What is Fibromyalgia

You have been diagnosed as having fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS for short) which is not a life threatening illness but is often life changing. It is a condition that is often invisible to others, however research supports that FMS is a distinct clinical syndrome. FMS is recognised by the Department of Health. It is listed on the NHS Direct/Choices website.  When you have been ill for some time without knowing the cause, it can be a relief to get a positive diagnosis. We firmly believe the more you know about the illness, the easier it is to cope with.

What does the word Fibromyalgia mean?

Fibromyalgia is possibly a word that you have never heard of before. So what does it mean?

Fibro = Fibrous Tissues (tendons & ligaments)  My = Muscle    Algia = Pain

The meaning of the word is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to describing the symptoms that you have been experiencing. At this moment you are almost certainly feeling relieved that you have been given a positive diagnosis that something “real” is wrong with you. At the same time you are probably feeling in “no man’s land” because you do not really know what your next step should be, or indeed where to go to get information and help.

What is Fibromyalgia Syndrome?

There is a lot more to fibromyalgia syndrome than simply the meaning of the parts of the word. Fibromyalgia is a syndrome of widespread pain and fatigue. The pain involves mainly muscles, also tendons, ligaments and bursa. (Ligaments hold bones together. Tendons hold muscles to bones. A bursa is a fluid filled sac that decreases the friction over joints.) The muscle pain fluctuates and is often aggravated by various physical, environmental, and emotional factors. In addition to widespread pain and fatigue, fibromyalgia syndrome can be associated with irritable bowel syndrome, fluctuating stiffness, numbness, a feeling of weakness, cold intolerance, poor sleep and headaches, as well as other symptoms. It can be called a “Head to Toe” syndrome.

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