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Number of Americans affected by Fibromyalgia

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Peck
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Reading Time: 4 minutes
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Fibromyalgia is a disease belonging to a set of physical conditions called Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome (MSPS). It is the second most common chronic pain-related health issue that mainly affects the patient’s bones and muscles.

Fibromyalgia is a state of crippling pain related to soft tissue, muscle, or tendon in the body, and this often leads to scorching pain and endless agony.

There is no ultimate cure to treat this disease because of its idiopathic origin. But there are a few pain management measures, including medicines, exercises, and psychological therapy, that could be helpful for the patients to cope with their pain.

How many Americans have Fibromyalgia?

About 4 million people in the United States are suffering from this condition, which is almost 2 % of the USA adult population. 70-80 percent of Americans with Fibromyalgia are females, aged between 20 and 50. The remaining 20-30 percent of patients are men and elderly, irrespective of age. Fibromyalgia can also affect children at their developmental age, and its ratio is between 1-7 percent of the patients suffering from it.

Women tend to suffer from this disease more than men because of multiple clinical reasons, which include hormonal changes throughout their lives (menstruation, pregnancy, menopause), and increased stress due to this hormonal imbalance.

Although medications such as ketamine treatment for Fibromyalgia are covered by medical insurance, according to a survey, the patients who use some over-the-counter painkillers or prescribed drugs for pain relief spend from 100-500 dollars per month on these medications.

Fibromyalgia is a prevalent chronic pain condition with some core differences, but it remains inexplicable because of its mysterious origin. According to a recent analysis, about 2/3rd of the patients are wrongly diagnosed with Fibromyalgia when they have some other underlying health problems.

This health problem could be an autoimmune disease such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, neuropathy, or hypothyroidism. Misdiagnosis could be due to similarity in the symptoms exhibited by the patient.

Fibromyalgia has a deep connection with how your brain perceives the pain signals from the body; if you are in pain, the pain sensations will be intensified by your brain.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

It is a severe problem that affects the entire body. There are some common symptoms observed in patients who have Fibromyalgia.

  •         Inability to sleep peacefully
  •         Restlessness or chronic fatigue
  •         Severe morning stiffness
  •         Increased pain and temperature sensitivity
  •     Chronic anxiety or depression
  •     Causes of Fibromyalgia

Researchers believe it could be the byproduct of some mental disorders and memory issues. People with insomnia, chronic fatigue, or some mental health condition tend to suffer from Fibromyalgia relatively more than healthy people.

These mental disorders could be due to the genetic tendency of the patient or environmental, e.g., work-induced stress or PTSD.

Some researches and brain imaging also point toward the alterations in the patient’s neural pathways in the brain. These changes in the neural connections could also be the reason behind chronic pain, cognitive problems, and trouble sleeping issues.

How does Fibromyalgia affect work and productivity for Americans diagnosed with it?

Fibromyalgia is a state of debilitating musculoskeletal pain tagged along with other health issues, such as sleeplessness, fatigue, and mental disturbance.

You cannot perform your best when you constantly suffer from throbbing pain sensations and rely on painkillers to get rid of them.

You will go through difficulties everywhere, whether it is your personal or professional life. Your productivity will decline as your focus shifts from your work to your pain. You won’t be able to complete assignments in the given time.

Let’s talk about a fibromyalgia patient’s personal and social life. He will have many opportunities to slide due to fear of triggering pain, whether going to parties, hiking with friends, or celebrating New Year’s Eve with grandparents. He will have to cut all physical and social activities to the least minimum to avoid the pain stimulation.

Patients of Fibromyalgia are also at more risk of becoming overweight or obese than an average healthy person. Of course, a lack of an active lifestyle and avoiding physical activities due to pain. 

Where do Americans with Fibromyalgia seek treatment?

It is difficult to get rid of this disease altogether for multiple reasons, one of the most obvious of which is that we still cannot find its origin. But its symptoms can be treated and managed with the help of medications, exercises, and self-management strategies.

One of the most advanced and high-efficacy methods is ketamine therapy for fibromyalgia treatment. In this treatment method, ketamine infusion is injected into your blood in very mild doses. Ketamine acts as an excellent analgesic when induced in a miner dose. Therefore, it helps the patient get relief from the pain. Ketamine works directly on the damaged nerve connections to reform the neural connections, which immediately nips the pain. The best thing about ketamine therapy for Fibromyalgia is that it has no side effects and alleviates pain for longer.

Some medicines, such as OTC pain relievers, and prescribed drugs, such as narcotics, can help you manage your symptoms quite stably.

Trigger point injections are also helpful in treating FM symptoms. These injections are a combination of local anesthetic and a steroid which help to relax the muscle tension and relieve pain.

We know that mental peace is also necessary to manage the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. So, the patient could opt for a suitable relaxing exercise routine such as aerobics and yoga, which will help you feel relaxed, and your muscles will also gain strength to fight the pain trigger. These exercises will also help you sleep better.

If the patient has some mental disorder, this is important to treat that as well. Cognitive behavior therapy sessions could be helpful for such patients. It is a talking therapy that will help the patient look at the brighter perspective of life rather than being hopeless.