Fibromyalgia Back Pain: Does Fibromyalgia Cause It?

Over 80 percent of people, regardless of health issues, will experience some sort of back pain in their life. There are many reasons why your back might be causing you pain, and fibromyalgia is one that is complicated to diagnose. Knowing the difference between fibromyalgia back pain and regular back pain can be challenging. Continue reading to learn more about fibromyalgia, symptoms to watch for, and possible treatments.

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a condition that significantly contributes to the chronic pain experienced by many individuals, characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals. 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. Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and depression. While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, a variety of medications can help control symptoms. Exercise, relaxation, and stress-reduction measures also may help.

What Is Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Chronic Widespread Pain?

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain. Chronic widespread pain is a hallmark symptom of fibromyalgia syndrome, representing one end of a spectrum of chronic widespread pain present in a percentage of the general population. It’s a complex chronic condition that causes widespread pain and tenderness to the touch that may occur all over or in a specific area. Millions of Americans have fibromyalgia syndrome; more women are diagnosed with the disorder than men.

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

Despite its commonality among Americans, the cause of this disorder is widely unknown. However, some experts believe it is caused by an over-sensitive nervous system or a brain problem. There is a risk of other factors causing fibromyalgia, like:

  • Physical or emotional trauma, such as a stressful event or repetitive injuries
  • Central nervous system problems

The condition could also be hereditary. Those with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or spinal arthritis have a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Fibromyalgia symptoms can appear at any point in life but commonly begin to appear around the age of 45. Back pain is a common symptom of fibromyalgia, but you’ll also experience other symptoms. If you’re only experiencing back pain, you more than likely do not have fibromyalgia.

Sleep Problems

Sleep problems are one of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia. Those with fibromyalgia may still sleep for hours but do not feel refreshed when they wake up. They could also wake up multiple times throughout the night due to pain or may experience restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea.

Fibro Fog

Many fibromyalgia patients say they have trouble focusing, holding conversations, or remembering things. This is known as fibro fog. One explanation of fibro fog is the lack of sleep, but some doctors suggest something unknown in the brain is unique to people with fibromyalgia.

Other Health Problems

Fibromyalgia often causes other health problems like irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, and painful bladder syndrome. Additionally, fibromyalgia patients seem to have a hypersensitivity to cold, light, and noises.

Diagnosing and Treating Fibromyalgia: Approaches and Therapies

It may take some time for doctors to diagnose you with fibromyalgia. Since symptoms typically match hypothyroidism, doctors have to rule that out first. Additionally, there are no lab tests for fibromyalgia, leading to a longer diagnosing process. However, three criteria need to be met for a fibromyalgia diagnosis:

  • Pain and symptoms have been ongoing for more than three months
  • There was pain over the previous week in several of the 19 identified body parts, plus fatigue, restless sleep, or other cognitive problems
  • There is no presence of another health issue that would cause the symptoms

No two cases of fibromyalgia are the same. Everyone experiences their own type of pain, which is why it’s important to develop a specialized treatment plan with your doctor. However, gentle stretching, pool exercises, and daily strengthening of the lower back are crucial. If these initial treatments do not work, doctors may prescribe an antidepressant or muscle relaxant, and sometimes combinations of medicines are helpful in managing the severity of pain. Treating fibromyalgia aims to relieve pain and other symptoms, reduce disability, and help the person cope with the symptoms.

Treat Your Fibromyalgia Pain at New Jersey Spine and Orthopedic

If you think you have fibromyalgia, consider reaching out to the medical experts at . We’re a team of board-certified, award-winning doctors who specialize in alternative recovery techniques. If it’s determined that surgery will best be able to get you on the road to recovery, we will use state-of-the-art minimally invasive techniques.

Here at NJ Spine & Orthopedic, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to navigate your health care needs. Call us today at (866) 272-9271 or complete a contact form. Our focus is always on you and your health.

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