About Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia Awareness 2012

Fibromyalgia. An Introduction by
Dr. Muriel Soden, Rheumatologist,
Formally Bon Secours Hospital, Tralee, Co. Kerry


This common, disabling and invisible Syndrome affects up to 5% of the global population.  It is extremely frustrating for Sufferers, their Families and caring Physicians.The management of Fibromyalgia involves complex solutions. Not least among these is the role of education, be educated – for suferers and carers alike. Amazingly & sadly, the diagnosis of the disorder is often delayed, denied or dismissed altogether.
Those with the condition believe that they may be imagining their symptoms (is it all in my head?), friends and family hope that they will “snap out of it” and some doctors don’t believe it exists.
This is predicated on the fact that the majority of patients have entirely normal laboratory and radiological investigations.

Fibromyalgia is characterised by widespread muscle pain & fatigue.  The word Fibromyalgia comes from the Latin term for fibrous tissue (fibro) and the Greek terms for muscle (myo) and pain (algia)/

People with Fibromyalgia may also experience aching, stiffness, & tiredness, which can be changeable throughout the day, getting worse with activity.
Poor sleep quality & waking up not feeling refreshed is very common.

Simple chores/Activities may prove difficult to undertake muscular fatigue or lack of energy.
Many sufferers can experience emotional stress including anxiety & depression.

Many question does Fibromyalgia exist, It does exist. It is a Neurological, Hypersensitivity Syndrome, resulting in over-activity of the sensory and autonomic nervous pathways and the reticular activation system.
This manifests as Pain, Fatigue, lack of concentration and memory, along with diverse syndromes such as Irritable Bowel and Bladder Syndrome, chronic daily Headache and Depression.
This website represents a useful tool into the management box of any patient with Fibromyalgia and will be helpful for family, friends and doctors also.
While it has been produced in the South -West of Ireland , its applicability is global.

Courtesy of : Kerry HSE Physiotherapy Services

Signs and Symptoms

• Fatigue
• Chronic widespread pain
• Poor quality sleep
• Widespread tender points

Aggravating Factors
• Cold or Humid Weather
• Fatigue
• Sedentary lifestyle
• Anxiety
• Over Activity
Associated Signs and Symptoms
• Sensation of muscle tension and morning stiffness
• Sensation of Swelling Around Joints
• Irritable Bowel Syndrome
• Non Restorative Sleep, Fatigue
Frequent Waking. feeling Unrefreshed after sleep
Easing Factors
• Heat, e.g. heated bean bag or hot shower
• Exercise-graduated exercise programme
• Warm dry weather
• Massage

Other people may not appreciate the pain & tiredness that can be experienced by a person with Fibromyalgia, leading them to increased feelings of frustration and depression.