Is Fibro the Cause?

Do you or a loved one have pain all over? 

Do you feel overly tired or have difficulties concentrating? 

If so, fibromyalgia may be the cause. 

In an effort to raise awareness of fibromyalgia, an often misdiagnosed, musculoskeletal pain condition that affects up to six million Americans, the Missouri Regional Arthritis Centers are proud to work with the American Pain Foundation (APF) on the launch of Is Fibro the Cause? awareness project.    The awareness project provides helpful tips and resources on how to recognize fibromyalgia's signs and symptoms, find treatment and effectively communicate with your health care provider.

"With more than 300,000 Missourians diagnosed with fibromyalgia and perhaps thousands more undiagnosed, we believe it is important to provide the resources necessary to educate the community about a painful condition that often mimics other conditions resulting in misdiagnosis or delay in diagnosis," said Beth Richards, Missouri Arthritis and Osteoporosis Program Director.  "We are honored to be working with the American Pain Foundation, the nation's leading consumer, non-profit organization serving people with pain on this project."

Is Fibro the Cause? manual provides:

  • Fibro basics
  • Tips for finding experts and talking with your health care provider
  • Beat the blues: Easing depressing and anxiety
  • Living well with fibro: First steps for coping
  • Unraveling fibro: New directions in research and advocacy
  • Common questions and answers
  • Resources
  • Is Fibro the Cause? Self-assessment worksheet

The Is Fibro the Cause? manual can be obtained FREE of charge from your Regional Arthritis Center.  You can also find a class near you to help you manage fibromyalgia symptoms with physical activity and self-management programs.

About Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is one of the most common musculoskeletal pain conditions in the United States – the third most common after osteoarthritis and back pain.  It affects up to six million Americans or between 2 to 5 percent of the adult population.  Both men and women get fibromyalgia; however, approximately 90 percent of diagnosed cases are women.  There is no laboratory or other diagnostic test for fibromyalgia.  Fibromyalgia is determined based on an individual's symptoms and a physical exam.  Diagnosis includes a history of widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body for a minimum duration of three months and pain in at least 11 of 18 designated tender points when a specified amount of pressure is applied.

Chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain that has lasted for a at least three months is the primary symptom.  Other symptoms may include general tenderness and soreness, stiffness (especially in the morning), flu-like aching, poor sleep, fatigue, memory loss or difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping, and tension headaches.  There is no known cause fo fibromyalgia and no cure.  Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and improving quality of life.  A variety of prescription medications are used to reduce pain and improve sleep.

(Source: National Fibromyalgia Association)

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