Fibromyalgia is a complex, chronic, and disabling disorder. It causes widespread pain. It also causes poor sleep and fatigue.
The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. It may be related to abnormal processing of pain.
Conditions that are commonly associated with fibromyalgia include:
Fibromyalgia is more common in women, and in people aged 20-60 years old. Physical or mental stress may also increase your chance of getting fibromyalgia.
Symptoms and severity of fibromyalgia are different for everyone.
Fibromyalgia may cause:
Factors that may trigger or worsen symptoms include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Diagnosis is usually based on reported symptoms and tenderness in specific areas of the body during the physical exam.
Fibromyalgia is usually diagnosed when pain or tenderness is present in more than 7 locations and consistent for more than 3 months.
The goal of treatment is to relieve or control the symptoms. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options include:
Your doctor may also recommend that you make lifestyle changes, such as:
American College of Rheumatology
The American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association
The Arthritis Society
Fibromyalgia Information and Local Support
About fibromyalgia. National Fibromyalgia Association website. Available at: http://www.fmaware.org/about-fibromyalgia. Accessed May 6, 2016.
Buckhardt CS, Goldenberg D, Crofford L, et al. Guideline for the management of fibromyalgia syndrome pain in adults and children. Glenview (IL): American Pain Society (APS); 2005. as summarized in National Guideline Clearinghouse 2005;19:7298.
Carville SF, Arendt-Nielsen S, Bliddal H, et al. EULAR evidence-based recommendations for the management of fibromyalgia syndrome. Ann Rheum Dis. 2008;67:536-541.
Fibromyalgia. American College of Rheumatology website. Available at: http://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Fibromyalgia. Updated May 2015. Accessed May 6, 2016.
Fibromyalgia. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116339/Fibromyalgia. Updated September 18, 2016. Accessed September 28, 2016.
Fibromyalgia. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Fibromyalgia/default.asp. Updated July 2014. Accessed May 6, 2016.
Wierville L. Fibromyalgia: diagnosing and managing a complex syndrome. J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2012;24(4):184-92.
2/17/2009 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116339/Fibromyalgia: Russell IJ, Perkins AT, Michalek JE; Oxybate SXB-26 Fibromyalgia Syndrome Study Group. Sodium oxybate relieves pain and improves function in fibromyalgia syndrome: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter clinical trial. Arthritis Rheum. 2009;60:299-309.
4/14/2009 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116339/Fibromyalgia: Munguía-Izquierdo D, Legaz-Arrese A. Assessment of the effects of aquatic therapy on global symptomatology in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008;89:2250-2257.
4/22/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116339/Fibromyalgia: Sañudo B, Galiano D, Carrasco L, Blagojevic M, de Hoyo M, Saxton J. Aerobic exercise versus combined exercise therapy in women with fibromyalgia syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2010;91(12):1838-1843.
4/22/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116339/Fibromyalgia: Carson JW, Carson KM, Jones KD, Bennett RM, Wright CL, Mist SD. A pilot randomized controlled trial of the Yoga of Awareness program in the management of fibromyalgia. Pain. 2010;151(2):530-539.
Last reviewed June 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.