The literal meaning of “fibromyalgia” is “pain in connective tissues and muscles”. Muscular pain is a common syndrome that belongs to the rheumatological group of diseases characterized by severe pain, considerable fatigue, and strong sensitivity.
The pain is felt along the spine, in the neck and back, and in the upper and lower limbs.
The whole surface of the body is so sensitive that the slightest touch can cause intense pain.
The pain makes it difficult to sleep and therefore the syndrome is also characterized by considerable fatigue.
Symptoms may also appear in other parts of the body – abdominal pain, irritable bowel, frequent urination, memory, and concentration problems, and more.
Diagnosis: In 1990 the American Rheumatological Association defined criteria for the classification of muscular pain syndrome:
Extensive pain in all parts of the body, including the upper and lower limbs and along the spine, lasting for 3 months.
The presence of at least 11 out of 18 sensitive points in a physical check.
Frequency: the illness affects 3-4% of the total population and is significantly more frequent in women than in men.
It has been found that 9.9% of the general Israeli public suffer from diffuse muscular-osseous pain. A recent epidemiological study estimated that the frequency of muscular pain syndrome in Israel is 2.5%.
Muscular pain syndrome is not considered an inflammatory or autoimmune disease, it does not cause spasms in joints, and does not lead to muscle atrophy. It does not progress over the years, but there can be periods of greater or lesser frequency of attacks.
The reason for the disease is not definitely known, although the symptoms appear to be more frequent among family members. Also, incidents such as mental trauma, injury, and infections may lead to outbursts of pain.
In 2019 we published a study of 367 fibromyalgia patients that we conducted in collaboration with the Rheumatology Institute at Rabin Medical Center.
The purpose of the study was to examine the safety and efficacy of treatment with medical cannabis. The strains studied were Alaska, Erez, and Avidekel.
Better sleep: 73.4% of patients reported improved sleep, of whom 13.2% reported that their sleep problems had disappeared.
General improvement – 81.1% of patients reported a moderate (at least) improvement in their general condition, with no serious side effects.