Fibromyalgia syndrome is a common and chronic disorder characterized by widespread muscle pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points.
A syndrome is a collection of signs, symptoms, and medical problems that tend to occur together but are not related to a specific, identifiable cause. Fibromyalgia is considered a syndrome rather than a disease because, it’s not like a disease, which is a medical condition with a specific cause or causes and recognizable signs and symptoms.
Fibromyalgia pain is usually described as a constant dull ache, with tender points where people with fibromyalgia feel pain in response to slight pressure. These tender points include:
- Back of the head
- Between shoulder blades
- Top of shoulders
- Front sides of neck
- Upper chest
- Outer elbows
- Upper hips
- Sides of hips
- Inner knees
In addition to pain and fatigue, people who have fibromyalgia may experience:
- Sleep disturbances
- Morning stiffness
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Painful menstrual periods
- Numbness or tingling of the extremities
- Restless legs syndrome
- Temperature sensitivity
- Cognitive and memory problems (sometimes referred to as “fibro fog”)
People who have fibromyalgia may also have a variety of other diseases, including:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Restless legs syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
There is some disagreement among authorities as to the exact number of sufferers in the US, but the disorder is known to have an increased frequency among women 20 to 50 years old, and occurs in between 0.7% and 13% of the female women, and between 0.2% and 3.9% for men.
Although fibromyalgia is often considered an arthritis-related condition, it is not truly a form of arthritis. (a disease of the joints) Because it does not cause inflammation or damage to the joints, muscles, or other tissues. Like arthritis, however, fibromyalgia can cause significant pain and fatigue, and it can interfere with a person’s ability to carry on daily activities. Also like arthritis, fibromyalgia is considered a rheumatic condition.
Due to the levels of pain involved, restful sleep is often challenging.
“Finding supportive bedding that distributes weight can be a critical element in reducing neural pain signals to the brain.”
Using a natural fiber that breathes such as wool can be very helpful by reducing discomfort and fibromyalgia back itch in particular. Here are some of our products that may be of particular help:
Patient advocate and writer Mary J. Shomon, author of Living Well With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, notes in her book, “For optimal comfort, however, patients frequently prefer a wool mattress underquilt or topper. One, in particular, that is very popular with CFS and fibromyalgia patients is the Cuddle Ewe underquilt, which is filled with layers of thick, natural wool batting.”
You can find more information about and help in managing your fibromyalgia by contacting one of these North American Fibromyalgia Organizations.