Fibromyalgia: Facts vs. myths
Understanding fibromyalgia can feel challenging especially when there's so much conflicting information floating around. Separating fibromyalgia facts from myths is a great first step in coping with the chronic pain. What is fibromyalgia? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this condition causes pain throughout the body. It can also cause psychological distress fatigue and even cognitive problems. The condition is widely misunderstood which can make it feel even more daunting to face. But you can empower yourself with the facts and take charge of managing your fibromyalgia symptoms. Here are some common facts — and myths — about fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia facts and myths
- MYTH: Fibromyalgia is all in your head
This is a dangerous misconception and can be insulting to fibromyalgia patients. While fibromyalgia isn't fully understood medical research has shown that it is a real and complex condition. According to the National Fibromyalgia Association most researchers agree that abnormal sensory processing in the central nervous system causes the condition.
- FACT: Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition with no known cure
According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) fibromyalgia is a rheumatic condition like arthritis and the pain may last a lifetime. Sadly as the Arthritis Foundation notes there's no quick fix or cure for fibromyalgia pain.
- FACT: Fibromyalgia often affects the whole body
The Mayo Clinic says the ache of fibromyalgia pain often occurs throughout your body both on your left and right side and from head to toe. Many people with fibromyalgia also feel constant fatigue have trouble sleeping and may experience depression or other problems.
- MYTH: Fibromyalgia can only be treated with medication
Fibromyalgia can be treated with medication and it can also be treated by other means. The Mayo Clinic suggests that certain alternative medicines and practices such as yoga or massage therapy seem to safely ease physical and emotional symptoms. Reid Health's aquatic therapy program is a great treatment for fibromyalgia patients in a comfortable environment.
- FACT: Fibromyalgia affects millions of people
You are not alone in your fight against fibromyalgia pain. The NIAMS notes that fibromyalgia affects an estimated 5 million adults 80 to 90 percent of whom are women.
Learn more fibromyalgia facts
Educating yourself on fibromyalgia facts is a great way to feel empowered to fight the condition. Talk through any questions you have with your doctor to learn the truth about fibromyalgia pain. Together you can explore traditional treatment options like therapy and alternative options like dry needling (a study in Rheumatology International suggests that this type of therapy may provide some relief to certain sufferers). If you are experiencing chronic pain or you think you may have fibromyalgia speak with your health care provider.