Fibromyalgia is a very common pain syndrome that can affect up to 5 to 10% of the population. It mostly affects females and has a significant impact on the quality of life, and most people with it feel miserable all the time. A number of factors are associated with fibromyalgia such as sleep disturbance, painful trigger points throughout the body, an increased sensitivity to pain, and increased sensitivity to cold and other temperature changes, and just a general lowering of well-being. The actual cause of fibromyalgia is not really known. There is a genetic predisposition, and sleep disturbances may be a factor in the cause, but also may be a result so it is not clear about the role of this. Stress has also been cited as a potential factor but it is not known if this is a cause or merely a trigger to initiate the process. A lot is known about the pathophysiological processes that go on, mostly about the brain being increasingly sensitive to pain.
As the definitive cause of fibromyalgia is not known, there is no definitive treatment to be directed at that cause. Most of the treatments that are used for fibromyalgia only seem to help a certain percent of those who have it. Drugs help some but not others; aerobic exercise has been shown to be very helpful in quite a few, but not in others; various psychological strategies can be used to help manage the pain, but not all of those with fibromyalgia can manage that. There have been many clinical trials of a number of different approaches and often they work but only in a, sometimes, smaller percent of those with the problem. Because of this lack of definitive treatment, there is a lot of pseudoscience and snake oil being widely promoted to the unsuspecting to treat this condition. This is just praying on the wallets of those desperate for a cure when, at this stage, there is not one.