Martha Jefferson Monday: What is Fibromyalgia? - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Martha Jefferson Monday: What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a condition which causes a person to experience widespread pain.  For people suffering from fibromyalgia, it's not uncommon for nearly every part of the body to be hyper-sensitive to pain. 

"The slightest touch, the slightest stimuli can elicit a lot of pain," commented Dr. Rasheed Siddiqui, a physician with Charlottesville Pain Management Center.  

Fibromyalgia can be caused by genetics, meaning a person is somewhat pre-disposed to fibromyalgia, or environmental factors, including major incidents such as a car accident, infection, or even high levels of stress. 

Nearly five million people in the United States are affected, and for everyone nine women, one man will have symptoms. 

Eighteen trigger points on the body are used to help doctors in making a diagnosis. Ten years ago, Dr. Siddiqui says it wasn't clear how to treat the problem, but now, there are several different options, and treatment typically involves a multi-modal approach. 

First off is exercise, and getting your body into motion. Dr. Siddiqui suggests water aerobics as a place to start. 

Additionally, a big component also includes cognitive behavioral therapy and using a pain psychologist or even a psychotherapist to help the patient understand what a person thinks is often what they feel. 

Finally, for some, injections of medications are used to relax the affected muscles. 

For more information on this topic, call our Health Connection at (434) 654-7009.  

If you have a health question you would like for us to answer, email us at healthquestions@nbc29.com

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