Fibromyalgia: the pain that screams in silence and invalidates life

Fibromyalgia: the pain that screams in silence and invalidates life.

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

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

In terms of incidence, it affects 2 to 5% of the world population, predominantly women between the ages of 30 and 50, although it affects other age groups and regardless of sex.

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 due to lack of information. Perhaps because only the visible is taken seriously.

In other words, what the person reports as pain and its intensity is a very subjective matter, which can be considered laziness or an excuse to avoid responsibility.

Although in Fibromyalgia the pain is not visible and “screams silently”, this does not mean that it is less stabbing 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 a leg, for example, the pain caused by mechanical trauma is observed in clinical examinations, when a cut is deep, causing bleeding, the pain is understood and helped by the dramatic picture that is presented there.

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

In painful syndromes and disorders, physical and/or emotional pain belongs to the one who feels it, to the one who suffers, and it is not easily socialized due to its lack of visibility and, therefore, often even discredited.

Professionals who work 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 is done excluding other medical conditions.

To complete the diagnosis, musculoskeletal pain must 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 true magnet for the development of secondary diseases and disorders, the so-called comorbidities.

Therefore, if you identify with the symptoms, go to 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, since 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 daily 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 evaluation of stress management itself, but also for the analysis of the symptoms themselves. of fibromyalgia, which often 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 manifest and/or maintain distorted and dysfunctional perceptions related to the chronicity of the pain, is an important part of the process. Fibromyalgia treatment.

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

Fibromyalgia symptoms:

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

Digestive problems: constipation or diarrhea;

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

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

Swelling: Caused by the retention of intercellular liquids;


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