It’s a common occurrence and many of us disregard it but in prolonged cases waking up with body ache and tiredness can be a sign of something more vital. You could be suffering from Fibromyalgia; a common syndrome (usually but not exclusively found in women between the ages of 20-50) in which a person has long-term pain, spread throughout the body. The pain is most often linked to fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, depression, and anxiety but a defined cause has not yet been identified by medical research.
Possible causes or triggers of fibromyalgia include, physical or emotional trauma and sleep disturbances (cant get to sleep, can’t stay asleep, wake up tired) but pain is the main symptom of fibromyalgia. It may be mild to severe and is classified by particular tender points which are found in the soft tissue on the back of the neck, shoulders, chest, lower back, hips, shins, elbows, and knees. People with fibromyalgia tend to wake up with body aches and stiffness. For some people, pain improves during the day and gets worse at night. Some people experience a steadily increasing pain over the course of the day that worsens with activity, cold or damp weather, anxiety, and stress. Other symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid, Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), memory and concentration problems, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, reduced ability to exercise and tension or migraine headaches. Almost everyone experiences one or more of these symptoms at one time or another and thus certain tests and exams are necessary for a positive medical diagnosis. You must have had at least 3 months of widespread pain accompanied either by ongoing problems with sleep, fatigue or memory problems (fibro fog).
Treatments include physical therapy, a dedicated exercise and fitness program, stress-relief methods, including light massage and relaxation techniques. If these treatments do not work, your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant or muscle relaxant to improve your sleep and help you tolerate pain better. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an important part of treatment. This therapy helps you learn how to deal with negative thoughts, keep a diary of pain and symptoms and recognize what makes your symptoms worse, seek out enjoyable activities or support groups. Things you can do to help take care of yourself include eating a well-balanced diet, avoiding caffeine, practicing a good sleep routine, exercising regularly.
If you think you have fibromyalgia, visit your GP. Treatment is available to help ease some of the symptoms; although it is unlikely they will ever disappear completely. If you think you may be depressed, it’s important to get help from your GP. Don’t take waking up feeling tired or having body ache lightly. It may mean you need professional help.