Debunking The Top 8 Myths About Fibromyalgia
There are many myths that surround the condition known as Fibromyalgia. Many of these myths surface and are believed by patients who are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia as well as individuals who are in contact with someone who suffers from the condition because of the lack of knowledge that individuals have about Fibromyalgia. But let’s break down a few of the myths that are often believed about Fibromyalgia and see if a little more understanding and knowledge can be had about the condition in order to better understand what Fibromyalgia is in order to better treat it.
Myth #1 – Fibromyalgia is Rare
This is a false statement. In fact, research shows that Fibromyalgia is one of the most common types of chronic pain. In the United States alone there is roughly 2% of the population that is affected by Fibromyalgia, that accounts for nearly 5 million adults who suffer from Fibromyalgia within the U.S. alone not to mention other areas of the world.
Myth #2 – Fibromyalgia is all in the Head
Again a false statement, this is because Fibromyalgia was first scientifically studied in the 1980’s and is only diagnosed once a certain set of criteria have been pinpointed. Furthermore, research has shown that imaging studies prove that Fibromyalgia sufferers have more activity in their brains in reaction to pain. Also research has shown that Fibromyalgia sufferers feel pain more intensely at lower levels than individuals who do not have the condition. In a nutshell Fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves that cause chronic widespread muscle pain. The pain and other symptoms of Fibromyalgia is not just merely in the head and must be diagnosed and treated properly.
Myth #3 – Fibromyalgia is only diagnosed when Doctors cannot find a “real” diagnosis
Another false statement can be found within this myth. The diagnosis of Fibromyalgia is not a catch all condition that is only labeled when doctors cannot find any other cause. While it is sometimes very difficult to pinpoint the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia there are very specific criteria that must be met in order for the diagnosis to be made. These criteria are that widespread musculoskeletal pain and tenderness that has lasted for at least a phase of 3 months or more must have taken place as well as a specific set of tender points that have been established on the body.
Myth #4 – Only Women deal with Fibromyalgia.
This simply is not true, while there are more women than men who are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (about 80%), men also suffer from this condition and are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.
Myth #5 – Fibromyalgia pain is only mild.
The symptoms of Fibromyalgia, specifically the pain is usually not mild in nature. In fact the pain of Fibromyalgia can be very severe and have a significant impact on the overall quality of life.
Myth #6 – There is no treatment for Fibromyalgia.
Again this is a false statement. While there is no cure at the current time for Fibromyalgia there are many different treatment options available to those suffering from Fibromyalgia. Treatment options such as lifestyle changes, acupuncture, massage therapy, biofeedback, yoga, and tai chi, as well as many different herbal ingredients and supplemental therapies have proven highly successful in bringing relief to those with Fibromyalgia.
Myth #7 – Fibromyalgia is just a form of Arthritis.
While it is true that Fibromyalgia was once thought of as a specific form of arthritis, this myth has been proven false in more recent studies of the condition. Research that has taken place within the past decade has proven that this is a false myth because arthritis is defined as an inflammation of the joints but studies have shown that with Fibromyalgia there is not inflammation in the joints. In fact there is no damage or inflammation in the joints of Fibromyalgia patients; therefore these two conditions are completely separate from each other.
Myth #8 – Fibromyalgia is an Autoimmune Disease
By definition autoimmune diseases are the result of the body’s overactive immunity responses. There is no evidence whatsoever that shows that Fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disease. In fact, research has yet to prove any virus, bacteria, or immune disorder to be related to Fibromyalgia.