Can Swelling Be Associated With Fibromyalgia?

Can swelling be associated with fibromyalgia?

By: Mark J. Pellegrino, MD (WebMD)

“Swelling can be associated with FM. Swelling is also seen in many other conditions including thyroid disorders, vascular problems, venous insufficiency, lymphedema, heart/liver/renal disease, and medicine side effects. Swelling should always be evaluated by your doctor to determine its cause.

In FM, it’s those darn dysfunctional sensory and autonomic nerves again that create the FM-related swelling problem. One of the many sensations the sensory nerves are capable of signaling is the sensation of swelling. We with FM often complain of feeling swollen, even if there is no clinical evidence of swelling, due to a dysfunctional misfiring of the sensory nerves.

We with FM get actual swelling, usually a fluctuating puffiness in the fingers and ankles/feet especially, due to dysfunctional signals between the autonomic nerves and the small blood vessels causing more leakage. This can cause our rings to become so tight on our fingers, for example. And if there’s swelling, there’s more mechanical pressure/irritation of the small sensory nerves leading to increased pain. That’s why it can be quite uncomfortable.

Because our nerves wax and wane in their dysfunctional behavior, so can our painful swelling symptoms if they are due to FM.”