Causing widespread pain to an estimated 5.8 million people in the United States, Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal disorder that amplifies the way the brain processes pain, often leaving the body’s pain receptors in hyper drive.
The condition causes widespread pain—and in turn fatigue, sleep deprivation, and depression—and typically begins following some type of severe physical trauma, such as an accident, surgery, or massive psychological stress.
Fibromyalgia patients complain of a myriad of symptoms associated with pain throughout the entire body. Here are the ten most common symptoms of fibromyalgia you must keep an eye on.
2Sensitivity to Touch
There are two medical terms which cover the increased sensitivity to touch that most fibromyalgia patients experience: hyperesthesia and hyperalgesia. Hyperesthesia describes an increased sensitivity to the sensory input of touch; for example, being under a light blanket may make you feel as though you’re trapped under a heavy lead weight. Hyperalgesia, on the other hand, describes an increase in pain sensation; for instance, you might stub your toe on a table leg, only to feel an excrutiating and throbbing pain for hours or days afterwards.
In extreme cases, both hyperesthesia and hyperalgesia may become so pronounced and severe that the patient is functionally unable to participate in routine activities. Some fibromyalgia patients describe a sort of cycle associated with these symptoms. Sensitivity will flare up and symptoms will worsen, then it will alleviate and the patient will be able to return to their normal activities…until the cycle starts all over again.