Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain throughout the body, often with particularly intense symptoms in certain hotspots. Most people with the disease experience flare-ups in the back and neck. Doctors may refer to fibromyalgia as hyperalgesia or allodynia.
People with fibromyalgia may feel pain in response to touch or slight pressure. In particular, they feel a great deal of pain if someone touches their neck, arm, legs, or any other limb that is a fibromyalgia focal point. In addition, if they accidentally bang their finger or toe, the pain they feel continues much longer than it does in the case of someone without the condition. This heightened sensitivity to pressure-triggered pains makes it very challenging to live a normal active lifestyle.
Doctors discovered that factors such as the person's mood, the amount of exercise they get, and even the weather could affect these fibromyalgia pains. In respect to these flare-ups associated with changes in the weather, fibromyalgia has something in common with rheumatic complaints. Sometimes people living with fibromyalgia get tingling sensations in their hands and feet similar to rheumatic aches. While rheumatism passes with the change in weather, the fibromyalgia aches linger on. As the barometric pressure in the atmosphere drops or rises, these slight pressure changes can cause a pain flare-up for those with Fibromyalgia.
For some, the intensity of fibromyalgia aches and pains might vary from night to day but many of those with this illness experience sleepless nights. The pain may stop them from getting to sleep in the first place, or it wakes them up in the middle of the night and hinders falling asleep again. Even someone who manages to stay asleep all night might still wake up feeling as if they have not slept well. The fibromyalgia pain can also disrupt the REM, or "deep sleep" that the body needs to refresh and repair.
Fibromyalgia makes it difficult to experience a good night's rest, leading to chronic fatigue. This sense of weakness and lack of energy is also another characteristic of the illness. The fatigue does not necessarily come on when a person first wakes up in the morning. It occurs at any time of the day, leaving the individual feeling as if their battery has been completely drained. In its most severe cases, fibromyalgia brings on fatigue that resembles a heavy attack of flu.
The normal activities of those around them may also trigger a flare-up. Someone with fibromyalgia is sometimes set off by a sudden bright light. People smoking or lighting a fire or even eating certain foods can also trigger a fibromyalgia flare-up. Changes in room temperature are another potential reason why someone suddenly fees this kind of pain. Only through experience can the individual with the condition learn what they need to avoid doing to reduce the risk of setting off their symptoms.
In some people, fibromyalgia causes feelings of stiffness in many parts of their muscles. Usually, this sensation occurs in the shoulders and neck, but it can also happen in other limbs. Most commonly the person wakes up feeling very stiff. Others may experience this after a long time spent in a stationary position. In its mildest form, it could feel like an aggravated attack of pins and needles. Sometimes patients might also get painful spasms in certain muscles, or they suddenly feel the need to move their legs all the time.
Every individual has a different tolerance for the physical pains fibromyalgia. Many with this condition also express concern over how it affects their mental abilities. As is the case with its physical manifestations, its impact on the mind can take many forms. Some patients find it damages their memory. They can also find problems maintaining their concentration or even find that their speech becomes slurred. Since these symptoms could also be the signs of stroke and other serious health issues, seek medical advice immediately.
Sometimes people who experience fibromyalgia pains in their shoulders and neck also develop headaches and serious migraines. Along with the headaches pains, they might feel nausea, and even vomit. The severity and frequency of these headaches can vary among individuals. They can also differ for the same person from one outbreak to another.
People with fibromyalgia are prone to depression. The challenges they face living in continual pain may manifest themselves in chronic situational depression - or even clinically diagnosed depression. In addition to the emotional reaction to pain, this condition also affects the body's hormonal balance. These changes in hormones apparently make someone that much more likely to become depressed.
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