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Fibromyalgia is an arthritic condition, meaning that it is associated with a long-term infection of the body resulting in pain and fatigue. Fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose, as the symptoms of the disease are similar to those of many other chronic conditions. Fibromyalgia may have similar symptoms to such disorders as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, multiple sclerosis, as well as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Because Fibromyalgia interrupts the normal sleeping patterns of the sufferer, as well as causing constant pain through out the body, massage is indicated to treat those suffering from Fibromyalgia. Massage has been shown to help the body restore its natural sleep cycles by creating deep relaxation and reducing muscle pain and tension. Recent studies have shown that an hour of massage a week for Fibromyalgia patients can benefit the sufferer significantly. Nutrition may also play a role in improving a Fibromyalgia sufferer's health.

Fibromyalgia Types and Symptoms

Because Fibromyalgia shares many of its symptoms with other disorders, especially other diseases and disorders associated with arthritis, diagnosis from a doctor is important, though it may take considerable time to rule out other disorders. Doctors are currently researching a possible connection between those who have suffered from abuse or have a history of neglect. Depression may also be associated with Fibromyalgia. Those that suffer from the disease often find that the fatigue and pain is worse when under stress, feeling anxiety, or feeling depressed. Mood swings and sleep disturbances are also common with Fibromyalgia, as are migraines, tension headaches, and abdominal pain and cramping that may resemble irritable bowel syndrome.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Widespread pain and points of tenderness, which vary with the time of day, the weather, and stress levels of the sufferer. May feel like a persistent flu.
For some people, CFS appears after a bout of hepatitis, bronchitis, a cold, an intestinal bug, or mono.
Persistent "blue" or "down" feeling.
Dull ache develops into constant throbbing, pulsing pain.
Affects 10-20% of the general population
Fatigue, lack of energy, decreased endurance
Associated with headache, fatigue, sore muscles and joints.
As with Fibromyalgia, may be associated with a history of neglect or abuse
Associated with Nausea
Bloating, gas, constipation
About 25% of those diagnosed have a history of depression or anxiety
May be mistaken for Lupus or multiple sclerosis. Diagnosis is essential.
Lethargy, lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities
Sensitivity to light and noise
Frequent abdominal pain and cramping
Numbness or tingling in arms, hands, feet, legs, may be mistaken for other disorders such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Difficulty concentrating.
As with Fibromyalgia, interruption in normal sleep patterns
Loss of sight possible
May be caused by miscommunication between brain, bowels, and nervous system
Headaches, especially tension or migraines, are common, as are colon and bladder spasms and irritability.
Sore lymph nodes
Difficulty thinking or concentrating
Usually last from four hours to a week, depending on severity and type-some types, such as Ophthalmologic Migraines, can last for months
May be possible to regulate IBS through diet changes
Problems concentrating or performing simple tasks
People with CFS often suffer from Fibromyalgia and vice versa.
Thoughts of suicide or death.
Migraine sufferers find it difficult to continue with daily routine, especially if the migraines are frequent
Associated with fatigue, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating.


The causes of Fibromyalgia are widely unknown, though it is thought to be brought on my emotional, psychological, or physical changes or stress. Long periods of anxiety or fatigue may actually trigger the disease. Smoking, bad posture, and inappropriate exercise may contribute to furthering the symptoms of Fibromyalgia and should be avoided or treated if possible. People with Fibromyalgia may find themselves feeling anxious or stressed about their condition, and may find it difficult to keep exercising on a regular basis. This pattern of stress and inactivity may actually make the disorder worse, so it is essential that those suffering from Fibromyalgia avoid anxiety and stress in whatever way possible. Fibromyalgia sufferers should avoid internalizing their concerns or depression, as that can result in muscle pain and tension, instead, it is recommended that they find outlets to their stress.

Prevention and Treatment

As the causes of Fibromyalgia are generally unknown it is a difficult disease to prevent. However, in people suffering from depression, or those who have a history of abuse or neglect that are concerned about Fibromyalgia, there are several keys to relaxation and regulating stress that may help prevent Fibromyalgia. These same keys may help promote health, improve sleeping patterns, and create relaxation in those already suffering from Fibromyalgia.
  • Take time apart each day to relax or meditate, breathing deeply and creating a peaceful atmosphere
  • Get regular massage treatments. These will help improve sleeping patterns and help the body cope with stored up stress and anxiety
  • Never be afraid to talk to someone. Whether suffering from Fibromyalgia, depression, or any other disorder, it may be easier to cope with things if provided with an outlet for stress and concerns. Holding back may result in physical stress, exhaustion, and muscle tension.
  • Stretch and exercise regularly. Fibromyalgia sufferers may find it exhausting to exercise vigorously and are encouraged to exercise for 5-10 minutes at a time through-out a whole day. Exercise and stretches can help the body cope with the pain and tension of Fibromyalgia.
  • Diet changes may be indicated. Try to eat a diet that promotes healthy well-being. Avoid foods that may cause the body distress, such as caffeine, chocolate, spicy foods, and foods high in sugars and fats. Also avoid foods that may have triggered problems in the past.
There are networks of people all over the world to help support those who are suffering from Fibromyalgia. Doctors are currently researching other keys to preventing and treating Fibromyalgia in a more holistic manner. In some cases, Doctors may prescribe sleep-aids and other medication to help deal with the different aspects of Fibromyalgia, however doctors prefer the less-invasive approach to treating Fibromyalgia and encourage regular massage accompanied by regular exercise, stretching, and a regular, healthy diet.