It’s hard enough for anyone, especially young adults, to deal with the pains and complications that come from fibromialgia, but it’s even harder for those who suffer from that disease and consistent joint pain.
Those are the findings of a recent study that looked at whether or not children with fibromyalgia experience more pain if they also suffer from benign joint hpermobility, a condition in which the joints move beyond the normal range of motion, causing everything from shoulder joint pain to muscle aches.
What is fibromyalgia?
In order to understand the significance of the study, it’s important to understand fibromyalgia itself. Fibromyalgia is a somewhat common symptom that causes the patient to have long-term pain throughout their body, including joint and muscle tenderness.
The overall cause of fibromyalgia is still unknown, which makes it easy for many people to misunderstand their symptoms. Medical professioanls believe that physical or emotional trauma, abnormal pain response, sleeping disorders, and infections could all play a role in triggering the condition.
The biggest symptom of fibromyalgia is general pain, which makes it hard for doctors to diagnose the symptom. Patients with fibromyalgia are often misdiagnosed with depression, sleeping disorders, or even lyme disease.
Aside from pain, fibromyalgia patients may suffer from migraine headaches, numb limbs, loss of memory of concentration, heart palpitations, irritable bowel syndrome, and the inability to exercise or be active.
If left untreated, fibromyalgia can cause a lot of damage beyond the basic physical symptoms, including fatigue, sleeping disorders, headaches, and severe psychological or emotional problems such as depression and anxiety.
What did the study find?
The study, which was published earlier this month in the Pediatric Rheumatology Online Journal, examined 131 adolescent fibromyalgia patients from four different pediatric rheumatology clinics. The participants underwent a visual pain scale rating test for one week, as well as a tender point sensitivity test.
Perhaps the most important result of the study is that 48 percent of participants with fibromyalgia also suffer from benign joint hypermobility, which means there could be a strong link between the two conditions.
Further, the study found that joint hypermobility didn’t have any effect on the intensity of pain a patient feels. However, patients who do suffer from joint hypermobility are more sensitive to pain, have lower tender point thresholds, and have more tender points.
How to diagnose and treat fibromyalgia
Since the symptoms of firbomyalgia are so vague, medical professionals usually do a number of other tests to rule out other conditions, so patients are typically asked to submit blood and urine samples for testing.
Once other conditions are ruled out, patients are usually asked to wait to be evaluated until after they’ve experienced widespread pain for at least three months in at least 11 of 18 major body areas.
Since there is no real cure for fibromyalgia, treatments are aimed more at relieving pain and helping patients deal with the condition. As a first line of attack, patients usually undergo physical therapy, exercise programs, and stress relief.
If those techniques don’t work, patients may be put on a number of drugs, from antidepressants and muscle relaxers to anti-seizure formulas and sleeping pills. Patients may also undergo congitive-behavioral therapy or join support groups.
Roxxy Sonnich writes about a variety of health and fitness topics, including everything from working out and diabetes to shoulder joint pain and sleeping disorders.