Fibromyalgia is a condition that affects 2% to 5% of the people living in the United States. The condition is more commonly seen in women, ages 25 to 60, than in men. Fibromyalgia is a complex neuroscience condition, associated with a wide range of symptoms. Individuals with the condition most often report symptoms of fatigue and chronic, widespread pain and tenderness to the touch.

After many years of misunderstanding and misdiagnosing fibromyalgia, the medical community is now learning more about its causes and treatment. Important research developments are currently providing clues and new information to help those suffering from the painful condition.

Specialty areas related to fibromyalgia include neurology, rheumatology, endocrinology, pain management, women's health, diagnostic imaging and psychology, among others.

Common Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Generalized body pain (especially in arms and legs)
  • Extreme tenderness to the touch
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Memory problems
  • Concentration problems
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Mood disorders
  • Headaches
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Temperature sensitivity
  • Sun and light sensitivity

Evaluation for Fibromyalgia

Typically, a neurologist would perform an evaluation to identify the sources of your pain after ruling out physical and psychological causes. There are many non-addictive and noninvasive treatments to help reduce your pain.

Every person's experience with fibromyalgia is different. Your neurologist should take the time to ask questions, listen and conduct tests to create an individualized plan tailored to your needs. Your diagnosis and treatment options should be thoroughly explained to help manage your expectations for recovery.

In the full evaluation, a variety of testing techniques may include:

  • Electro-diagnostic testing
  • Neuroradiological imaging
  • Neuropsychological evaluation
  • Sleep studies

Treatment Options for Fibromyalgia

Treatments may include:

  • Dietary management
  • Lifestyle and exercise changes
  • Physical therapy
  • Pain medication, by referral
  • Surgery, by referral

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