Fibromyalgia’s Worst Symptoms Can Be Debilitating

The Worst Symptoms of Fibromyalgia Can Be Debilitating

Considered a chronic disorder, fibromyalgia can cause pain, tenderness, and discomfort throughout the body, as well as fatigue, trouble sleeping, and other symptoms. With several locations throughout northern New Jersey, Bergen Medical Associates is home to skilled physicians in a wide range of specialties, including rheumatology. Here, we discuss this condition and its sometimes debilitating symptoms.

Word “fibromyalgia” in red, listed in dictionary

What Is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain. The pain can have other symptoms, like fatigue, memory issues, and mood swings. Many researchers think fibromyalgia increases painful sensations by modifying the way the brain and spinal cord process painful and nonpainful signals.

Symptoms of fibromyalgia often first appear after a traumatic physical injury, surgery, or infection. However, there are cases documented to have started with gradual symptoms that intensify over time, without a traumatic event triggering fibromyalgia.

What Are the Worst Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

While there are many symptoms of fibromyalgia, here are some of the worst symptoms that fibromyalgia patients report:

Widespread Pain

Fibromyalgia pain can occur on both sides of the body, both above and below the waist. Most fibromyalgia patients describe their pain as a constant dull ache that has lasted for months without much relief.


Sleep can be interrupted by pain, so many who have fibromyalgia may have restless nights and awaken feeling tired. Fibromyalgia patients also report having other sleep disorders, like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.

Cognitive Difficulties

Many fibromyalgia patients report having “fibro fog,” which can impair a person’s ability to focus and pay attention to mental tasks.

While those are the major symptoms that fibromyalgia patients experience, other conditions may coexist with fibromyalgia, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Depression
  • Interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Migraine and other types of headaches
  • Postural tachycardia syndrome
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders

Fibromyalgia affects about 2% of American adults, or four million people. The cause of fibromyalgia isn’t known, but its symptoms can be managed.

How Is Fibromyalgia Treated and Managed?

Fibromyalgia is best treated by rheumatologists, who specialize in treating musculoskeletal conditions. Pain management is usually key to treating and managing fibromyalgia. Some treatments include:

  • Aerobic exercise and muscle-strengthening exercise
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a type of talk therapy treating underlying depression
  • Good sleep habits to improve the quality of sleep
  • Medications, including prescription drugs and over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Patient education classes to learn about pain management
  • Stress management techniques, like meditation, yoga, and massage

Many doctors recommend fibromyalgia patients become physically active. Physical activity, like walking, biking, or swimming, for just 30 minutes a day can reduce the risk of developing other chronic diseases, as well as managing fibromyalgia pain. Doctors say physical activity in increments of as little as 10 minutes at a time can make a difference.

How Can Patients Get Started With Bergen Medical Associates?

Patients seeking treatment for fibromyalgia can see two rheumatology experts at Bergen Medical Associates:

  • Jeff Chung, MD,a board-certified rheumatologist who has received several awards, including Top Doc from Castle Connolly
  • Deana Nes, DO,a board-certified rheumatologist who is fluent in English and Russian and conversant in medical Spanish

The rheumatologists at Bergen Medical Associates work collaboratively with all the doctors involved in the patient’s care. Using their special set of skills, our rheumatologists will customize an individual treatment program for all patients. Our rheumatologists can access electronic health records of patients, communicate easily with other physicians who are treating patients, and construct treatment plans based on complete information about the patient.

Find Fibromyalgia Treatment at Bergen Medical Associates

With office locations throughout northern New Jersey, Bergen Medical Associates provides patients with multiple medical specialties, including rheumatology. We have on-site comprehensive care, including diagnostic testing and ambulatory surgical centers when needed. Patients experiencing pain, inflammation, or other symptoms should not hesitate to make an appointment with the Rheumatology Department. Contact Bergen Medical Associates today to schedule an appointment.

Leave a reply