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.
In children with fibromyalgia, symptoms include:
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- Widespread diffuse pain. The pain associated with fibromyalgia often is described as a constant dull ache that has lasted for at least three months. To be considered widespread, the pain must occur on both sides of your body and above and below your waist.
- Headache. Frequent headaches occur in a majority of patients with fibromyalgia.
- Sleep disturbances. Despite complaints of severe fatigue, these children often take an hour or more to fall asleep. Even when they do fall asleep, many have difficulty maintaining sleep and wake up during the night.
- Fatigue. People with fibromyalgia often awaken tired, even though they report sleeping for long periods of time. Sleep is often disrupted by pain, and many patients with fibromyalgia have other sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea.
- Other problems. Many people who have fibromyalgia also may have pain or cramping in the lower abdomen, report cognitive impairment (described as feeling in a "fog"), and experience depression and anxiety.
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- Kimura Y, et al. Fibromyalgia in children and adolescents: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 4, 2014.
- Kimura Y, et al. Fibromyalgia in children and adolescents: Treatment and prognosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 4, 2014.