
How to treat? Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in topical forms or in tablets and muscle relaxants (drugs that relieve muscle spasms that make pain worse).Often, NSAIDs alone can be dispensed with.
Among the 200 drugs in this group, drugs containing diclofenac and other active substances stand out. Diclofenac with prolonged or frequent use, especially in people with gastrointestinal problems, can cause complications (ulcers and perforation of the stomach, internal bleeding), as well as increase blood pressure, increase edema. More preferred are drugs based on aceclofenac (aertal, aceclagin, alenthal).
With insufficient effectiveness of NSAIDs, muscle relaxants are required (mydocalm, calmyrex, sirdalud).They are applied in a course (1-2 weeks). With severe pain, treatment begins with injections, then switches to pills.
Hurry cannot be slowed
Patients with pain have two extreme approaches: immediately run to the doctor or ignore it for a long time. The second reaction is, of course, more dangerous.
According to doctors, it is necessary to act like this: if somewhere the illness is not very severe and the reason is obvious and harmless, it is enough to take an analgesic or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug and, if after 1-2 days it does not feel better, go to the doctor (therapist or neurologist).
An exception is acute pain in the abdomen or chest. With such symptoms, you must immediately call an ambulance, as this can be a symptom of a very dangerous disease (appendicitis, heart attack, ruptured aneurysm, etc.). It is especially dangerous to take analgesics for abdominal pain. After all, this way you can “blur” the picture of the disease and hold out until the development of fatal complications, such as peritonitis or perforation of the ulcer.
There is no need to immediately bring any research results to a neurologist.Indeed, each of them has its own indications, and the doctor himself will prescribe what is needed: X-ray, MRI, CT or other studies. However, in 90% of cases, none of this is needed. It is often enough for an experienced doctor to examine and interview the patient, finding out the localization, irradiation, duration, intensity and nature of the pain in order to determine the cause of the pain and prescribe treatment.
Sometimes a neurologist has to send a patient for an additional examination or consultation with other specialists (psychiatrist, surgeon, rheumatologist, gynecologist, oncologist, etc.)). This happens infrequently – dangerous causes of pain occur no more than 5% of cases. Nevertheless, it happens, and a good neurologist knows what to look for.
For example, it is atypical when an elderly person or a patient with a history of cancer complains of severe back pain that has arisen for no apparent reason – in this case, it is better to play it safe and send him for CT or MRI to rule out cancer or its recurrence. It is also necessary to exclude osteoporosis, which is treated by endocrinologists.By the way, the doctor will certainly ask a question about constantly taken medications: after all, for example, corticosteroids lead to the development of osteoporosis.
In young people under 20 years of age, severe musculoskeletal pain that arose without injuries is also rare – in this case, a consultation with a rheumatologist will not hurt. The presence of sudden weight loss, fever and other alarming symptoms also cannot be ignored. It is also suspicious when the back pain does not subside at rest (which is uncharacteristic for an ordinary “lumbago”).
The sensation of pain is very subjective. There are factors that enhance this experience or, conversely, decrease it. The more pain is felt, the higher the risk of it becoming chronic. The pain is aggravated by:
– physical inactivity;
– fear, anxiety;
– distrust of the doctor;
– social isolation;
– passive position.
Arguments and Facts
Scientists have explained the “strange” symptoms of covid
Scientists have explained the “strange” symptoms of covid
Scientists have explained the “strange” symptoms of covid – RIA Novosti, 17.02.2021
Scientists explained the “strange” symptoms of covid
American medical scientists were the first to substantiate the causes of pain in joints and muscles that occur in some patients with COVID-19, and illustrated these cases with … RIA Novosti, 17.02.2021
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MOSCOW, Feb 17 – RIA Novosti. American medical scientists were the first to substantiate the causes of joint and muscle pain that occur in some patients with COVID-19, and illustrated these cases using radiological images. Published in the journal Skeletal Radiology, many patients with COVID-19 complain of joint and muscle pain, and some develop more serious complications, such as rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune myositis, or inflammation of the phalanges of the toes, known as “covid fingers”.Scientists at Northwestern University, along with clinicians from the Northwestern Medicine network of clinics, conducted a retrospective study of patients admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago between May 2020 and December 2020 who, during or after COVID-19 showed “strange” symptoms that prompted them to see a rheumatologist or dermatologist. The authors examined these patients using a complex of radiological methods – CT, MRI, ultrasound – and found that post-muscular symptoms are often associated with an autoimmune reaction of the body.”We realized that the coronavirus forces the body to attack itself, which can lead to rheumatological problems requiring long-term treatment,” said one of the study authors Swati Deshmukh, associate professor of musculoskeletal radiology at the School of Medicine, in a university press release. Feinberg, Northwestern University “Most patients with musculoskeletal disorders recover from COVID-19, but for some, symptoms become so severe that they can affect their quality of life.”In these cases, for a more accurate diagnosis, it is necessary to use modern imaging methods, the authors believe. “The imaging allows us to distinguish between simple body pain, such as with the flu, from muscle and joint pain caused by COVID-19. In some cases, radiologists can even diagnose patients who do not know they contracted the coronavirus, “explains Deshmuk. The authors note that radiological methods allow one to see various formations: edema and inflammatory changes in tissues – the presence of fluid and tumors; hematomas – accumulations of blood; dead tissue, indicating the onset of gangrene.“Some patients have nerve damage, while others have problems with blood flow and clotting,” he continues. For example, if a patient has persistent shoulder pain after contracting COVID-19, the attending physician may refer him for an MRI or ultrasound, and the radiologist, knowing that coronavirus infection sometimes causes inflammatory arthritis, will send the patient to a rheumatologist for further evaluation. “In their article, the researchers examine the different types of musculoskeletal disorders in COVID-19 and provide examples of their visualization.
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MOSCOW, Feb 17 – RIA Novosti. American medical scientists were the first to substantiate the causes of joint and muscle pain that occur in some patients with COVID-19, and illustrated these cases using radiological images. The results of the study are published in the journal Skeletal Radiology.
Many patients with COVID-19 complain of joint and muscle pain, and some develop more serious complications, such as rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune myositis, or inflammation of the phalanges of the toes, known as covid fingers, against the background of the new coronavirus infection.
Scientists at Northwestern University, along with clinicians from the Northwestern Medicine network of clinics, conducted a retrospective study of patients admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago between May 2020 and December 2020 who, during or after COVID- 19 showed “strange” symptoms that prompted them to see a rheumatologist or dermatologist.
The authors examined these patients using a complex of radiological methods – CT, MRI, ultrasound – and found that post-musculoskeletal symptoms are often associated with an autoimmune reaction of the body.
“We realized that the coronavirus forces the body to attack itself, which can lead to rheumatological problems requiring long-term treatment,” one of the study authors Swati Deshmukh, associate professor of musculoskeletal radiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine “Most patients with musculoskeletal disorders recover from COVID-19, but for some, symptoms become so severe that they can affect their quality of life.”
February 16, 18:00 Science A new complication has been discovered in severe COVID-19
In these cases, modern imaging methods must be used for a more accurate diagnosis, the authors say.
“The imaging allows us to distinguish between simple body pain, such as with the flu, from muscle and joint pain caused by COVID-19. In some cases, radiologists may even diagnose unconscious patients with musculoskeletal imaging. that they contracted the coronavirus, “explains Deshmuk.
The authors note that radiological methods allow one to see various formations: edema and inflammatory changes in tissues – the presence of fluid and tumors; hematomas – accumulations of blood; dead tissue, indicating the onset of gangrene.
“Some patients have nerve damage, while others have problems with blood flow and clot formation,” he continues.For the correct treatment, doctors need to know what is going on. For example, if a patient develops persistent shoulder pain after contracting COVID-19, the attending physician may refer him for an MRI or ultrasound, and the radiologist, knowing that coronavirus infection sometimes causes inflammatory arthritis, will send the patient to a rheumatologist for further examination. ”
In their article, the researchers examine various types of musculoskeletal disorders in COVID-19 and give examples of their visualization.
February 15, 14:35 Science Scientists have warned of the dangers of new strains of coronavirus 90,000 Pain in muscles and bones in children and adolescents with complaints of children about pain in the legs.As a rule, pain appears in the evening, after a walk, or at night. Often, parents do not attach any importance to this, believing that the child will “outgrow”. In most cases, they are right – muscle pain in children can be completely physiological. Excessive physical activity leads to the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles and, as a result, pain, which lasts until the lactic acid is utilized. Intensive growth of the body can also cause pain in the legs, during which the bones do not receive enough phosphorus and potassium.However, it should be remembered that in addition to nutritional inaccuracies, a lack of these microelements can occur in diseases of the pancreas (diabetes mellitus), adrenal glands, thyroid and parathyroid glands.
But, in some cases, leg pain can be a harbinger of more serious diseases. In order to find out the cause of the pain syndrome, it is necessary to answer the following questions:
– Where does the pain localize (joints or muscles)?
– Is the pain symptom accompanied by an increase in temperature?
In the presence of these factors, it can be suspected that the causes of pain are rheumatism.Especially if the child has a tendency to sore throats. Obesity is also included in the list of causes of such pain – excess weight puts an additional load on the ligamentous-muscular apparatus and then the mechanism is the same as with increased physical exertion.
Pain in the legs can also be caused by improper bone formation – scoliosis, flat feet, congenital diseases of the spine, hip, knee or ankle joints.
Consultation with a specialist is also necessary to check blood pressure, fluctuations in which can impair the blood supply to the muscles of the extremities – there is a lack of oxygen in the muscles, which leads to pain.
Only with the help of a specialist will you get an answer to the question why your child has muscle and bone pain. In order not to miss the onset of the disease, if you experience pain or discomfort in the extremities, you should immediately consult a pediatrician. Since the earlier the diagnosis is made, the easier and more effective the treatment will be.
Burning pains, burning in the body and extremities
The central nervous system consists not only of the spinal cord and the brain, as is commonly believed.This is a whole spectrum of different nerve endings and centers, which are a closed mechanism that functions and makes a living organism move, talk, think, and so on.
All organs, except for muscle and connective tissues, which include lymph and blood, are composed of numerous nerve endings that have a connection with nerve centers. Through such channels, impulses – signals for action – enter the brain. This is how the brain communicates with the internal organs and controls their work.In the human body, no organ works separately from everything else.
If at least one link is removed from this logical chain, the chain will quickly fall apart. In other words, if a person falls ill and any organ has failed, then this will harm the entire body, it can even lead to death.
Burning in the chest
Burning and painful tingling sensations occur in people suffering from various types of damage to nerve fibers.Damage can be caused by various factors. The nature of the pain directly depends on the degree of damage. The tingling sensation in the chest, which is familiar to many, and which is immediately attributed to heart pain, is actually intercostal neuralgia. It can spread not only to the chest.
Burning sensation in the feet
A burning sensation in the feet occurs in a serious disease, which is called diabetic polyneurology in medicine. This disease is very dangerous, as it can lead to atrophy of the limbs.The burning sensation that the patient feels is the first bell that says that a person should immediately consult a doctor. Inaction in this case will significantly accelerate the development of the disease. The disease will not stop at a slight tingling and burning sensation, it progresses rather quickly. In the legs, nerve endings and blood vessels begin to die off. Thus, the required amount of blood does not pass to the lower extremities, which leads to the death of muscle tissue and skin. It is not bad if the disease is stopped at this stage of development.It will be possible to do with the amputation of the part that has completely lost its legal capacity. If the disease is not stopped, then gangrene can begin to develop, which quickly spreads, capturing not only infected tissues, but also healthy ones.
Gangrene can be stopped with effective treatment or amputation. In no case should you delay with treatment! Otherwise, it will lead to disastrous consequences. The extreme stage of the disease is sepsis – blood poisoning. Diseases of this kind are difficult to treat, and the chances of a successful outcome are very small.Almost all cases of blood poisoning are fatal. For this reason, doctors recommend listening to your body, because even the smallest symptom can indicate a serious illness.
Differences between coronavirus and ARVI were named
Physician-therapist of the highest category Tatyana Romanenko spoke about ways to distinguish coronavirus infection from ordinary flu and ARVI. So, both diseases begin with approximately the same symptoms, but changes are subsequently traced.
At the initial stage, the coronavirus resembles seasonal flu and SARS: in the first days, slight weakness and malaise are felt, there is no high temperature. But further differences can be traced.
“A common cold or ARVI is rich in catarrhal phenomena: the temperature may be low, but there is a runny nose, sore throat, muscle aches. For some, this is accompanied by a violation of the stool, diarrhea, large mucous discharge, “- said Romanenko to” Reedus “.
At the same time, with a mild form of coronavirus, infected people feel a loss of smell and taste, complain of passivity in the absence of pain symptoms.
There are also differences in the duration of the disease. Uncomplicated ARVI lasts from three to seven days, and with coronavirus – up to two, in some cases up to three weeks.
If a patient is sick with a severe form of coronavirus, then the temperature almost immediately rises to 38.5-39 degrees, a cough begins, there is a lack of oxygen, shortness of breath. In this situation, a person must be hospitalized.
In addition, the difference between influenza and COVID-19 is severe headache and aches throughout the body.
“Seasonal flu begins abruptly, with high fever, severe headache, sharp pain in muscles and joints. In this case, the cough may or may not be. This flu feeling usually lasts a couple of days, rarely five days, and then relief should come. In contrast to a severe covid infection, when the improvement occurs at best on the tenth day, ”said Romanenko.
The doctor advised that when the first signs of a cold appeared, observe the self-isolation regime and call a doctor.
Earlier, an immunologist said that a person can be re-infected with a coronavirus infection in two to three months. According to the specialist, it depends on how long the high level of antibodies in the body lasts.
90,000 Types of body pain: causes, symptoms and ways to relieve pain.
Shoulder and neck pain
Shoulder pain is common and can be localized in the joint, in the anterior or posterior muscle group of the shoulder, or even in the upper arm. The reasons may vary:
- Injury or sprain
- Problems related to other parts of the body that cause radiating pain
- Overload of the relevant muscles due to unusual manual labor, sports or repetitive movements
- Poor posture
- Osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint or intervertebral joints.
The neck supports the head and is a highly mobile part of the body. Common causes of neck pain include poor posture, osteoarthritis, and injury.
Back pain is common.
Common causes of back pain:
- Lifting weights or unusual physical activity. Awkward Movements
- Lack of physical activity due to sedentary lifestyle
- Poor posture
- Excess weight
- Degenerative-dystrophic disorders in the joints of the spine.
- Inflammation of muscle tissue (myositis).
Joint pain due to osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a chronic (long-term) joint disease, which is based on inflammation and malnutrition of the cartilage tissue of the joint due to various reasons, and the symptoms of which may change or progress over time. Here are some of the symptoms of osteoarthritis:
- Pain that worsens with activity
- Joint stiffness that appears in the morning and lasts no more than 30 minutes
- Clicks and crunch in joints during movement
- Feeling of “weakening” and deformation of the joint
Sprains of ligaments, tendons or muscles
Sprains are damage to soft tissues: muscles, tendons and ligaments.Stretching of muscles and tendons occurs when a fall, a twisted limb, or overstrain. Symptoms include pain, muscle spasms, and muscle weakness, which is manifested by an inability to move fully.
In turn, damage to the ligaments can be caused by stretching and sometimes rupture. Typical symptoms are pain, bruising, swelling, and inflammation, which are manifested by limited limb or joint mobility.
Prevention of body pain
Reduce the risk of accidental injury by using safe methods of lifting heavy objects, using appropriate equipment and protective equipment to perform certain activities, and preventing falls.People over 45 years of age who are overweight or have previous muscle or joint injuries or injuries should have regular medical examinations if they have joint or back complaints.
This article is for general information only and does not replace professional advice. The information provided on the website does not constitute a basis for a diagnosis or prescription of a medicinal product.