What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a medical condition characterized by chronic widespread pain and a heightened pain response to pressure. A number of other symptoms may be present such as fatigue, sleep problems, and problems with memory. It is frequently associated with other conditions such as depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder. Fibromyalgia is not yet well understood, and diagnoses have been challenged. Certain lifestyle factors such as smoking and obesity may increase risk. Fibromyalgia is neither degenerative nor fatal.


The cause of fibromyalgia in unknown but believed to be an even combination of genetic and environmental factors. The condition runs in families and many genes are involved.  


Diagnosis involves first ruling out other potential causes and verifying that a set number of symptoms are present. There is no specific diagnostic test.


Treatment of fibromyalgia is difficult. Recommendations include healthy lifestyle habits, cognitive behavioral therapy, and certain medications. Use of opioid pain medication is controversial, and dietary supplements lack sufficient evidence to support usage.



  • Estimated 2-8% of population affected by fibromyalgia
  • Affects females 2x as often as males
  • As much as 75% of those affected may go undiagnosed 


about fibromyalgia


  •  "Fibromyalgia Fact Sheet." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 Mar. 2017. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.
  • "Fibromyalgia." National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 08 July 2016. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.
  •  Bellato, Enrico, Eleonora Marini, Filippo Castoldi, Nicola Barbasetti, Lorenzo Mattei, Davide Edoardo Bonasia, and Davide Blonna. "Fibromyalgia Syndrome: Etiology, Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Treatment." Pain Research and Treatment. Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2012. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.
  •  "Fibromyalgia Center: Symptoms, Treatments, Causes, Tests, and Diagnosis."WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.


Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain conditions, affecting roughly 10 million Americans. While both men and women are affected by the disorder, it is far more prevalent in women, who account for 90 percent of all cases. While the most common symptom of fibromyalgia is widespread musculoskeletal pain, fibromyalgia affects the body in many ways.
fibromyalgia - effects on the body



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