Is there a cure for fibromyalgia?
As the exact cause of FM has not yet been identified there is currently no 'cure'. It is however a condition that can be managed and by utilising a multidisplinary approach it is possible to achieve improvements in the quality of your life.
How serious a condition is it?
In comparison to most of the other commonly diagnosed rheumatic conditions it is certainly the least serious in that it doesn't have progressive injurious effects. There is no actual destruction of muscle or any other tissue, and no deterioration of bones or joints. Having said this, it is equally the most devastating in its other hidden effects e.g. pain and fatigue which can be worse physically and psychologically than other illnesses. It has been stated by a prominent Rheumatologist that the pain in fibromyalgia is well above that of other more recognised painful rheumatic diseases e.g. Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Is FMS inherited or contagious?
Recent studies suggest genetic predisposition could play a role in the condition. There is no evidence to suggest that FMS is contagious.
I am not depressed so why is my doctor prescribing an
Anti-depressants elevate the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, including serotonin and norepinephrine. Low levels of these chemicals are associated not only with depression, but also with pain and fatigue. Increasing the levels of these chemicals can reduce pain in people who have fibromyalgia. Dosages given are normally lower than those used to treat depression and it has been shown that tricyclic antidepressants can help promote restorative sleep.
What is the difference between tender points and trigger points?
When FM was being defined researchers found in excess of 50 locations in muscles and other soft tissue that caused pain when palpatated. To make simplfy diagnosis, the most common 18 were selected. These points are located symmetrically in all 4 quadrants of the body. They are known as tender points because they hurt more than the surrounding tissue when pressure is applied to them.
Trigger points occur all over the body and produce pain that travels in reproducible patterns elsewhere in the body when pressure is applied. They are generally located in a taut band of tissue with a stringy texture that you can feel. People with FM have both tender points and trigger points.
Is it FM or ME?
FM and ME have many similarities which can make diagnosis and treatment even more confusing. Although the two illnesses have many symptoms in common, the most prevalent symptom of FM is widespread pain while the primary symptom of CFS is extreme fatigue that does not improve with rest.