Fibrositis: Description, Causes and Risk Factors:Alternative Name: Muscular rheumatism.FibrositisFibrositis is the term most commonly employed to designate pain and tenderness of connective tissue, particularly around joints and in or near muscles and tendons, for which a cause is not evident. The syndrome is characterized by pain and stiffness which varies in intensity but which is worse on movement. It is rarely associated with any disturbance of general health. It may run an acute or chronic course and, in the latter case, periods of remission are common. There is frequently a complaint of severe stiffness on waking, with improvement to some extent during the day. The pain sometimes radiates from one or more fibrous nodules or “trigger points,” which are extremely tender on palpation.There are many theories which surround fibrositis causes, as no one is exactly sure why does it occur. Many doctors have claimed it to be a genetic disorder but there are many cases where this condition does not seem to be inherited from parents. Sometimes fibrositis develops as a result of a trauma, for instance a car accident. People suffering from muscular rheumatism experience certain changes in their nervous system that makes them more sensitive to muscle pain and pressure. Shortage of sleep is also a potential cause for fibrositis. Pain and stiffness of muscles can affect the sleep and this can worsens the condition.Microscopic examination of the tender fibrous nodules frequently present in a case of fibrositis reveals inflammatory changes suggestive of infection, but no microorganisms have ever been isolated. A focus of infection has been postulated from which toxins having a special affinity for fibrous tissues are disseminated through the blood stream. This theory, although no longer widely held, has never been completely discredited. It is known that certain infective diseases mostly of virus origin, such as rubella, measles and influenza, may initiate fibrositis, which usually clears up during convalescence. In these illnesses, tender nodules can frequently be detected, and they are the source of the backache which is a common symptom. The nodules may occasionally persist and are sometimes reactivated by further infections of diverse kinds, including the common cold. It is also recognized that there are epidemic forms of fibrositis, of which the best recognized is a virus infection known as Bornholm disease.Some evidence suggests that several factors may make people more susceptible to Fibrositis. These may include:Being female.
  • Coming from a very stressful culture or environment.
  • Having a psychological vulnerability to stress.
  • Sleep disturbance.
  • Muscle injury.
  • Having had difficult experiences in childhood.
Symptoms:Aches and pains in muscles and joints. Pain worsens with fatigue, straining or overuse. Pain usually worse in the morning and with weather changes.
  • Stiffness and weakness.
  • Sudden, painful muscle spasms ("charley horse") that worsen with activity.
  • Nodules or localized areas that are tender to the touch (trigger points). Pressure applied to these sites ( trigger points) reproduces the patient's symptoms.
  • Painful muscle areas.
  • Generalized fatigue and tiredness.
  • Difficulty with sleep. Usually associated with early morning awakening and unrefreshed sleep.
  • Depression.
  • Reduced physical endurance.
  • Anxiety.
  • Recurrent migraine or tension-type headaches.
Diagnosis:There is no obvious, objective method for diagnosing fibrositis. The criteria used for studying fibromyalgia are very helpful, particularly if the patient does not have an accompanying disorder, such as depression or arthritis, that could complicate the diagnosis. Failure to meet the criteria, however, does not rule out fibrositis. Fibrositis should be suspected in any person who has muscle and joint pain with no identifiable cause.A doctor should always take a careful personal and family medical history, which includes a psychological profile and history of any factors that might indicate other conditions, such as:Infectious diseases.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Physical injuries.
  • Rashes.
  • Recent weight change.
  • Sexual, physical, or substance or alcohol abuse.
  • Patients should also report any drugs he/she takes, including vitamins and over-the-counter or herbal medications.
Your doctor may also perform full blood count and ESR (to exclude multiple myeloma), urea and electrolytes (including calcium), liver function tests (LFTs), blood sugar, thyroid function tests (TFTs) and obtain a urine sample.Testing for cytokine levels, p-cells, and MRI brain activity scans have all been successfully used to help determine the presence of fibrositis.Treatment:Fibrositis is a mysterious condition. Its causes are still largely unknown, as is how it inflicts damage. No strong evidence indicates that any single treatment (or combination of treatments) has any significant effect for most patients.General Measures:Take hot showers, and let the water spray on painful areas. Heat lamps, electric heating pads, whirlpool or plain tub baths and hot compresses may be useful.
  • Gentle massage to painful areas.
  • Stretching and conditioning exercises.
  • Learn relaxation techniques.
  • Alleviate stress.
  • Biofeedback is helpful for some patients who use it to relax contracted muscles.
  • Maintain social interaction even though the pain may be distracting at times.
Medicines:For minor discomfort, you may use non-prescription drugs such as aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs may be prescribed. Cortisone and local anesthetic injections into "trigger points.” Antidepressants in low dosages and for short periods may be prescribed. Commonly prescribed antidepressant for this condition are the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) e.g. fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil).Herbs that can help with fibrositis may include:Valerian.
  • St Johns Wort.
  • Bogbean.
  • Goldenseal.
  • Willow.
  • Primula.
NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.


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