Fibromyalgia is characterized by the constant presence of widespread pain associated with 18 specific tender points in muscles and tendons of the body. Symptoms may include muscle pain, stiffness, disturbed sleep, depression and fatigue.
Q: What causes Fibromyalgia?
A: The exact cause of Fibromyalgia is unknown. Research is looking into why certain muscles may be vulnerable to decreased circulation and minor injury. Additionally, researchers are studying other possibilities including hormonal and/or chemical changes in the body and the role of "deep sleep" cycles.
Q: How is Fibromyalgia diagnosed?
A: Fibromyalgia is diagnosed during a physical exam. A person must have pain or tenderness in at least 11 of the 18 documented tender points and in all of the 4 quadrants of the body. There are no diagnostic or blood tests that can aide in diagnosing this syndrome.
Q: How is Fibromyalgia treated?
A: Physical therapy treatment of Fibromyalgia includes education on strengthening and flexibility exercises. Low-impact aerobic exercise has been shown to be most beneficial. Treatment may also include aquatic exercise, postural correction and instruction in relaxation techniques.