Fibromyalgia Education and Awareness Month – May 2023

Fibromyalgia Education and Awareness Month is observed every May to educate people about this condition. Did you know that fibromyalgia is the second most common condition which affects bones and muscles? Fibromyalgia is a widespread chronic pain condition characterized by joint pain and fatigue. It has specific points of tenderness along with sleep disturbances, headaches, cognitive problems, and fatigue. There is no cure for the condition, but a combination of medication, exercise, stress management, and healthy habits can ease the symptoms.

History of Fibromyalgia Education and Awareness Month

The first mention of musculoskeletal pain in European literature dates back to the 16th century. By the 18th century, physicians distinguished articular rheumatism with deforming from non-deforming features of musculoskeletal disorders. Since the 19th century, multiple descriptions have mentioned fibromyalgia under various names. Veilleux, a French pediatrician, made a significant observation in 1841. He put forward the idea of trigger points that caused the pain and suggested that muscular rheumatism was a form of neuralgia.

In 1880, a psychiatrist in the United States wrote down the group of symptoms, including widespread pain, fatigue, and psychological problems. In 1904, Sir William Gowers used the term ‘Fibrositis’ for the first time, which meant the inflammation of the fiber. In 1913, physician Luff in the “British Medical Journal” wrote about the symptoms of fibrositis. He realized that the symptoms worsened as air pressure fell and in the rainy season. Luff observed temperature variations, fever, and motor accidents as well.

In 1976, ‘fibromyalgia,’ which means pain in the fibers and muscles, replaced ‘fibrositis.’ In 1987, the American Medical Association (A.M.A.) recognized fibromyalgia as a defined disease entity for the first time that caused illness and disability. In 1975, the first sleep electroencephalogram study was performed. In 1986, antidepressants that raised serotonin levels were effective in the treatment of fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia Education and Awareness Month timeline

French Pediatrician Made Significant Progress

Veilleux puts forward the idea of trigger points that cause the pain and suggests that muscular rheumatism is a form of neuralgia.

The Term Fibrositis

Sir William Gowers uses the term ‘Fibrositis’ for the first time, which means the inflammation of the fiber.

Fibromyalgia is Recognized as a Disease

Fibromyalgia is recognized by the American Medical Association (A.M.A.) as a defined disease entity.

Antidepressants Are Effective

The antidepressants that raise serotonin levels are effective in the treatment of fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia Education and Awareness Month FAQs

When is chronic pain awareness month?

September is observed as a pain awareness month.

How common is fibromyalgia in the U.K.?

One out of 20 people has fibromyalgia in the U.K.

Why is it more common among women?

One of the reasons women may be at greater risk is because of factors such as hormonal changes.

How to Observe Fibromyalgia Education and Awareness Month

  1. Educate yourself

    Fibromyalgia is still an obscure condition, and some researchers do not believe it to be true. So read up about the disease and educate yourself. Knowledge is power!

  2. Join webinars and seminars on fibromyalgia

    Listen to experts and find out more about the condition. Then, teach yourself ways to support people who have fibromyalgia.

  3. Spread awareness

    Spread the word to people about this peculiar condition. Educate people about the disease so that they can also support their loved ones who have it.

5 Interesting Facts About Fibromyalgia

  1. Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia

    80 to 90% of patients with fibromyalgia are women.

  2. Smoking makes fibromyalgia worse

    Smoking and unhealthy habits can worsen the symptoms.

  3. Exercise can reduce pain

    Being obese may trigger fibromyalgia, but regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the symptoms.

  4. Five million people in the U.S.

    About five million people in the U.S. 18 years or above have fibromyalgia, and most people are diagnosed with fibromyalgia when they are middle-aged.

  5. Digestive issues

    70% of those suffering from fibromyalgia pain deal with irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive problems.

Why Fibromyalgia Education and Awareness Month is Important

  1. It spreads awareness

    This month is all about spreading awareness of fibromyalgia in the community. It brings people together and educates them.

  2. It helps people

    Awareness about the condition reaches the masses who come together to help. People do all sorts of fundraisers and other activities.

  3. It is a month for fibromyalgia

    It is a month to inform and share stories. This increases support and awareness of how to be supportive of people in the community.

Fibromyalgia Education and Awareness Month dates

2022May 1Sunday
2023May 1Monday
2024May 1Wednesday
2025May 1Thursday
2026May 1Friday
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