Fibromyalgia Syndrome is a very common condition of widespread muscular pain and fatigue. This condition is most common in middle-aged women, but does occur in men and women of all ages. Recent studies have shown that Fibromyalgia occurs world wide and has no specific ethnic predisposition. Fibromyalgia is a form of soft-tissue or muscular rheumatism and affects muscles and their attachments to bones. 

Since people with Fibromyalgia often “look well” and traditional testing procedures do not reveal abnormalities to indicate this syndrome, it is only recently that the medical community has begun to recognize Fibromyalgia as a chronic illness. A physician’s diagnosis of Fibromyalgia is based on taking a careful personal or family history and by pinpointing tender areas in specific locations of muscle throughout the body.

Signs and symptoms of Fibromyalgia:
• Tenderness of at least 11 of 18 specific anatomical sites
• Chronic aching
• Stiffness
• Sleep disturbances
• Pain
• Fatigue
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Chronic fatigue
• Gastrointestinal disturbances
• Soft tissue swelling
• Cardiovascular problems such as dizziness or palpitations 

There is no known single, exact cause of Fibromyalgia at this time. However, studies have shown that a large percentage of people with Fibromyalgia have experienced periods of severe stress or emotional trauma. One theory is that physical or emotional trauma may trigger Fibromyalgia in those with an already existing underlying physiological abnormality.

Treatment available at APRS:
The physical therapists at APRS are experienced in treating Fibromyalgia. Since Fibromyalgia affects each individual in a different way and no two people respond the same way to treatment regimens, an extensive evaluation and history is done and the patient is set up on an individual treatment program. The treatment program is then modified and advanced according to the patient’s response. Treatment may include moist heat and other treatment modalities (to control pain, tenderness and swelling), massage, soft tissue mobilization, as well as a mild exercise program (to improve posture and flexibility), and training in techniques to reduce stress and manage the condition on your own.