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Feb 3, 2011

Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Term “Fibromyalgia” means pain in muscles and fibers. It is a chronic disorder. Fibromyalgia can be characterized as Pain, Stiffness and Tenderness of the muscles, tendons and joints.

But Fibromyalgia consists of other sign and symptoms too like disturbed sleep with feeling tired on awakening, debilitating fatigue, Anxiety, Depression, Cognitive Dysfunction, Difficulty with swallowing, disturbed Bladder and bowel functions, Tingling and numbness and lastly psychiatric disorders may coexist with Fibromyalgia. In this context Fibromyalgia is referred as Fibromyalgia Syndrome or in short FMS.

2% to 4% population roughly has FMS (Fibromyalgia Syndrome). Not all the patients experience all the above symptoms. Women suffer much more than men. Women to men ratio are 9:1 approximately.

Most commonly involved areas of body are neck, shoulder, hips, around knee, head and face. When shoulder and neck are involved then pain from these areas usually extends to head and take form of chronic recurrent headache.

FMS is most common cause of muscular pains. But in FMS pains are not associated with inflammation and deforming pathological process as in other rheumatic diseases as in Rheumatoid arthritis, SLE etc. Fibromyalgia syndrome does not damage any internal body organs. So deformity of joints or any damage to tissues and organs is not the part of Fibromyalgia Syndrome.

Sign and Symptoms:-

A- Pain, Stiffness and Tenderness of muscles, joints and Tendons. Tender points in muscles which are painful on pressure.

B- Muscle twitching, spasm of muscles, nerve pain, tingling and numbness of skin.

C- Generalised weakness with weakness of limbs specially

D- Chronic sleep disturbances with tired feeling on awakening.

E- Functional bladder and bowel disturbances.

F- Cognitive Dysfunction- Fibromyalgia is associated with anxiety and depression. Poor concentration, short and long term memory problems.

Causes of Fibromyalgia-

Exact cause of FMS is not yet known. There are different hypothesis –

1. Central nervous system involvement- It says in FMS patients there is increased sensitivity in the brain to pain signals.

2. Decreased Dopamine Levels- Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which helps in pain perception and natural analgesia. Low levels of Dopamine develop FMS.

3. Decreased Serotonin Levels- Serotonin regulates sleep, mood, pain and concentration. Decreased levels of serotonin may cause FMS.

4. Stress may precipitate Fibromyalgia.

5. Injury to neck, shoulder or other parts may precipitate FMS.

6. Infection may cause FMS.

All these factors may cause FMS but there is not any proved scientific facts behind them.

Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia-

There are not any specific scientific methods or tests to diagnose FMS. Tests may be done to exclude other medical conditions.


1. Stress management is important part of treatment with changes in day to day lifestyle.

2. Exercise- Walking, swimming, cycling, Yoga may improve.

3. Conventional Medicine-

Although there is not any developed method of prescribing medicines in cases of FMS but usually Antidepressants, Muscle relaxants and Analgesics (Painkillers) are prescribed with more or less improvements.

4. Homeopathic Medicines-

Homeopathy is safe method for disorders in which functional disturbances are not based on any pathological damages.

In homeopathy there are hundreds of medicines are available to combat anxiety, stress, depression, sleep disturbances, muscle stiffness, muscle pains and tender points in muscles.

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