Rheumatology

Fibromyalgia

Rheumatologists at Greenwich Hospital are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a form of muscular rheumatism that causes pain in the muscles and soft tissues. It is most prevalent in women of childbearing age.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Pain may begin in one area of the body, such as the neck and shoulders, but the entire body may become affected. The pain ranges from mild to severe and may be described as burning, soreness, stiffness, aching, or gnawing pain. While each individual may experience symptoms differently, some common things to look for include:
  • Moderate to severe fatigue
  • Decreased exercise endurance
  • Sleep problems
  • Depressed mood
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pain and bloating
  • Diarrhea, alternated with constipation
  • Urinary urgency
The symptoms of fibromyalgia may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Patients should always consult a physician for a diagnosis.

Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosis is usually based on the symptoms the patient is experiencing. Specific treatment depends on:
  • Age, overall health, and medical history
  • Extent of the condition
  • Tolerance for specific medications, procedures, and therapies
  • Expectation for the course of the condition
  • Opinion or preference
Fibromyalgia cannot be cured, but can often be successfully managed with proper treatment or therapy:
  • Anti-inflammatory medications (to relieve pain and improve sleep)
  • Pregabalin
  • Exercise and physical therapy (to stretch muscles and improve cardiovascular fitness)
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Heat treatments
  • Occasional cold applications
  • Massage

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