Fibromyalgia is a complex disorder. It causes chronic widespread pain that can be disabling.
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The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. It may be a problem with how the nerves and brain process pain.
Conditions that are commonly associated with fibromyalgia include:
Fibromyalgia is more common in women. Physical or mental stress may also increase your chance of getting it.
Symptoms and severity of fibromyalgia can vary.
More common symptoms include:
Factors that may trigger or worsen symptoms include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. Certain areas can be tender in those with fibromyalgia. Diagnosis is usually based on shared information and exam. The pain needs to be present for at least 3 months.
The goal of treatment is to relieve or control the symptoms. Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Options include:
Stress and tension can make pain worse. Therapies that may improve relaxation and improve pain include:
Overall health can affect your symptoms. Your doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes, such as:
Your doctor may recommend the following to help manage symptoms:
There are no current steps to prevent fibromyalgia.
American College of Rheumatology
The American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association
The Arthritis Society
Fibromyalgia Information and Local Support
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2/17/2009 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillancehttp://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 Surveillancehttp://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 Surveillancehttp://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 Surveillancehttp://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 2018 by Michael Woods, MD Last Updated: 12/31/2018