Fibromyalgia- Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Fibromyalgia is a condition that we seem to hear a lot about but overall seems to be a bit of a mystery to those of us who don’t suffer from it. Part of the reason for the mystery is that Fibromyalgia is largely a diagnosis by exclusion, meaning that no other diagnosis seems to make sense of the symptoms.

Technically speaking though fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by chronic pain, stiffness, and tenderness through the muscles, joints, and tendons. In addition to these symptoms, many patients also report they have a hard time sleeping and always feeling tired.

Also, Check-

There are a few different reasons why we see fibromyalgia in certain people. One factor seems to be related to an overactive sympathetic nervous system. This is the part of our nervous system that controls our “fight or flight” response, rather than our “rest and digest” response controlled by the parasympathetic nervous system.

This essentially means the body perceives a “threat” and is constantly on edge, which has an effect on our heart rate, digestion, and breathing. In a similar way, fibromyalgia is affected by the immune system. Our immune response to infection, trauma, or inflammation is for the body to produce chemicals that stimulate our healing and pain response.

In fibromyalgia this pain response in constantly working so the chemicals that create our pain our always present, which then leads to a heightened sensitivity to things (i.e. light pressure, movements) that we normally would not find painful.


There are potentially several factors that play a role in causing fibromyalgia in certain people but as we said earlier the exact cause is still relatively unknown. There seems to be a connection to a person’s diet and activity level, as well as psychological and behavioural factors.

Occupational, environment, and seasonal factors also seem to be at play when it comes to mood and stress. Pre-existing health issues such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other systemic conditions may also be contributing factors. Some research even suggests adverse childhood experiences such as PTSD may also play a role.


Now that we know a little more about fibromyalgia, what can we do about it? When it comes to treatment it is very important to approach fibromyalgia from different angles to include the physical and psychological symptoms. Treatment really begins with helping people understand what is happening and why they feel the way they do.

Once they have a reassurance that the pain does not necessarily mean “damage” is being done to the tissues, then an exercise program can begin. Activity pacing, knowing your own limits, and having body awareness are all important factors for the patient and the therapist to consider when developing an exercise program.

Everyone will be different in what they can tolerate but an exercise program should include both resistance training and aerobic exercise. One great option for people with fibromyalgia is aquatic therapy, as it doesn’t cause excessive strain on the muscles or joints!


Although active rehabilitation is the best treatment, medications such as antidepressants, SNRIs, and pain medications specific to nerves can also provide some relief. Other pain management tools such as manual therapy and TENS can also be helpful when used in combination with an active exercise program.

Man and woman running up stairs

Why Choose Panther Sports Medicine

Panther Sports Medicine has been serving Calgary for over 30 years!  We offer comprehensive physiotherapy and professional rehabilitation services. Our staff is highly trained in the latest and most effective treatment options. With a wide variety of services and skills, we will get you back to your normal life as soon as possible.
Personalized Service
Educated Professionals
Compassionate Staff
State of the Art Centres
Panther Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Centres are a network of ten clinics, physiotherapist operated, serving Calgary and surrounding areas. Our team offers a wide range of services including physiotherapy, massage therapy, and sports injury rehabilitation to help our clients reduce pain and recover from injuries. Panther Sports Medicine has been proudly serving our community for over 30 years.
book online now

11950 Country Village Link NE
Calgary, AB

10003 - 24th Street SW
Calgary, AB

2010, 356 Cranston Road SE
Calgary, AB

11150 Bonaventure Drive SE
Calgary, AB

4995 Market Street SE
Calgary, AB

Suite 102, 83 Deerpoint Rd. SE
Calgary, AB

425 Marlborough Way NE
Calgary, AB

333 Shawville Blvd SE
Calgary, AB

210 - 11 McKenzie Towne Avenue SE
Calgary, AB

130, 19606 Walden Blvd SE
Calgary, AB
Copyright © 2024 - Panther Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation Centres. All rights reserved.  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use

Website by iNet Media Ltd.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram