Fibromyalgia: 5 Questions and Answers
1. What is Fibromyalgia?
Let us understand the word: Fibro = fibrous tissue in body, Mya = Muscle, algia = pain
Fibromyalgia is a disease of chronic and widespread pain in the body often associated with fatigue, low energy and poor sleep.
More women than men suffer from it.
Many patients are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as they are thought to be just ‘weak’ or “under stress’ or ‘not strong enough’.
2. What are the symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
(a) Widespread pain. Widespread generalized pain, lasting three months or more, above and below the waist and multiple trigger tender points.
(b) Fatigue. Difficulty sleeping, feeling tired even after sleeping long, sleep is interrupted, not feeling fresh after waking up in the morning.
(c) Cognitive difficulties. Challenges in ability to focus and consistent attention.
3. What causes it?
No specific cause as such. Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.
4. How do I treat it?
(a) Medication. Pain medication such as ibuprofen, diclofenac have significant side effects and should be avoided. Specific medications such as milnacipran, duloxetine, amitriptyline are often more helpful in relieving pain that is specific to fibromyalgia..
(b) Therapy. Physical therapy to improve stamina, flexibility are quite helpful.
(c) Life style changes. Reduce stress, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, eat less sugar and carbohydrates, limit your caffeine intake.
(d) Yoga and meditation are useful adjunct therapies..
5. New treatments
Non-invasive brain stimulation (tDCS) is a new and effective treatment for fibromyalgia that is safe and without side effects. See further information at: