Question

Fibromyalgia

Is fibromyalgia a degenerative disease?

A Answers (2)

  • ACeleste Cooper, Rheumatology, answered

    Fibromyalgia is not considered a degenerative disease.  However, there is a higher incidence of fibromyalgia with disorders associated with aging, such as arthritic and certain autoimmune disorders. It is possible that fibromyalgia symptoms may worsen over time when accompanied by overlapping conditions and primary symptoms of the syndrome, such as disordered sleep, and body-wide pain are not addressed.

    Newer research suggests that in certain patients there is an upset in the autonomic nervous system reflected by disturbed heart rate variability.  Our heart rate and blood pressure are in a constant state of flux, adapting to body movement, such as exercise, and position changes. In some patients this system is disrupted.

    We know myofascial pain syndrome is also associated with many of the overlapping conditions of fibromyalgia and it is seen by some experts as a co-occurring disorder to fibromyalgia.  When myofascial trigger points seen in myofascial pain syndrome are left untreated, symptoms do not improve. 

  • ADawn Marcus, Neurology, answered
    Fibromyalgia does not destroy joints, muscles, or nerves. Although people with fibromyalgia will likely continue to have symptoms for a while after their diagnosis, they will not lose the ability to walk or need to use a walker or wheelchair. Symptoms may be better or worse on different days, but you should not expect to develop other serious problems.
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Is fibromyalgia a real disease?