Juvenile Fibromyalgia: What You Need to Know
Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, sleep issues, and mood problems. Research shows that fibromyalgia is the result of amplified pain signals in the brain.
Fibromyalgia is often seen as a condition only affecting adults, but it also affects young children and teenagers. There are few studies in the United States about the number of adolescents living with fibromyalgia, but some estimates are as high as 6%, this according to the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association (NFMCPA).
If your child has been diagnosed with juvenile fibromyalgia (JFM), here is what you need to know.
One report published in Nature Reviews Rheumatology notes at least 25% of school aged children live with chronic pain and some of them report widespread chronic pain.
Unfortunately, there is insufficient current research on proper identification of juvenile fibromyalgia and doctors must rely on guidelines established in 1985 by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) for diagnosing juvenile fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is more common in girls than boys, and mostly diagnosed between the ages of 13 to 15.
In rheumatology practices, fibromyalgia is fairly common and according to Dr. Susmita Kashikar-Zuck of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio, her practice is seeing 40 to 45 new cases of juvenile fibromyalgia per year.
Chronic widespread all over body pain is the main symptom of fibromyalgia and is experienced by both children and adults. Fibromyalgia also causes sore spots on the muscles called “tender points,” which hurt when pressure is applied.