How can you help raise awareness of fibromyalgia?

Each year on the 12th May, millions of people observe National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.

Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal syndrome and causes a variety of symptoms. It is a chronic condition that affects approximately two to five percent of the world’s populations, and is most common in young to middle-aged women. Some of the symptoms include:

  • widespread pain
  • tender points
  • incapacitating fatigue
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • migraines/chronic headaches
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • irritable bladder
  • insomnia
  • hypersensitivity to cold/hot
  • swelling
  • fibro fog (inability to concentrate/focus)
  • difficulty remembering
  • numbness
  • stiffness
  • decreased energy
  • noise, light and odor sensitivity
  • skin sensitivity

Symptoms may come and go, lasting a few minutes, an hour, a day, a week, a month, or a year.

While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, a variety of treatments and therapies focus on reducing the amount and frequency of pain. They also aim to improve sleep. Therapies such as exercise, massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic care aim to manage symptoms without pharmacological interventions. Prescriptions manage pain, improve sleep, and combat depression too.

The first National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day was observed in 1992 in honor of the birthday of Florence Nightingale on the 12th May. Historical documentation suggests Nightingale may have suffered from symptoms similar to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. 

There are many things that you can to help raise awareness for fibromyalgia; these include wearing purple, creating a Facebook page or using #FibromyalgiaAwarenessDay to post on social media. If you happen to suffer from fibromyalgia, you could share you story with others, so they can understand the issues from someone who is experiencing it firsthand.

More information about fibromyalgia may be obtained here.