Monday, October 20, 2008

What Is Fibromyalgia?

FIBROMYALGIA : FMS (fibromyalgia syndrome) is a widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue disorder for which the cause is still unknown. Fibromyalgia means pain in the muscles, ligaments and tendons – the fibrous tissues in the body. FMS used to be called fibrositis, implying that there was inflammation in the muscles, but research later proved that inflammation did not exist. Most patients with fibromyalgia say that they ache all over. Their muscles may feel like they have been pulled or overworked. Sometimes the muscles twitch and at other times they burn. More women than men are afflicted with fibromyalgia, but it shows up in people of all ages. Symptoms include: pain, fatigue, sleep disorder, Joint Dysfunction Syndrome, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome, and may also include: painful menstrual periods (dysmenorrheal), chest pain, morning stiffness, cognitive or memory impairment, numbness and tingling sensations, muscle twitching, irritable bladder, the feeling of swollen extremities, skin sensitivities, dry eyes and mouth, frequent changes in eye prescription, dizziness, and impaired coordination can occur. Treatment includes medications to reduce pain and increase the ability to sleep. Long term follow-up studies on fibromyalgia syndrome have shown that it is chronic, but the symptoms may wax and wane. The impact that FMS can have on daily-living activities, including the ability to work a full-time job, differs among patients. Overall, studies have shown that fibromyalgia can be equally as disabling as rheumatoid arthritis.

Contact: The American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association, Inc., 6380 E. Tanque Verde, Suite D, Tucson, AZ 85715; Phone: 520-733-1570; Website: or Fibromyalgia Nework, P.O. Box 31750, Tucson, AZ 85751; Phone: 800-853-2929; Website:

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