If you hurt all over, always feel drained, can’t seem to ever feel “rested” after a night’s sleep, don’t respond to any of your doctor’s prescriptions and no test appears to show something specific, then you might have Fibromyalgia (FM). FM is a chronic/long-term condition involving generalised muscle and joint pain, generally on either end of the body above and below the waist, associated with “tender points,” where mild to firm pressure normally causes pain in the following locations (but possible anywhere):
- Upper chest
- Outer elbows
- Upper hips
- Sides of hips
- Inner knees
- Back of the head
- Between shoulder blades
- Top of shoulders
- Front sides of neck
A widespread hypersensitivity is normal and it seems like you just can’t shut off your brain. It can start with a physical or an emotional occurrence, but it doesn’t have to be especially that, because it may seem to come out of nowhere as well.
In the UK, FM affects about 2 percent of the population, mainly women and especially those growing older. One specific underlying clinical finding is non-restoring night-time sleep with insomnia. The sleep disturbances associated with FM include sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.
One study involving 168 patients with FM associated fibromyalgia and central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction. Researcher conducted numerous tests including an auditory brainstem response (ABR) that tests the cranial nerve that is responsible for our hearing and balance; a test that specifically measures eye movements while sleeping; and a third test that measures balance functions. Below is a list of the study results:
- 78% of the FM patients complained of dizziness or vertigo. Most of these cases were mild but 4% complained of constant, severe dizziness.
- Sensorineural hearing loss was found in 15% of the FM patients.
- 51 of the subjects (30%) had abnormal ABR test findings.
- 58% had abnormal eye movement tests and 45% had abnormal findings on the balance test.
Some studies also report that similar symptoms are associated with whiplash associated disorders (WAD).
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