Widespread pain

Fibromyalgia

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome characterised by pain and stiffness in many muscles and joints.

Cause

The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but it can occur in arthritis, osteoarthritis, sarcoidosis and thyroid disease. The symptoms get worse with age and it is seen more frequently in certain families. There are indications that it is a neurological disorder that is the result of abnormal processing of pain information in the brain.

Signs and symptoms
Patients complain of widespread pain in many muscles and joints as well as stiffness. Fibromyalgia is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disorders, tingling sensations, headache, spastic colon, swollen fingers, menstrual cycle disorders, memory problems and reduced stamina. The symptoms are sometimes worse at certain times of year, particularly in cold and wet weather.

How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?

A general physical examination and an extensive neurological examination are highly important for ruling out other causes. The diagnosis is also made on the basis of certain painful sites in the muscles (so-called 'tender points'). The diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be made if 11 of the 18 standard tender points are painful.

Do I need additional examinations?

  • Diagnostic examination for other non-physical factors important for your pain, have already been done by yourself trough filling out your pain questionnaires.
  • Tests to rule out other causes.

What are my treatment possibilities?

Multidisciplinary Treatment

Depending on the cause of your pain, your pain specialist will decide whether or not to embark on physical treatment. Based on the results of the completed pain questionnaire, additional examinations can be carried out and, apart from physical treatment, other methods of treatment will be suggested.

Non-physical Treatments

If the results of your pain questionnaire are abnormal, your pain specialist will offer you one of the non-physical treatments listed below:

Physical Treatments

Medication