“A lot of people come in with a diagnosis, self-diagnosis of fibromyalgia,” Dr. Jane Sadler of Baylor-Garland said.
According to the CDC 5 million Americans have fibromyalgia–a condition that causes widespread pain and something called Fibro Fog which makes it hard to concentrate.
Dr. Sadler said it’s hard to diagnose but patients swear they have it.
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“A lot of them really don’t have fibromyalgia,” Dr. Sadler said. “A lot of them have simply sprained their neck or have tension headaches or perhaps they’ve begun an exercise program and perhaps they’re not exercising enough.”
In other words–a lot has to be ruled out before fibromyalgia can be ruled in.
“There is no blood test for fibromyalgia,” Dr. Sadler said. “Fibromyalgia is simply a combination of symptoms that when grouped together define the diagnosis or the definition of fibromyalgia.”
Dr. Sadler added that to be clinically diagnosed patients must have the same symptoms at the same pain level for three months.
By that point it’s probably not exercise related–but it could be drugs you’re taking for something else.
“Sometimes medications can make muscles hurt, certain medications for cholesterol called statin drugs can cause muscle pain,” Dr. Sadler said. “Antibiotics can also cause muscle pain in some people.”
Dr. Sadler said if you’re still convinced you have fibromyalgia–see your doctor and in the meantime try yoga and meditation–you’ll feel better no matter what.
“Stretching of the muscles is one of the best things you can do to release your natural endorphins and make your body feel better whether your muscle pain is due to fibromyalgia or some other cause,” Dr. Sadler said.