Fibromyalgia is characterized by pain stretching over the entire body. The pain is most often associated with the muscles and soft tissues of the body. The condition is not an illness, by a syndrome that is defined by a set of symptoms gathered under one diagnosis. While there is no known cause for fibromyalgia, it is known that the pain does not cause harm to the muscles and soft tissues of the body.
The most common symptoms of fibromyalgia include pain in the neck, lower back, shoulders, and hips. Some patients with fibromyalgia will also complain of pain in the hands and feet, but these cases are rarer. While the syndrome is associated with muscle and soft tissue pain, these symptoms are not the only common ones.
Other symptoms of fibromyalgia can affect daily living without producing pain in the body. Fatigue, for instance, is not one of the painful symptoms, but can be severe enough to interfere with every day activities, like personal care and work. Difficulty sleeping, problems with concentration, anxiety, and constipation are also some symptoms of fibromyalgia. Due to the fact that fibromyalgia is a syndrome, the symptoms of the condition are ever-changing.
Of all the symptoms of fibromyalgia, fatigue and sleeplessness can be some of the most difficult to handle. Patients with fibromyalgia often wake after a night's sleep feeling as though they have not slept at all. This will quickly cause severe fatigue, which can affect driving and other daily activities, and increase the chance of depression and anxiety.
While the symptoms of this condition may seem vague, there are some common symptoms. One of these is tender points on the body that are commonly affected by the syndrome. These tender points include the top of the shoulders, back of the head, top of the chest, upper and side hips, and inner knees.
Not every patient with fibromyalgia will feel the symptoms on the same level of severity. In addition, the severity of the symptoms can range from mild to severe over the progression of the syndrome. Some patients will only feel symptoms for a few days, while others will suffer for years.
The symptoms of fibromyalgia are similar to many other conditions, which can leave this syndrome as a last diagnosis. Doctors will often rule out many other conditions before settling on the final diagnosis of fibromyalgia. There are effective treatments available today to lessen the effects of fibromyalgia on the patient.