Living With Fibromyalgia

Module Four Lesson One Assignment By: Brielle Winner

Cause of Pathology

There is no known cause for fibromyalgia. However, there are several theories about the causes of fibromyalgia, from hormonal disturbances to stress to genetics. This muscular disorder is not caused by one single event, but by a combination of physical and emotional stressors such as a crisis or serious illness/infection .


A brain neurotransmitter known as serotonin can lead to lower thresholds for pain if at low levels. Serotonin is know to keep you calm and reduce anxiety levels and without it can reduce effectiveness of the body's natural endorphin pain killers.


Another theory is that it is caused by biochemical changes in the body and can be related to hormonal changes or menopause. Stress or poor physical conditioning could also lead to fibromyalgia. Insomnia can lead to low levels of serotonin, leading to increased pain sensitivity. Having a family history or a certain gene(s) may cause them to react more intensely to pain than other people would.

What Symptoms Could I Experience?

There are a wide variety of symptoms such as chronic muscle pain, muscle spasms, tightness, moderate to severe fatigue, insomnia, drowsiness, stiffness upon walking, difficulty remembering and concentrating, abdominal pain, nausea, migraine headaches, jaw and facial tenderness, anxious feeling, increase in urinary urgency, muscle pain after exercise, and morning stiffness. Depending on how advanced into the disorder you are, can aid in how intense the symptoms are. Pain and tender points are two of the most common symptoms you will experience.

Are there any treatments?

There is no cure for fibromyalgia. However, there are treatments that you can be prescribed to relieve some of the symptoms. They can decrease pain, improve muscle and joint function, and help avoid triggers aiding in other symptoms. There are other approaches that people can take to reduce symptoms. Analgesics and NSAIDS such as Tylenol, Advil, and Aspirin are commonly used to relieve pain. Tramadol can be prescribed if you need a stronger painkiller. Opioids such as codeine or hydrocodone can be prescribed for severe pain. Anticonvulsants (to prevent seizures), muscle relaxants (reduce muscle soreness), benzodiazepines (relax muscles and relieve anxiety), antidepressants, SSRIS (Prozac), and sleep aids can help you sleep better.


Some lifestyle changes such as avoiding stress, exercising, healthy diet, regular sleep pattern, physical and occupational therapy, and massage can help reduce symptoms.

How Does This Relate to My Muscular System?

Fibromyalgia represents a malfunction of the muscular system because the muscle cells are not functioning properly. Your muscles cells are not able to carry out functions such as exercising or walking and can cause pain, stiffness, and tenderness. This system is supposed to provide strength and power so that you can move how you want. However, this disorder does not let you because of all the muscle pain it is causing. Your muscles need to be toned and not losing strength, but this disorder makes it more difficult to do.

Your body needs ATP (adenosine tri phosphate) as a source of energy for your muscles. You may experience fatigue, because your body is not producing enough of it. The muscle may begin to atrophy if there is no nervous stimulation of the muscle and you can lose strength and ability.