Each year on May 12, millions of people across the world observe National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.
This anniversary of recognition dates to 1992 and was established in honour of the birthday of Florence Nightingale. Historical records suggest the founder of modern nursing suffered from symptoms similar to fibromyalgia, including chronic fatigue.
The word fibromyalgia means pain (algia) coming from the muscles (my) and fibrous tissues (fibro) such as tendons and ligaments.
The exact cause is unknown. It could be a result of abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the brain. It can also be triggered by a stressful or upsetting event. Changes in the central nervous system may also play a part.
Although symptoms of fibromyalgia are many and varied, there are four warning signs. In this blog, we look at the symptoms you should be aware of that could indicate you have the condition. Read on to find out more.
Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain and tenderness in many areas of the body, stiffness in joints as well as extreme tiredness.
The chronic condition is difficult to diagnose but, according to experts there are four symptoms to look out for.
Pain – If you have fibromyalgia, one of the main symptoms is likely to be widespread pain. This may be felt throughout your body but is likely to be worse in certain areas such as your back or neck. The pain tends to be continuous, although it may be better or more severe at different times and may be made worse by stress, cold or activity. It has been described in many ways including an ache, a burning sensation, or sharp, stabbing sensation. Sufferers often say they wake after a night’s sleep feeling stiff and tender for a few hours.
Tiredness – This is the most common symptom. It can range from a mild, tired feeling to chronic, debilitating exhaustion. If you have fibromyalgia, severe fatigue may hit you suddenly, draining you of all your energy. If this happens, you may feel too tired to do anything at all.
Fibromyalgia can affect your sleep. You may often wake up tired, even when you’ve had plenty of rest. This is because the condition can sometimes prevent you from sleeping deeply enough to refresh and recharge you properly. If you have fibromyalgia, even a small amount of physical activity can leave you feeling drained.
This tiredness can also lead to poor concentration, often referred to as ‘fibro-fog’.
Headaches – If fibromyalgia causes you to experience pain and stiffness in your neck and shoulders, you may also have frequent headaches. These can vary from being mild to severe migraines, causing other symptoms such as nausea.
Restless leg syndrome – An overwhelming urge to move the legs is experienced by one in five sufferers of fibromyalgia. You are likely to feel this uncomfortable sensation when resting and it’s often worse at the end of the day. The only thing that will give you temporary relief is moving your legs.
There are several other symptoms which may signal fibromyalgia including an irritable bladder, pins and needles in the fingers or toes, depression, stomach pains and painful periods for women.
Here at Brian Barr Solicitors, we are not medical experts and would advise that you contact your GP for further advice if you have any of these symptoms or think you have the condition.
As leading fibromyalgia solicitors, we can, however, help you to claim compensation if your condition is the result of an accident or injury that was not your fault.
If you would like to discuss this with a member of our specialist team, call us for free on 0808 123 0003 or click here to fill in our online contact form.
For more information on National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day visit www.fmcpaware.org or use #FibromyalgiaAwarenessDay to post on social media.
We do not endorse any research, studies or sources mentioned within our blogs and comments. Furthermore, we do not endorse any medical advice provided, and would strongly recommend anyone seeking medical advice to contact their local healthcare provider.