Fibromyalgia And Chronic Pain
Oct 18, 2018
Week Against Pain
Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain
In respect with the World Day Against Pain on the 15th October, Carenity is delivering a week of publications dedicated to the fight against chronic pain. Today, we are focusing on fibromyalgia, a widespread, painful condition, of which the cause is unknown.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder whose symptoms are mostly composed of intense, widespread muscle and bone pain. These pains mainly affect the symmetrical muscle areas near the spine, such as the neck, shoulders, inter-scapular region (between the shoulders), shoulder blades, lower back and hips. The American College of Rheumatology states that fibromyalgia is characterized by at least three months of pain, with the presence of pain with at least 11 of the 18 characteristic tender points, some of which are listed above. While this characterization can help arrive at a diagnosis, it is not, as a whole, satisfactory because it does not cover the reality for all patients.
A Difficult to Diagnose Disorder
Fibromyalgia is not easily diagnosed. It can often be misdiagnosed because its symptoms are similar to those of other diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines or even psychological difficulties. Many people find themselves in a situation of not knowing if they are being affected by or being diagnosed with a different condition.
@Hidden username and @Hidden username both discussed how they were diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but that it took years for them to be also diagnosed with another painful condition, lupus.
Difficulty With Maintaining a Fulfilling Professional Life
Those suffering with fibromyalgia know this all too well. It is often very complicated for friends and work colleagues to understand what you are going through and why you are missing work at times.
@Hidden username and @Hidden username have discussed their frustration with sensing that others feel they are faking their pain: @Hidden username stated “sometimes others feel that I am not really sick/in pain and that I am faking and @Hidden username stated that she “know[s] doctors and therapists who do not even believe it and just feel we are faking…”
A lack of understanding exists around fibromyalgia which can impact patients mentally as they feel people don’t believe them or can't understand them.
Various Symptoms and Multiple Treatments
In addition to the muscular pains associated with the disease, some Carenity members have also shared symptoms such as @Hidden username of “fog” and “falling”. Other members have discussed the feeling of weakness and fatigue. This is one of the reasons that it is so hard to diagnose and pinpoint fibromyalgia; the symptoms can differ from patient to patient and can fluctuate in severity.
Check out the discussions on the forum dedicated to fibromyalgia
And most importantly, share your experience!
If you would like to share a testimonial and your experience with fibromyalgia, please feel free to contact me