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Fibromyalgia is a chronic syndrome characterized by an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion and generalized pain in the muscles, ligaments and tendons.
The word “fibromyalgia” comes from three terms:
This rheumatic ailment is considered a syndrome because it corresponds to a series of symptoms rather than to a clearly defined process. The syndrome strikes between 2 and 6 percent of the population. In Canada, this represents some 900,000 people, most of whom are women.
Fibromyalgia is difficult to detect since its symptoms are similar to those of other health problems. There are currently no medical lab tests, like X-rays for example, to diagnose fibromyalgia. Physicians normally rely on a physical examination of the patient along with his or her medical history.
The main signs of fibromyalgia are pain, sensitivity to touch and stiffness of the muscles, tendons and ligaments. The parts of the body most often affected are the neck, shoulders, abdomen, lower back and thighs. Pain can be experienced evenly over a large surface but also on specific points, where it will be more intense.
Furthermore, symptoms may vary from one person to the next and include:
Since these symptoms can also point to other diseases, it is important to always consult a physician.
The causes of fibromyalgia have not yet been clearly established. It seems to strike after a traumatic event in a person’s life. Certain factors may also trigger the syndrome. These are:
However, fibromyalgia can also occur without an obvious cause.
Certain groups are more at risk of developing fibromyalgia:
Since this condition cannot be prevented or cured at this time, treatment options involve pain management and improvement of sleep quality.
The medications most often used to help patients are:
The use of heat, light massage, rest, frequent muscle stretching, regular exercise and stress reduction can also reduce pain and improve the well-being of the person affected by fibromyalgia.
Do you have questions about fibromyalgia? Talk to your pharmacist. He’s there to help!
[UNIPRIX] - The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.