Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain and tender points on muscles. Although the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, there appear to be several factors that may contribute to it. In addition to lifestyle changes and physical therapy, recently FDA approved medications appear to ease the symptoms of fibromyalgia for some people.
Your doctor may conduct blood tests to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms. A diagnosis of fibromyalgia requires pain or tenderness reported at a minimum of 11 tender point locations with symptoms that have lasted for 3 months or longer.
In recent years, researchers have made several breakthroughs with prescription medications to ease symptoms of fibromyalgia. Low doses of certain antidepressant medications and anti-inflammatory medications appear to help certain people. Since 2007, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the prescription medications Lyrica, Cymbalta, and Savella for the treatment of fibromyalgia, and more studies are underway.
Am I at Risk
Fibromyalgia develops most frequently in people between the ages of 20 and 50, although it can occur at any age, including during childhood. The risk of developing fibromyalgia appears to increase with age. Fibromyalgia occurs more often in women than in men. People with fibromyalgia have a tendency to have other conditions as well, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, endometriosis, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), lupus, osteoarthritis, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, and rheumatoid arthritis.