Tingling? It Could Be Fibromyalgia

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Tingling? It Could Be Fibromyalgia

The pain of fibromyalgia is usually its distinguishing characteristic. Since it’s a condition involving the nerves, it sometimes mimics other neuropathic disorders, so it’s possible to feel tingling and numbness as a sciatica patient might. 

The reasons fibromyalgia develops in some people aren’t fully understood. It’s thought that repeated nerve stimulation causes a fundamental change in how nerves generate signals, and the brain becomes more sensitive and overreacts to these altered pain signals. 

However, pain isn’t the only sensation that nerves can generate. One of the problems with diagnosing fibromyalgia comes from confused symptoms that suggest other medical conditions. Tingling and numbness often suggest nerve compression conditions rather than fibromyalgia. 

As fibromyalgia specialists serving the Des Moines, Iowa, area, the team at Metro Anesthesia & Pain Management can help restore your quality of life through diagnosis and treatment of this condition. Visit us soon if you have unexplained symptoms that include tingling.

Diagnosing fibromyalgia

Previously, there was a tender point exam. Eighteen locations on your body were pressed to generate a fibromyalgia diagnosis. Today, though, you must have widespread pain through your body for longer than three months while affecting four of five areas, including:

  • Axial region: neck, back, chest, or abdomen
  • Left upper region: including shoulder, arm, or jaw
  • Right upper region: including shoulder, arm, or jaw
  • Left lower region: affecting the hip, buttock, leg, or foot
  • Right lower region: affecting the hip, buttock, leg, or foot

It’s common to undergo additional testing to rule out other conditions, usually through blood samples. If you have tingling, it could suggest musculoskeletal conditions causing nerve compression. In cases like these, diagnostic imaging could be necessary. 

How fibromyalgia emerges

There’s usually no singular event that defines the start of fibromyalgia. It’s suspected that multiple factors come into play to cause the condition. There’s a genetic connection for many, as it tends to run in families. 

Traumatic physical events, such as a car accident, could contribute. Periods of emotional or psychological stress might also act as a trigger. 

Risk factors include gender, since women receive fibromyalgia diagnoses more often than men. Conditions including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus could increase your chance of developing fibromyalgia. 

Co-existing conditions

It’s common for fibromyalgia to exist alongside other diseases and conditions. These may include: 

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Depression
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Migraines or other headaches
  • Painful bladder syndrome
  • Postural tachycardia syndrome
  • Temporomandibular joint disorders

Anxiety and depression could appear as symptoms of fibromyalgia from the emotional and psychological strain that pain conditions exert on a patient. 

Targets for tingling

If you experience tingling and numbness as part of your fibromyalgia symptoms, these usually appear in the arms, hands, face, feet, and legs. Tingling in those areas often suggests conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrists and hands or sciatica down the legs to the feet.

Multiple sclerosis and neuritis can also produce tingling symptoms. Testing for these alternate conditions comes back normal if fibromyalgia is the culprit. 

It can be a complex journey to arrive at a fibromyalgia diagnosis. The team at Metro Anesthesia & Pain Management is with you every step of the way, keeping you comfortable. You can reach both our locations by phone or online to book a visit. Contact us today to get relief as soon as possible.