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Fibromyalgia Glossary




MPS Myofascial Pain Syndrome - Pain affecting muscles and connective tissue which is more localised than fibromyalgia.  It is associated with trigger points.  See Here
MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging - A strong magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed pictures of the inside of your body.  See Here
Mechanical Pain  A name given to any type of back pain caused by abnormal stress & strain put on the muscles which support the vertebral column.
Mitochondria Responsible for energy production in cells located in a cytoplasm outside the nucleus of a cell.
 Muscle Is the primary tissue of the body which act as a source of power.
Musculoskeletal Pertaining to the ligaments, muscles, tendons, joints & bones with the associated tissues that move & maintain the body form.  (Muscles & the skeleton)
NREM Non-Rapid Eye Movement - One of the levels of sleep.
 NMDA N-methyl-D-aspartic acid - A brain receptor activated by the amino acid glutamate.
NSAIDs Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs - eg Diclofenic, Ibuprofen etc.
Neuromuscular Involving both nerves and muscles.
Neurons Are responsive cells found in the Central Nervous System (part of the brain) processing & transmitting information through a electrochemical process.
Neurotransmitters Chemical substances released from the nerve endings of a neuron to transmit impulses to other neurons.
Nociceptors Peripheral receptors for pain. Nociceptors include receptors which are sensitive to painful mechanical stimuli, extreme heat or cold, and chemical stimuli. All nociceptors are free nerve endings.
 Non-articular Affecting the muscles, connective tissues or soft tissues rather than joints.
Non-Restorative Sleep A condition where a person is not refreshed after a night’s sleep.
Norepinephrine A neurotransmitter & a hormone released naturally by nerve cells, producing many effects throughout the body in a 'fight or flight' chemical, responsible for the body's reaction to stressful situations.  Also known as Noradrenaline.
Opiates A drug (as morphine or codeine) containing or derived from opium and tending to induce sleep and alleviate pain.
Opioids  A synthetic drug possessing narcotic properties similar to opiates but not derived from opium.
Pain Threshold The amount of stimuli it takes to cause you pain. Those of us with fibromyalgia are clinically proven to have low pain thresholds
Pain Tolerance How much pain you can handle before breaking down mentally or physically. It tends to increase the more you deal with pain.
Paraparesis Partial paralysis affecting the lower limbs.
Parasympathetic Part of the autonomic nervous system whose nerves originate in the midbrain, the hindbrain, and the sacral region of the spinal cord.
Paresthesia Abnormal sensation such as, numbness, prickling and tingling.
Pathogenesis The origin and development of a disease.
Pathological Relating to or caused by disease.
Pathophysiological Pertaining to bodily function changes that cause an illness or the bodily function changes that the illness causes.
Peripheral Means areas away from the centre of the body or a body part. Eg: hands are peripheral to the shoulder.
Prevalence A statistical measure of people in the population having a disease at a point or period in time.
Prognosis A prediction or expected outcome of a disease. 2. A patient's chance of recovery.
Psychology Science of the mind and mental processes.  The emotional and behavioral characteristics of an individual, group, or activity.
Psychosocial Involving both psychological & social aspects. 2. Relating social conditions to mental health.
REM Rapid Eye Movement - the stage of sleep characterised by dreams.
RLS Restless Leg Syndrome - a neurological condition that is characterized by the irresistible urge to move the legs.  See Here
Raynaud's Phenomenon A disorder resulting in discoloration of fingers and/or toes when a person is exposed to changes in temperature (hot or cold) or emotional stress.  See Here  or here
Rheumatology The branch of medicine concerned with problems with tendons, muscles or joints.
Sensory Relating to sensation, eg: pain, temperature or touch.
Serotonin A neurotransmitter that regulates mood, sleep, and metabolism.
Sjogrens Syndrome Sjögren's syndrome can cause various symptoms, the most common being dry eyes and dry mouth. These symptoms are due to lack of secretions from glands in the body. In severe cases the lungs, kidneys, nervous system and lymph glands can be affected. Treatment is mainly directed at symptom control.tes mood, sleep, and metabolism. More Info here.
Spasm A sudden involuntary contraction of a muscle, causing the muscle to clench tight, shorten and squeeze causing pain.
Substance P A neurotransmitter that appears in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. It is involved in the transmission of pain.
Symptomatology Combined symptoms of a particular disease.
Syndrome A collection of signs and symptoms that occur together constituting the picture of a particular disease.
Systemic Affecting the body as a whole or affecting a particular body system.
TMJ Temporomandibular Joint - A disorder consisting of pain, muscle tenderness, clicking in the joint, and limitation or alteration of the jaw movement.
Tender Points Areas of the body that are painful to touch in Fibromyalgia.  There are 11-18 tender points used in the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. See Here
Tinnitus A noise in the ear or head, described as buzzing, hissing, humming, ringing or whistling, which is generated inside the body rather than coming from outside.
Trigger Points Tight bands of muscle tissue that are painful to the touch. When pressure is applied to these points, they cause radiation of pain throughout the body.
Virus A micro-organism smaller than a bacteria, which cannot grow or reproduce apart from a living cell. A virus invades living cells and uses their chemical machinery to keep itself alive and to replicate itself.
Vulvodynia A term used to describe pain in the vulva, often severe, of unknown cause.
WHO World Health Organisation - the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system.  See Here


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