Fibromyalgia (FM) causes widespread pain to an estimated 5.8 million Americans. FM is considered a “musculoskeletal disorder,” even though many of the symptoms include other body systems, especially the gastrointestinal system, as conditions such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) often co-exist with FM. It is thought that FM is a disorder that amplifies the manner in which the brain processes pain, making the body’s pain receptors hypersensitive. For example, FM can result in a 3/10 pain level (normally tolerated) being amplified to 7 or 8/10, which is enough to interfere with daily activities. FM often follows some type of severe physical or mental trauma, such as a car accident, surgery, or a significant psychological stress. The widespread pain results in fatigue, sleep deprivation, depression, and more. The following are ten of the most common symptoms associated with FM:
Obviously, there are many other signs and symptoms commonly associated with FM, but these seem almost “universal.” Next month, we will look at ways to “beat” these ten common complaints and offer some treatment solutions! Chiropractic care has been found to greatly facilitate FM sufferers and is an important player in managing the FM patient.