Fibromyalgia Prevalence: This disorder is one of the most common chronic pain disorders.It affects about 5 million adults in the United States, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.Although this disorder can occur in anyone, it’s more common in women. Between 75 and 90 percent of people with the disorder are women, according to the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association.The disorder occurs worldwide and affects people of all races and ethnicities.Most people with fibromyalgia are diagnosed in middle age, but the symptoms can show up much earlier. Even children can be diagnosed with this disorder.
Causes and Risk Factors: Researchers don’t know exactly what causes this disorder, but many suspect that it occurs when the body’s central nervous system doesn’t process pain properly.Symptoms of disorder often begin after physical trauma, such as an illness, surgery, infection, stressful life event, or injury.Some experts believe these events may trigger the development of the disorder.Yet this disorder can also occur spontaneously in the absence of trauma.Genetics may also play a role. Fibromyalgia is often seen in families, and having a relative with the disorder puts you at an increased risk.Having other medical conditions may be another risk factor.
People with fibromyalgia often also have:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Tension headaches or migraines
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome (a condition that causes jaw pain)
- A mental illness, such as anxiety or depression
- Restless legs syndrome (a limb movement disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations in the legs)
- Vision problems
- Endometriosis (a condition in which tissue grows outside a woman’s uterus)
- A rheumatic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
- Neurological problems
- Obstructive sleep apnea or chronic insomnia
Fibromyalgia Complications: The constant pain and lack of sleep associated with disordercan interfere with your daily life.Many people are unable to function at work or at home, and become frustrated because the condition is often misunderstood.Some people may develop depression or anxiety due to their disorder.