Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by extensive musculoskeletal pain and other symptoms including fatigue, sleep disturbances, short-term memory loss and mood swings. Fibromyalgia amplifies pain by interfering with how the brain processes pain signals.
For some patients, fibromyalgia emerges following a significant physical trauma, surgical procedure or infection. For others, the disorder manifests following a period of psychological stress. However, many fibromyalgia sufferers find that their symptoms begin to accumulate gradually over time with no apparent trigger event.
Fibromyalgia is more prevalent in women than men, and usually manifests in conjunction with other conditions such as tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, and depression. There is currently no known cure for fibromyalgia, but a combination of medication can be used to control the symptoms. Exercise, meditation and the reduction of stress can also have a positive impact on fibromyalgia symptoms.