Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.
Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.
Women are much more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression.
While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, a variety of medications can help control symptoms. Exercise, relaxation and stress-reduction measures also may help.
Feb. 20, 2014
- Fibromyalgia. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Fibromyalgia/default.asp. Accessed Aug. 19, 2013.
- Clauw DJ, et al. The science of fibromyalgia. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2011;86:907.
- Arnold LM, et al. A framework for fibromyalgia management for primary care providers. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2012;87:488.
- Goldenberg DL. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of fibromyalgia in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 19, 2013.
- AskMayoExpert. Fibromyalgia and myofascial pain. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
- Vincent A, et al. Prevalence of fibromyalgia: A population-based study in Olmsted County, Minnesota, utilizing the Rochester Epidemiology Project. Arthritis Care & Research. 2013;65:786.
- Goldenberg DL. Pathogenesis of fibromyalgia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 19, 2013.
- Goldenberg DL. Treatment of fibromyalgia in adults not responsive to initial therapies. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 19, 2013.
- Crofford LJ. Adverse effects of chronic opiod therapy for chronic musculoskeletal pain. Nature Reviews Rheumatology. 2010;6:191.
- Fibromyalgia and complementary health approaches. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/pain/fibromyalgia.htm. Accessed Aug. 19, 2013.