Learning to live with the illnessChronic pain in multiple regions of the body? This could be fibromyalgia, or “fibre-muscle-pain.” Fibromyalgia is a chronic, non-inflammatory pain syndrome of the musculoskeletal system. It may be an independent disorder, but can also occur as part of a rheumatic illness. Those affected experience a significant level of suffering, in addition to limitations in their quality of life.
Our specialists at Schoen Clinic focus on both the body and mind. With multi-modal pain therapy and other effective methods of treatment, we help you become better at managing your chronic pain.
Causes & symptoms
Causes: How fibromyalgia developsAs of today, it is not clear what the underlying causes of the disease are. Currently it is assumed to be a bio-psycho-social disease, based on a breakdown in the perception of pain. Risk factors for developing fibromyalgia include mental and physical stressors in the workplace as well as certain depressive tendencies. A genetic predisposition is also under consideration as a factor, as there is familial incidence to be found. Disruptions in the metabolism of serotonin may also play a role.
The pain in muscles and tendons is triggered by tension that in turn causes further muscle tenseness. This results in a vicious circle that is extremely difficult to break. The result is chronic pain.
Fibromyalgia: Symptoms indicating a disorderThe main symptoms of fibromyalgia are persistent pain of varying intensity and localisation, in addition to tenderness in certain points (“tender points”). The pain is scattered and occurs primarily around the muscles and tendons. Many other complaints are present as well. These include stiffness in the morning, fatigue, insomnia, depressive moods, as well as complaints in other organ systems, such as digestion problems.
Over time, the patient’s entire life comes to revolve solely around pain. Most patients feel that activity, stress and movement are more likely to be harmful. Thus they avoid movement and stress. The potential consequences are poor posture and weakened musculature.
If the patients don’t feel understood in their environment, this can also lead to conflicts at home, at work and in friendship circles. This in turn results in social withdrawal and even depression.