Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread chronic pain, fatigue, and other symptoms that may include sleep disturbances, cognitive problems, and increased sensitivity to pressure.
The diagnosis of fibromyalgia is primarily based on the presence of widespread chronic pain throughout the body, as well as the identification of specific tender points on the body known as trigger points. The presence of other rheumatic diseases should also be ruled out, as many of their symptoms may overlap with fibromyalgia.
There are several fibromyalgia phenotypes that have been described. One of them is primary fibromyalgia, which is the most common type of the disease. There are also other subtypes of the disease, such as fibromyalgia associated with autoimmune diseases or fibromyalgia associated with neurological diseases. Identification of the fibromyalgia subtype is important to guide treatment.
A key element of fibromyalgia is central pain sensitization which is a disorder of pain processing in which the nervous system becomes more sensitive to pain and you may experience chronic pain even without an apparent cause.
There are several phenotypes of central pain sensitization. One of the most common is chronic musculoskeletal pain, which includes pain in the joints, muscles, and soft tissues (fibromyalgia). Another common phenotype is chronic headache, which can include migraines and tension headaches. There is also a phenotype of chronic abdominal pain, which can be caused by gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome. Often, all of them overlap to different degrees, and all of these symptoms can be symptoms that occur in the same patient.
Fibromyalgia treatment is based on non-pharmacological and pharmacological approaches. Non-drug approaches include exercise, physical therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and occupational therapy. Pharmacological approaches include analgesics, antidepressants, and medications that modulate central pain perception.
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