For years, Fibromyalgia has been a term for "you have pain all over and we don't know why." It is finally beginning to be understood and treated as a disease that affects the soft tissues of the body (muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc) and can cause excruciating chronic pain.
I was diagnosed with Fibro in 2009, and I thought "this can't be right... I have back pain!" My doctor and physical therapist agreed that my treatment for pain relief wouldn't change, whether or not I actually had Fibromyalgia. I think that my "all over" pain problem was more related to inflammation. Although I think I've consumed more than my share of ibuprofen (I laughed with a friend once that enough ibuprofen didn't exist in the world), it was not enough to handle the inflammation in my body. Dr. Watkins tested especially for CRP (C-Reactive Protein) which is an indicator of inflammation; normal level should be below 1.0 - mine was 15.16. Yikes! No wonder everything hurt! When he supplied me with a strong anti-inflammatory, I began to feel better almost immediately.
However, I have developed a new understanding of those who suffer from Fibro and other all-over pain disorders. I swim with some ladies who deal with this pain every day. No longer can we tell these folks "Sorry, it's all in your head!" I'm grateful that doctors and researchers are taking these debilitating illnesses seriously, so that there might be relief.
What I've learned: I won't belittle anyone's struggle to live with pain.