Fibromyalgia: the pain that screams silently and invalidates life.

Fibromyalgia: the pain that screams silently and invalidates life.

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a syndrome characterized by chronic, generalized and acute pain delimited by pain points, the so-called “tender points”. It attacks not only the striated musculature, but also tendons and ligaments.

All these associated clinical conditions result in a terrible quality of life, where even the individual’s routine activities are performed with great physical and cognitive cost.

As for the incidence, it affects 2 to 5% of the world population, predominantly women aged between 30 and 50 years, although it affects other age groups and regardless of gender.

Although in Fibromyalgia the pain is not visible, it is real and causes a lot of suffering and discomfort. However, it is generally misunderstood by people for lack of information. Perhaps because only what is visible is taken seriously.

In other words, what is reported by the person as pain and its intensity is a very subjective issue, which can be considered laziness or an excuse to escape responsibility.

Although in Fibromyalgia the pain is not visible and “screams in silence”, this does not mean that it is less poignant than any other pain.

To facilitate this reasoning, I would like to make a comparison: When a person has an accident and breaks an arm or leg, for example, the pain caused by mechanical trauma is observed by clinical examinations, when a cut is deep, causing bleeding, the pain it is understood and helped by the dramatic picture that is presented there.

In bruises, dislocations and swelling caused by blows or any mechanical trauma, there is a visible painful finding; in burns, idem. In diseases whose symptoms are observable, pain is accepted and understood.

In painful syndromes and disorders, physical and/or emotional pain belongs to those who feel, to those who suffer, and is not easily socialized because of its lack of visibility and, because of this, often even discreditable.

Professionals working in the treatment of Fibromyalgia:

Rheumatologist, Osteopath, Psychologist, Physiotherapist, Psychiatrist, Physical Educator, Retoproctologist, among others.


Because it has symptoms in common with other rheumatic diseases, Fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose, which is eminently clinical and performed by excluding other medical conditions.

To complete the diagnosis, musculoskeletal pain needs to be acute, diffuse, persistent, on both sides of the body and for at least 3 months.

Fibromyalgia has a constellation of symptoms that will be presented below, being a real magnet for the development of secondary diseases and disorders, the so-called comorbidities.

For this reason, if you identify with the symptoms, seek a Rheumatologist. The earlier the treatment, the better the prognosis.

The importance of Psychotherapy in the treatment of Fibromyalgia:

In practical life, there is no separation between emotional and physical health, as both are integrated, directly interfering with each other. Mainly in syndromes, such as Fibromyalgia, in which it is not observed or diagnosed through clinical examinations, it is necessary to understand how each individual perceives and experiences their pain, as well as how they deal with everyday stress.

Understanding pain is a complex process and in this context it is crucial to work on the distorted thoughts, feelings, emotions, behaviors and beliefs associated with the perception of pain and what it represents for each person in particular.

As pain is directly related to stress, increasing its intensity when the person is overloaded and suffocated, psychotherapeutic work is important not only for the assessment of stress management itself, but for the analysis of the symptoms themselves. of Fibromyalgia, which usually include anxiety and depressive symptoms.

Working on the underlying contents of the symptoms presented for a better understanding of what were the external triggers and especially the internal environmental factors that helped to manifest and/or maintain distorted and dysfunctional perceptions related to the chronicity of pain, is an important part of the treatment process. Fibromyalgia.

No less important is working through psychotherapeutic techniques on cognitive problems such as concentration and memory.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia:

Neuralgia: pain that occurs in a nerve or group of nerves causing painful discomfort;

Digestive problems: constipation or diarrhea;

Muscle tension: pain caused by contracture, showing muscle stiffness mainly in the neck, shoulders and back area;

Anxious symptoms: constant apprehension, excessive worry and tendency to catastrophize small events;

Swelling: Caused by intercellular fluid retention;

Chronic , diffuse, acute musculoskeletal pain in body parts and with a “burning” sensation;

Chronic Fatigue: Tiredness is directly related to sleep problems, including insomnia itself, as well as difficulty maintaining restful sleep, in addition to a deficit of specific vitamins and minerals that probably need to be replaced only after a doctor’s evaluation or nutritionist;

Paresthesia: tingling and numbness mainly in the extremities (hands and feet);

Dysmenorrhea: severe menstrual cramps;

Depressive symptoms: bad mood, anhedonia, feeling of emptiness, that nothing makes sense, discouragement, negative thoughts, hopelessness, among others;

Cognitive problems: difficulty concentrating and memory;
Tachycardia: “beater” in the chest, palpitations;

Also Read: Depression Hurts Physically, Explains Science

Headaches: this symptom is very recurrent in patients with Fibromyalgia, especially tension-type headaches;

Cramps: One of the main causes of cramps is the lack of essential minerals that participate in the muscle contraction process;

Irritable bowel syndrome: a multifactorial dysfunction characterized by contracture of the small and large intestines, causing pain during the final process of digestion. It is related to anxiety and mismanagement of daily stress, among other clinical factors;

Pelvic pain : pain in the lower abdomen (“belly foot”). In the specific case of Fibromyalgia, it is related to intestinal problems;

“Tender Points” or pain points: pain when touching at least 11 points out of a total of 18 points;

Temporomandibular pain: The temporomandibular area is the joint between the temporal bone and the mandible (TMJ). See an Osteopath if you feel pain points in the musculature surrounding these bone structures and joints.

Sleep Problems: Whether to initiate or maintain quality sleep. For not having a restful sleep, the person wakes up feeling tired, as if he had not slept;

Final considerations:

Some fibromyalgia patients report that their muscle, tendon, ligament and bone pain “came out of nowhere”, but that is not quite how it happens.

Everything in life, as well as body aches, has a reason to exist. Pain is an important defense mechanism that protects our body against external injuries, even preserving us from death.

Pain is the warning that the body is in danger of life.

Have you ever imagined a person who falls and breaks a bone or has bleeding, if he does not feel pain, he cannot take the necessary measures. And according to the intensity of the pain, these measures will need urgently to restructure what was injured.

However, studies indicate that in the case of Fibromyalgia, people with it are hypersensitive to the sensation of pain.



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