Top 10 Most Common Fibromyalgia Symptoms
How to Know if You Have Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in localized areas — in addition to several other symptoms. While fibromyalgia is the 2nd most common musculoskeletal problem, it is frequently misdiagnosed.
In this guide, our medical professionals here at Mitchell Medical Group have put together a list of the Top 10 fibromyalgia symptoms. If you experience any of the following items on our list, we recommend scheduling an appointment at our New York, NY office to learn more about our many successful holistic treatments.
The most common and most general symptom experienced by those with fibromyalgia is pain. Pain caused by fibromyalgia can manifest itself in many different ways, and in different areas of the body. In some cases, the pain is localized and sharp — in others, it’s dull and experienced throughout the body. Pain due to fibromyalgia can often be exacerbated by stressful situations or changing weather conditions. In many cases, however, it arises and subsides with no apparent pattern or cause.
2. Sensitivity to Touch
Patients with fibromyalgia often experience at least one of two types of sensitivity to touch: hyperesthesia and hyperalgesia. Hyperesthesia is increased sensitivity to the sensory input of touch. Poking your head under the covers, for example, may induce feelings of claustrophobia. Hyperalgesia, on the other hand, is an increased sensation of pain from sensory input. Injuries as small as a stubbed toe may lead to severe or prolonged pain disproportionate to their usual severity.
3. Environmental Sensitivity
Beyond general pain and sensitivity to touch, many patients with fibromyalgia also experience strong environmental sensitivities. These can involve the senses of smell, sound, and sight and can range from increased sensitivity to sunlight to strong, visceral reactions to cigarette smoke or other chemicals.
4. Muscle and Joint Stiffness
Fibromyalgia patients often report muscle and joint stiffness akin to the sensations many feel after exercising. In patients with fibromyalgia, however, these sensations frequently manifest themselves due to no apparent cause. While often worse in the morning, symptoms of muscle and joint stiffness do not subside as quickly (if at all) in patients with fibromyalgia as they do for those who do not have the condition.
5. Muscle Spasms
Another muscular symptom the fibromyalgia patients often experience is the occurrence of frequent or intense muscle spasms. These spasms typically follow patterns and will hit localized muscles during certain times of the day. (Spasms are often most intense at night).
Exhaustion and chronic fatigue are commonly displayed in patients with fibromyalgia. For a long time, the cause of these symptoms in patients with fibromyalgia was unknown. Recently, however, medical researchers have found compelling evidence that chronic fatigue and exhaustion are caused and exacerbated by sleep disturbances due to fibromyalgia’s many other common symptoms.
7. Concentration Difficulties
In addition to fatigue and exhaustion, many patients with fibromyalgia also report concentration difficulties during normal activities. While these difficulties are often directly linked with chronic fatigue, they also manifest themselves in patients who do not display marked fatigue symptoms. Patients with fibromyalgia often refer to concentration-related symptoms as “fibro-fog.”
Next to concentration difficulties, perhaps the most common cognitive symptom experienced by patients with fibromyalgia is depression. In all likelihood, depression is caused in patients with fibromyalgia due to their struggle with other symptoms and difficulties, including constant pain, loss of sleep, lack of energy, and being forced to give up activities the patient once enjoyed.
9. Chronic Headaches
Another head-related symptom that patients with fibromyalgia often experience is the frequent occurrence of headaches. These headaches can vary in intensity and character and are often linked with patients’ environmental sensitivities.
10. Bowel Issues
Statically, fibromyalgia patients have a higher chance of experiencing bowel-related conditions — including Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) — than those who do not have fibromyalgia. In fact, there is such as the disparity between the two patient demographics that today’s medical experts believe there to be a definitive link between the two conditions. Symptoms of IBS include frequent stomach aches, diarrhea, bloating, and constipation.
Think You Have Fibromyalgia?
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Call our office today at (212) 397-0157 to schedule your fibromyalgia consultation or request an appointment online. Now offering virtual consultations with Dean Mitchell MD.
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