Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a disorder and syndrome that causes widespread musculoskeletal pain in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues throughout the body, including the lumbar spine. It is often combined with other symptoms like temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ/TMD), sciatica, irritable bowel syndrome, fatigue, depression, anxiety, cognitive issues, and sleep interruption. This painful and mysterious condition affects around three to five percent of the American population, predominantly women.
Widespread pain: The pain associated with fibromyalgia often is described as a constant dull ache that has lasted for at least three months. To be considered widespread, the pain must occur on both sides of your body and above and below your waist.
Fatigue: People with fibromyalgia often awaken tired, even though they report sleeping for long periods of time. Sleep is often disrupted by pain, and many patients with fibromyalgia have other sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea.
Cognitive difficulties: A symptom commonly referred to as “fibro fog” impairs the ability to focus, pay attention and concentrate on mental tasks.
Diagnosis of FMS can be difficult, as there is no specific lab test to determine if the patient has the disorder. Current guidelines state that a diagnosis can be made if a person has widespread pain for more than three months, with no underlying medical condition. Dr. Jimenez discusses advances in the treatment and management of this painful disorder. In the following collection of articles, Dr. Alex Jimenez discusses sciatica or sciatic nerve pain associated with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain health issues.