Fibromyalgia symptoms can vary from patient to patient, but are usually severe, widespread and debilitating. The disease certainly does not affect every individual the same way.
Most patients with this condition describe their symptom expression as all-over soreness and muscular ache. Some patients describe the feeling as similar to the intense and widespread muscle pain associated with a strong case of the flu.
The problem is that the flu will go away in a few days, while fibromyalgia back pain will continue on and on. Doctors are not sure what causes fibromyalgia and have even fewer good ideas about how to effectively treat FMS. This article will look at the common symptoms of FMS, as well as many accompanying expressions which may present themselves in a great number of patients.
The following expressions are universal in the FMS diagnosis. Patients will usually have these symptoms to one degree or another as their main complaints:
Pain in the muscles may be worsened with physical activity. Pain may be acute, dull, sharp, burning or aching. Back muscle pain can be particularly severe and the back and neck are very common locations for symptoms to occur. Many patients also experience painful expressions in their joints.
In order for FMS to be diagnosed, pain will be present in large areas of the anatomy and in at least 11 of 18 primary pain zones.
Fatigue is usually present. Patient will be tired all the time, physically, mentally and emotionally.
Patient may not be able to concentrate or focus their mind easily.
Memory and cognitive abilities may suffer considerably.
The following are all occasional to frequent symptoms associated with FMS. Some patients will have none of these, while others may have all of them. Each additional symptom is another horrible burden for patients to bear:
Sleep disorders are very common. Patient will have a hard time sleeping or effectively resting. Patient will feel restless and tired even after sleeping.
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction describes pain in the jaw and face relating to a problem with the jaw muscles or actual skeletal TM joint. This is an occasional associated expression of FMS.
Headaches may be present in the majority of diagnosed patients. Expressions include frequent migraine or tension headaches. In some patients, these can be primary symptomatic complaints.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a torture to endure and is even worse when combined with FMS. This digestive system nightmare is an occasional to moderately common expression suffered by many diagnosed people. Diarrhea, bloating, constipation and nausea are all possible and might recur chronically.
Allergies are very common symptoms of FMS. Patients are often hyper-allergic to many substances, some of which may even be mistakenly implicated in causing the fibromyalgia to begin with.
Depression is almost a universal problem for patients with extended duration symptoms. Statistics show that the longer a person suffers with FMS, the greater their chances of being diagnosed with clinical depression. In many patients, this becomes one of the greatest overall health risks.
Anxiety is a common side effect of any type of chronic pain. Patients worry about the symptoms themselves, as well as the long-term effects on their lives and functionality.
Skin disorders may include allergies, breakouts or blemishes, especially on highly visible areas, such as the face.
Irregular or problematic menstrual periods are an almost universal concern in female patients. Heavy cramping and serious emotional side effects are common.
Dizziness, lightheadedness and vertigo are very usual signs of FMS. Person may be prone to motion sickness or fainting spells. In some cases, these may be primary symptomatic complaints, as well.
Fibromyalgia symptoms may come and go. They may also increase or decrease in their severity. Symptoms are often made worse by stressful situations and relieved when the mind and emotions are relaxed.
Most patients are told to monitor activities and situations that increase or decrease their symptoms. This way, the patient can use activity or activity avoidance to self-treat.
Although the diagnosis is made exclusively based on symptomatic expression, the specific effects seen in each patient vary considerably. This further confounds physicians and makes accurate diagnosis and treatment that much harder.
To learn more about other possible symptoms of FMS and how these might be related to the same source process, talk to your doctor.