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What You Need to Know About Fibromyalgia

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Fibromyalgia is quite commonly characterized by presence/symptoms of muscle pain, painful/tender areas of the body, as well as fatigue.

The symptoms and severity changes from person to person, and it may "come and go" in some, or be a permanent experience for another. These cause it to be difficult to be accurately diagnosed, because of so much fluctuations and differences from patients to patients.

The term fibromyalgia comes from the Latin “fibra,” for fibrous tissue, the Greek words “mys” for muscle, and “algia” for pain. Before the 1980s, fibromyalgia was called fibrositis.

Thankfully, this condition doesn't harm our organs and is almost never life threatening, but it can significantly impact your quality of life, and you can experience a lot of frustration, pain, sadness and dysfunction.

Most of the time, the focus of treatment tends to be more of pain and symptoms management.

Rheumatic Condition

Fibromyalgia has similar traits with arthritis, including the experience of chronic/long term pain as well as fatigue. Also, like arthritis, fibromyalgia is also considered a rheumatic condition because it impacts our muscles, bones and joints.

However, how it is different from chronic pain and arthritis in a very important and distinctive ways is that:

  • it doesn't damage our joints or muscles, and inflammation doesn't play a large role even though often many of the tender points are near our joints
  • in adults, there is no clear and obvious signs of inflammation though children may show some temporary swelling
  • it is not a degenerative condition ie it doesn't get worse with time. Patient's symptoms may improve following accurate diagnosis and treatment

Often, it's rheumatologist who usually treats fibromyalgia, but many patients also see internal medicine doctors, family physicians and chronic pain physiotherapists to manage their conditions.

Because of the wide range of symptoms that tend to be related to fibromyalgia, we recommend a multi-disciplinary health care team usually comprising of a rheumatologist, physiotherapist, neurologist, pain specialist, and psychologist/psychiatrist.

When There Are Coexisting Conditions

Many patients with fibromyalgia may also have at least one if not more other medical conditions.

Generally, patients who have fibromyalgia also tends to have other forms of rheumatic conditions too; an estimated 25 - 60% also have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), ankylosing spondylitis or rheumatoid arthritis.

What makes it a little more challenging is that symptoms of these co-existing conditions may overlap with those of fibromyalgia, and cause a delay to accurately diagnose the problem...and this is further complicated by a lack of a globally recognized diagnostic test.

Usually, diagnosis is generally based on patient's symptoms and using medical/lab tests to rule out other conditions.

Fibromyalgia's Cause Is Unknown

What happens when a patient has fibromyalgia is that their brains over-reacts to pain signals, intensifying the feelings and experience of pain in different parts of their body.

Unfortunately, it is still unknown what causes this reaction, though in some conditions, it seems to be linked to stress/traumatic events, illnesses, injuries or other diseases.

It seems to run in families but a specific gene/genome for fibromyalgia has not been identified or found.

More Common in Women Than Men

An estimated 2-4% of adults have fibromyalgia, and of this, close to 90% are women between age 40-75 years old, and the symptoms tends to be more severe in women too.

Over the years, more men have been diagnosed than when compared to the past (possibly because of increased health reporting in men and in medical advances, the shift of diagnostic criteria). In children, fibromyalgia is more often diagnosed during their adolescent years and is medically known as juvenile-onset fibromyalgia.

Physiotherapy for fibromyalgia includes the use of ultrasound for accelerated soft tissue healing; joint mobilizations to ensure joint movement is complete, strength training to ensure daily movement is complete; clinical pilates to strengthen core; chronic pain management.

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Our Physio & Rehab Expertise

Specialist Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and specialist rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.

Areas of specialization

  • physiotherapy: back and neck (spine), sports, shoulder, hip, knee, ankle
  • hand therapy: forearm, wrist, hand and fingers
  • podiatrist: leg, calf, ankle, foot and toes
  • read more on our specializations here

All our therapists are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCM). See our entire team here by location and specialization.

Initially, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover. They then provide expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term solution.

To call for inquiries or appointments, please contact us at:

SMS/Call/Whatsapp: 96402670

Email: ask@specialistrehabgroup.com

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We appreciate you as a patient and want you to know that the #1 way we grow as a clinic is through word of mouth referrals from valued patients like yourself.

We do not rely on advertising - instead, we prefer and appreciate the goodwill and positive reinforcement from patients.

When you have the opportunity, please take the time to tell your family, friends and physicians about the positive results and experience you have had in our clinic.

Thank you so much, and stay healthy!

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Disclaimer
We are a wholly Singapore Private Limited group of licensed physiotherapists, hand therapists, podiatrists, chiropractors, sports massage therapists, clinical pilates practitioners and TCM physicians practicing in our scope of rehabilitation and its areas of specializations. As listed in our website are the list of services we provide our clients as referred by their medical doctors or by self referrals/word of mouth.

The range of rehabilitation results vary from patients to patients, depending on a variety of factors and reasons such as severity of condition, genetics, gender and age. However, we will still deliver the best evidence-based-practice of physiotherapy, hand therapy, TCM, sports training and deep tissue release therapy that we can deliver.

The information available on this site is for educational purposes only, if you need a full professional advise on physiotherapy, hand therapy and occupational therapy, please schedule an appointment with us by contacting our staff by Call/SMS/WhatsApp at xx, thanks!

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Finally I know what I have, my pain decreased and now I'm back to work!

Derrick
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OMG. The pain levels in my hands have dropped dramatically, about 60-70%

Deepak
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