What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome characterised by widespread pain and fatigue and often associated with other symptoms such as sleep difficulties, poor memory and concentration, headaches, bowel disturbance and sensitivity to light and noise. It is a chronic (long term) condition and may be associated with varying degrees of disability.
There is no diagnostic test for fibromyalgia syndrome at present. Investigations are usually normal and this often leads to confusion for the patient who is suffering from symptoms for which no obvious cause is identified. It is not uncommon for patients to receive a diagnosis of fibromyalgia many years after onset of symptoms. Fibromyalgia may also co-exist with other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.
Fibromyalgia may be referred to as a central sensitisation syndrome, resulting in pain amplification and other symptoms via a variety of pathways. Although research has increased understanding of fibromyalgia, the cause remains unknown.
Fibromyalgia syndrome is complex and there is no single treatment currently available that will resolve symptoms. Medication is frequently ineffective. Living with pain is hard, and people often find that over time important life areas become impacted, such as home life, work, hobbies, relationships and exercise. Understandably this can impact mood, with low mood and worry common in people living with this condition. For this reason, patients are best cared for by a team of professionals including physiotherapists, psychologists and medical doctors.
Current guidelines recommend a varied approach using a team of healthcare professionals with different specialist skills and expertise. Our team will work with you to help you to live well with your symptoms. OUr aim is to help you manage your symptoms and improve your physical and emotional wellbeing so that you can do what needs to be done in your daily life and move forward in important life areas. Specialist clinics like ours are rare and this clinic was set up in 2011 to provide this holistic approach for our patients suffering with fibromyalgia.