What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a term used to describe chronic, widespread pain, along with a heightened response to pain. Affecting far more women than men and mostly people in their 40s and 50s, this condition affects the muscles, skin and soft tissue. The condition causes chronic and widespread muscle pain and stiffness along with headaches and tender joints, and can also cause numbness and tingling in the arms, legs, hands, or feet.
The defining characteristic of this condition is pain felt all over the body, which can be deep, sore, achy, dull or throbbing. The pain might come and go, or it might move from one point to another in the body. A person who has fibromyalgia might also experience tenderness around the joints that feel sore when pressed.
Treating Pain Due to Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
General pain stemming from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) can be addressed medically in a variety of ways that are often most effective when used in combination. Both conditions benefit from counseling, as it is believed that the chronic pain of fibromyalgia and CFS has an emotional component, perhaps related to stress or anxiety. Thus, managing these emotional conditions is an important part of managing the general and ongoing pain that can come with these conditions. Similarly, antidepressants can be quite effective in treating both conditions.
Pain medications like acetaminophen, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and opioids can temporarily reduce general pain due to these conditions, but these drugs should not be used long-term due to possible adverse side effects. Nerve blocks can also be effective treatments for general pain from fibromyalgia or CFS.