Fibromyalgia is one of the better-understood invisible disabilities. Nevertheless, it’s possible that some people don’t see this syndrome as being disabling.
The truth is, fibromyalgia is disabling to some people. Let’s spread awareness of this invisible disability by first understanding it ourselves.
A lot of people suffering with fibromyalgia experience pain much of the time.
Fibromyalgia is defined by pain. In fact, “Fibromyalgia is a common syndrome in which a person has long-term, body-wide pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues.”
Did you know that most fibromyalgia pain radiates from certain places on the body called “tender points”? Shoulders, the back of the neck, shins, knees, elbows, chest, lower back, and hips could all be considered tender points.
Fibromyalgia’s symptoms can be disabling.
Fibromyalgia causes many unpleasant symptoms. Just a few include:
– Pain (chronic or sporadic)
– Irritable bowel syndrome
– “Painful menstrual periods”
– Aches in the body
– “Reduced ability to exercise”
– Sensitivity to temperature
– Cognitive troubles (concentration/memory)
– “Numbness and tingling in hands and feet”
– Migraine headaches
– Tension headaches
– “Sensitivity to loud noises or bright lights”
– Restless leg syndrome
Not all of these symptoms will be present in everyone with fibromyalgia.
Who is often affected by fibromyalgia?
If a person has lupus, a rheumatic disease, or spinal arthritis, he or she has a higher likelihood of having fibromyalgia.
Women develop fibromyalgia more commonly than men.
What causes fibromyalgia?
While there isn’t a known cause for fibromyalgia, there are definitely factors that can contribute to it.
“Many people associate the development of fibromyalgia with a physically or emotionally stressful or traumatic event, such as an automobile accident. Some connect it to repetitive injuries. Others link it to an illness. For others, fibromyalgia seems to occur spontaneously.”
Do you wonder if you have fibromyalgia?
If you think you may have fibromyalgia, please see your doctor. It would be great if you could see a doctor who has helped others with fibromyalgia. Doctors with experience with fibromyalgia will be better able to make a correct diagnosis.
Unfortunately, there are some doctors who may decide that pain caused by fibromyalgia “is not real” due to the fact that “there is no generally accepted, objective test for fibromyalgia.”
Ask your friends and family if they know anyone who has been treated by a doctor for fibromyalgia and is happy with the doctor. Don’t stop until you have found a doctor who listens to you and makes you feel respected and cared for.
Please see our blog post titled Relief for Fibromyalgia Sufferers (http://www.disabilityliving.ca/disability-canada-relief-fibromyalgia-treatment-therapy-diet/ ).
Image made available by Marian Kraus Photography Inc
*Please note: All research for this article is compiled from direct and third party sources. Mention of programs, organizations and companies does not imply support of The National Benefit Authority. Pictures are for creative purposes only; they are not intended to sell or promote products for the NBA and belong to the accredited individual, organization or company.
Let’s Talk About It
Do you know anyone who has fibromyalgia? Do you have it yourself? What symptoms do you think could be considered disabling?