Fibromyalgia (more correctly fibromyalgia syndrome – FMS) is an auto-immune condition characterized by chronic muscular pain that has no obvious physical cause. It affects approximately 10 times more women than men, usually between the ages of 25 and 60.
Doctors don’t know what causes fibromyalgia syndrome but there are a number of theories, the most common ones being:
- Genetics – FMS often seems to run in families, leading to the supposition that it could be triggered by an abnormality in genetic makeup.
- Infections – symptoms often seem to be triggered by the occurrence of illness. Because the immune system is compromised opportunistic viral and bacterial infections often occur and are harder to overcome, aggravating the symptoms.
- Physical or emotional trauma – there appears to be a link between post-trauma stress and FMS.
If the condition is not diagnosed and treated early, symptoms can go on indefinitely, or they may disappear for months and then recur.
Below are 11 symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome to watch out for if you suspect that you may be suffering from FMS.
1. Chronic muscle pain and muscle spasms
The pain associated with fibromyalgia syndrome is often a widespread dull ache that lasts. The pain is also often described as burning, throbbing, shooting and stabbing. It affects both sides of the body, above and below the waist. The pain may intensify at certain times of the day, with mornings and late afternoons seeming to be the worst. If you have been experiencing chronic pain for extended periods (three months and more), you should consider seeing your doctor or medical professional for a possible diagnosis.